13-year-old record-setting OC climber is on new mission

YORBA LINDA, Calif. (KABC) -- Thirteen-year-old Tyler Armstrong has already conquered several of the world's tallest mountains -- and set records while doing it. Now, the Yorba Linda teenager is on a new mission.

He is focused on climbing the tallest mountains in each U.S. state. Earlier this month, he tackled Mauna Kea in Hawaii, Mount Hood in Oregon, and both Mount Ranier and Mount Adams in Washington.

"We climbed Adams, Hood and Ranier in seven days of climbing," says Armstrong.

Eyewitness News first met Armstrong when he was 7 years old and became the youngest ever to climb Mount Whitney. At 8, he was the second youngest to top Kilimanjaro in Africa, and then at 9, Armstrong became the youngest to top Mount Aconcagua in South America.

He's done it all to help raise money to find a cure for Duchenne, a crippling muscle disease that affects an estimated 300,000 boys worldwide.

"My big motivator is still Duchenne," says Armstrong. "And another motivator is just to get other kids to climb because now I'm getting to that age where a lot of the adults I'm climbing with are topping out now, like my dad."

Tyler's father, Kevin Armstrong, has been with him on every climb, and the pair has conquered five of the seven highest summits on the world's seven continents. But Kevin says he's grown a bit tired of the massive climbs and sleeping on the hard ice.

"We're looking for kids across the world. I mean, one of the kids is from India. There is just not a huge group of kids who can do it," Kevin Armstrong said.

Both were encouraged when 8-year-old Roxy Getter, from Florida, became the youngest girl to summit Kilimanjaro earlier this month.

"I was 8," says Armstrong. "But I didn't think it was normal for a kid to climb Kilimanjaro, so I thought it was really cool!"

Armstrong's permit request to tackle Mount Everest was recently rejected for a third time, meaning the eighth grader will not be able to break the record for the youngest climber to top Everest, but he's not giving up.

Armstrong continues to train for the moment his permit is finally granted, and he also has his sight set on the final seventh summit in Antarctica.
Copyright © 2019 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.