A Southern Californian youngster is planning to climb to the top of Argentina's Mount Aconcagua to help raise money for boys who can't climb, or even walk, themselves.
Tyler Armstrong, a 9-year-old resident of Yorba Linda, Calif., is climbing the mountain to raise money for Cure Duchenne, an organization that raises money for research of Duchenne, a muscle-wasting disease that affects boys, ABC reports in the video above.
Armstrong hopes to set a record as the youngest climber to make the icy two-week trek to the top of Aconcagua. At 22,841 feet, Aconcagua is the tallest mountain in the Western and Southern Hemispheres, and temperatures on the journey can drop to minus 20 degrees Celsius, or minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit, ABC reports.
"It takes lots and lots of training," Armstrong said to ABC. "I had to do ice-climbing training, so if I fall I can stop myself and not slide down the mountain. We're really working on my abs a lot. All the weight from my backpack and all the stuff that I'm carrying goes where your abs are."
The age requirement to climb Aconcagua is 14, so the Armstrong family must first get the local courts to approve a special hiking permit for the fourth-grader, according to the family's blog. Armstrong will make the journey with his father, Kevin Armstrong, who said he's aware of the risks associated with such a climb but believes his son is ready for the challenge.
The father/son pair will begin their Mount Aconcagua climb on December 17, and they anticipate summiting between December 26 and December 29, according to the family's blog.
According to Cure Duchenne, Duchenne impacts 1 in 3,500 boys. Those affected are usually diagnosed by age 5 and in a wheelchair by age 12. Most don’t survive their mid-20s.
"They can't walk, and that's like the opposite of me," Tyler said to ABC. "I want them to climb with me when we find a cure."