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KATHMANDU (Reuters Life!) - If this 13-year-old American boy succeeds in his bid to climb Mount Everest, he has modest ambitions - pick a small piece of rock from the top of the world as a memento and wear it in a necklace.
"I will not sell it; I will not give it to anyone. It is something for myself to say 'this is a rock from the summit'," Jordan Romero from California, told Reuters in Kathmandu. He is due to leave for the mountain on Sunday.
If he succeeds, Romero will become the youngest climber to scale the 8,850 meters (29,035 feet) Everest summit. Currently a 16-year-old Nepali boy, Temba Tsheri Sherpa, holds the record of being the world's youngest climber of Mount Everest.
But Romero, sitting over lunch with his climbing father and stepmother in Kathmandu's tourist district of Thamel, said he was not after setting climbing records.
Romero said Mount Everest, that straddles Nepal-China border, was part of his goal to climb the highest mountains on all seven continents.
"It is just a goal," he said confidently. "If I don't succeed I am okay. I will try again."
Romero has already climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa and Mount McKinley in Alaska among others.
Romero and his father Paul, a critical care paramedic, said the boy was ready to take on the climb and understood the risk of climbing the giant mountain.
"I know it requires a lot of patience. I will remain patient. I want to stay safe and make right choice," Romero said of his climb using the northeast ridge route on the Chinese side of the mountain.
More than 4,000 climbers have reached the top of Mount Everest since it was first climbed by New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary and Nepal's Tenzing Norgay Sherpa in 1953.
Romero said he wanted to climb the highest mountains in all 50 states in the United States next.
"It does not need to be after Everest and could be in between."
Editing by Devidutta Tripathy