11-Year-Old Mountaineer Aims to Climb Mt. Everest for DMD Research

Margarida Azevedo, MSc avatar

by Margarida Azevedo, MSc |

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Eleven year-old mountaineer, Tyler Armstrong, first fell in love with conquering the outdoors when he was 7 years old. Today, he is determined to climb for a cause, on behalf of those who cannot. Tyler plans to be the youngest climber to take on Mt. Everest to help raise funds for the 300,000 boys around the globe living with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. He hopes to raise and donate $1 million to back ongoing research to find a cure for DMD, a fatal genetic disease that causes muscle degeneration. Many of those diagnosed with DMD at age 5 do not get to live past their mid-20s, as there is still no known cure.

“When I’m climbing and I get tired, I think about the boys with Duchenne and that their muscles are tired all the time,” says Tyler Armstrong in a video from his recent climb of Mt. Rainier, a training climb for Mt. Elbrus.

Tyler’s noble motivation to climb Mt. Everest began when he met boys diagnosed with DMD. His 2016 goal to climb up to all 7 major summits, including Mt. Everest, will be done with strong hopes of raising enough money to fund crucial research initiatives care of CureDuchenne, the country’s most prominent not-for-profit organization dedicated to find a cure for DMD.

Preparing to take on 7 summits is no easy feat, especially for an 11-year-old. Tyler trains twice a day, five to seven days a week, which includes hiking on a steeply-inclined treadmill while carrying a loaded backpack. He also hones climbing-specific skills, such as walking on a ladder with crampons, both horizontally and vertically, over a gap at his home.

Even at his young age, Tyler already holds a number of acclaimed climbing records, including the record of being the youngest to climb Mt. Whitney in a single day, which he achieved when he was only 7 years old. He is also known to be the second youngest to reach the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, when he was 8 years old, and the youngest to climb Mt. Aconcagua in Argentina when he was 9 years old. His next climb is Russia’s Mt. Elbrus, which will be the third out of all 7 summits he plans to reach.

“Tyler Armstrong’s courage and big heart are leading the way to more awareness and support, and with his help we are steps closer to a different kind of summit – one that saves lives,” said Debra Miller, CEO of CureDuchenne.

Those interested to make a donation to support Tyler and the Climb to Cure Duchenne can visit crowdrise.com/climbtocureduchenne.