While most parents are running around desperately trying to keep their children out of any kind of harm's way, 9-year-old Tyler Armstrong's dad is all too happy to put his son smack dab in the middle of one of the most dangerous places on Earth. Tyler is an experienced mountain climber who is set to tackle Argentina's 22,841-foot Mount Aconcagua next. It will be a steep, dangerous two-week climb, where temps will drop as low as minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit. At this age, most parents are just letting their kids walk to school alone or stay up past their bedtime. But Tyler is climbing a freaking icy mountain, people!
Tyler isn't exactly inexperienced, he has already climbed Mount Kilimangaro and Mount Whitney, setting records for being the youngest climber for both. His climbs also raise awareness for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
The legal age for climging Mount Aconcagua is 14, so Tyler and his father, Kevin, had to get special permits to allow him to climb. With Tyler will also be a professional climber as well as his father, who admits he hates the cold and wouldn't be doing this if it wasn't for Tyler wanting to.
He's also adamant that his son isn't in any danger. He told ABC News:
As a father I would never put my son in danger. There are dangers to climbing any mountain. He's taken the proper training, and he's proven that he can do it.
Well, okay, he just contradicted himself. Of course his son is in danger. Certain activities -- even driving a car -- just come with a certain level of danger. There are dangers to playing soccer or football.
Mountain climbing is dangerous. 200 people have died trying to climb Mount Everest, which is only 6,188 feet shorter than the mountain Tyler will climb. Numerous people have died on Mount Aconcagua -- five died in January 2009 alone. Two more climbers died in January 2013.
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I guess it would be one thing if Kevin was forcing his son along on these treks, but it sounds like all Tyler's. Still, if I was Tyler's mom, I think I would have put a stop to this. Tyler is awfully young to be making these kinds of decisions. It might be great fun -- until the day a freak storm rolls in and Tyler dies a horrific and very cold death; or he suffers complications from altitude sickness, one of the most common ways people die on mountains. I'm not sure that a 9-year-old truly understands the permanence of death.
That said, I guess there's only so much you can deny your kid their dreams. It's probably not something I would allow -- though maybe it depends how much my kid was whining!
Does your kid ever want to do anything dangerous?
Image via Tyler Armstrong/Facebook