California boy preparing for record-breaking climb

Tyler Armstrong (Courtesy ABC News/Kevin Armstrong)

November 25, 2013 4:07:13 PM PST
He already conquered Mt. Kilimanjaro and now, a 9-year-old boy from Yorba Linda wants to set a new record tackling an even larger mountain in South America. Tyler Armstrong says he's going to climb the peak for the children who can't do it themselves.

Tyler is preparing to climb Mt. Aconcagua in Argentina-- the tallest mountain in the western and southern hemispheres. "The most exciting part is going to be reaching the top, and having the world record," Tyler told ABC News.

When Tyler was 7, he became the youngest person to climb Mt. Whitney in one day. When he was 8, he became the second youngest to climb Kilimanjaro. But at more than 22,000 thousand feet, on a journey that will take more than two weeks, with temperatures possibly reaching 20 below zero, Aconcagua will be even more challenging.

Tyler admits he's a little scared. "Yeah because it's going to be very cold. It takes lots and lots of training," he said. The fourth-grader has been building up his strength and training for ice climbing.

When Tyler and his father arrive in December, Argentinean courts will first have to approve a special under-14 hiking permit. "As a father, I would never put my son in danger. He's taken the proper training and he's proven that he can do it," Tyler's father Kevin told ABC News.

This record-setting climb also comes with a bigger mission. "I'm doing it for boys that have duchenne," Tyler said. Duchenne is a muscle disease affecting 300,000 boys worldwide, confining most of them to wheelchairs.

Tyler says he may not stop after Aconcagua. "If I want to do it, I'll do Mt. Mckinley in Alaska," he said.

ABC News contributed to this story.

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