Roland Smith’s Peak

Roland Smith’s award-winning novel, Peak, lends itself to thought provoking discussion in multiple disciplines: philosophy, history, politics, religion, science, ethics, and education. As we read about the adventure of the protagonist, aptly named Peak, we will have opportunity to share our thoughts on these topics.
After just reading the back of the book, or watching the trailer below, I immediately questioned the ethics of not only allowing, but encouraging, a 14-year-old to climb Mount Everest, the Earth’s highest mountain. Stunningly, this feat was accomplished in real life by an American teenage mountaineer, Jordan Romero, on May 22, 2010.

Watch the trailer. Watch the National Geographic video.  Watch the interview with Jordan Romero.  Then decide…

Would you climb Mount Everest?

(Write a quality comment.  Yes or no is not enough.)

13-year-old attempts to summit Everest

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58 thoughts on “Roland Smith’s Peak

  1. Hey Mrs. Donofrio!
    I would not climb Mt. Everest because i could die and i would hate to leave my family behind.I wouldn’t be able to make it through the first 10,000 ft.


  2. I would not climb Mt.Everest. I would be too scared to even think about it. I didn’t even know that you could die. After I saw the videos with the pictures of the dead people I would probabley never climb it. I would probabley climb a smaller summit but I would not climb this one I measn Mt. Everest is huge I don’t think I could do it. Would you climb Mt.Everest?

  3. Dear Mrs. Donofrio,
    I would climb Mount Everest because it would be and amazing experience, and also because it would change my life forever. I would be very scared though that one of my family members or I could die.
    Would you climb Mount Everest and what would you be scared of the most?

  4. Dear Mrs. Donofrio,
    I would not want to climb Mt. Everest because it is a very long climb. I am mostly sure I could not handle seeing someone’s remains which would make me lose most of my hope to reaching the top.

  5. Well I maybe might want to climb Mt. Everest, but mostly would say no because there is a possibility you could die and the reasons for that is there is less oxygen so your body would have to adjust to the weather and climate. And there is less food.

  6. Dear Mrs. Donofrio,

    I would not like to climb Mount Everest. I don’t want to climb Mount Everest because I think it would be sickening to see dead bodies. And to think I could be apart of them if my lungs couldn’t take the thin air. I don’t know about anybody else but I do NOT want to die. Would you want to climb Mount Everest?

  7. Hi Mrs. D,
    I don’t think that I would ever climb Mount Everest because:
    1. It takes a very long time to climb Mount Everest
    and I don’t think I could last that long.
    2. I couldn’t go throught all the training and miss school in the process.
    3. I also can’t think about dying in the process and seeing dead people on the way.
    4. It is so steep i would slide all the way down.
    This is why iu don’t thik i could or would climb Mount Everest. I also don’t think i could climb all of the seven tallest mountains. Do you think you could climb all the seven mountains?

    • Hi Emmalee,
      I agree with your reasons; I am not interested in climbing Everest because, for me, the thrill of the accomplishment is not worth the possible consequence of dying. I wouldn’t climb any of the 7 Summits for the same reason. I have been skiing in New England, and those mountains were high enough, and cold enough, for me.
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  8. Hey, Mrs. Donofrio!
    I highly doubt I would ever try to climb that mountain because it is very dangerous. It’d be hard to adapt to the temperature, but I guess that is what you do during the precautions. I think it would be hard coming down also.

  9. Hi Mrs. Donofrio,

    No, I would not climb Mt. Everest because it is very dangerous and, well I live in Florida so the temperature here is no where near comparred to the temperature in the Himalayas, but I would really like to see Mt. Everest!

  10. Hi Mrs.Donofrio,
    No, I would not climb Mt.Everest because:
    1. It takes two months to train for the cllimb, and I do gymnastics a lot every week so I can’t afford missing it.
    2.Climbing Mt.Everest takes a long time to climb it and in cold weather it would be dreadful.

  11. Hey Mrs.Donofrio,
    Sorry I couldn’t make it to school today. I am on my way home from the cruise. So, I probably wouldn’t want to climb Mount Everest because it is dangerous. You can get frostbite or even Hypothermia. When I’m older though I would try to climb with some friends but that would take a long time and some preparing. I think the book called Peak looks very interesting. The trailer makes me want to read the book. The author, Roland Smith uses words like gut-wrenching and exhilarating that make you excited. I am looking forward to reading the book. Jordan Romer is a very brave kid for climbing Mt. Everest. Also to answer your question no, for right now I wouldn’t climb Mount Everest but I do think it would be a cool thing to do. Would you take the chance of risking your life to climb Mount Everest?

    • Hey Anthony!
      How great to see you on the blog while you are heading home from your cruise! Keeping absent kids in the class is one of the best parts of blogging. I’m sure you had a great time on your vacation, and we will see you tomorrow.
      As for me, I am in your camp. I will never climb Mt. Everest, or any other dangerous mountain for that matter. I can get an adrenaline rush from much safer physical pursuits…like mini-triathlons! I don’t need to risk my life to feel like I have accomplished a valuable goal. I do like to see the photos from Everest because I like learning about it, and I guess to have photos, someone needs to climb the mountain, but I can do without the photos and keep the mystery of the mountain alive.
      I love reading Peak because there are so many new concepts in the book, some of which you mentioned in your commment- hypothermia and frostbite. We will also learn about HAPE, and acronym for High Altitude Pulmonary Edema, which is another serious illness that can result from climbing Everest or any other colossal mountain. Snowblindness can happen, too. All of those illnesses, plus death itself, make climbing Everest too risky for me.
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  12. I would not climb Mount Everest because there would be less oxygen, it would be very cold, and it would take a long time to prepare for. There is also a big risk. You could die. You would also have to do a lot of physical training, too.

  13. Hey Mrs.Donofrio,
    I would not climb Mt.Everest because
    ~I have lived in Florida for most of my life and I am used to the climate in Florida.
    ~I am in school and don’t think that I would be able to climb Mt.Everest and do homework.
    ~ I don’t like cold wheather.
    ~ I don’t like heights.

    visit my blog @

  14. Hello Mrs. Donofrio
    No I would not climb Mt. Everest.
    1. There is no telling whether you will survive or not.
    2. It is a lot of money.
    3. It takes a very long time to climb.
    4. you have to earn a permit which would also take a very long time.
    Would you be scared if you climbed Mt. Everest?

  15. Hi Mrs. Donofrio,
    I would love to climb Mount Everest. The only thing that would stop me from doing it is the risk of dying , missing school, and being away from my family and friends. But even with those risks I would still climb Mount Everest. Would you climb Mount Everaset?

  16. Hey Mrs. Dononfrio,
    I don’t think I would climb Mt. Everest because, I would be to scared to be left alone. I would also get to tired but that is what the conditioning is all about, right? I think it would be amazing to reach the top. I would be the proudest kid in the world!

    What do you think would be the most scary part of the trip and why?

    What would you do to celebrate after you reached the top of the Mt. Everest?

    • Hi Carson!
      You asked some interesting questions in your comment. Thanks!
      I think the most scary part would actually be coming down the mountain. When you are going up, your vision is limited to the mountain ahead of you, but on the way down, you can see the steep drop below. I think that would almost paralyze me with fear. I would be afraid to move at all, lest I fall off the mountain.
      I imagine that if I ever did reach the top, I would say a prayer of thanks and try to take a photo. Maybe take a sip of water and toast the world? I guess when I returned home, I’d like to share a meal with others who climbed so we could all share our stories. Of course, I would blog about it!
      What has been your greatest physical accomplishment?
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

      • Hi Mrs. Donofrio,
        I never knew that climbing down would be the hardest part of climbing Mt. Everest. I thought that would be the easiest part considering you are walking down. Now that I think about it from my passed experiences climbing mountains, I guess it would. You would have to be very CAGEY but, at the same time you would be so ASPICIOUS while there is PANDEMONIUM happening on the mountain all being SATURATED into your mind at once so you at least know what’s going on! I don’t want to get off track though so, I think that giving a toast to the world would be a wonderful idea. I also would never think to pray a prayer of thanks sadly but, I really wouldn’t know what to do because, I would be so ecstatic and overwhelmed! My greatest physical achievement would have to be taking the back of a radio apart and rewire it so that the speakers for the radio could work again. Then, I had to put the back of the radio back together and see if it worked. It did so then, I gave it to my brother Connor who is four years older than me because I had already bought a new one that works better. My brother was very thankful but, didn’t want them. Now the speakers are off to the dump where they are UNDISCLOSED in the world somewhere. I kept the radio for my new speakers though so, I could power the speakers for free, rather than, having to buy a new radio which obviously costs more money. I especially like the radio because, I used my bare hand to fix it and I proud of my work. In fact, I am so confident and proud in myself I think I could easily do it again! Thanks again for responding to my post! Visit my blog sometime soon too! By the way, I used my vocabulary words so I could get credit because I was absent this week. I hope I feel better so I can be back with you and, thank you for the card you gave me on Monday.

        • Hi Carson!
          What a wonderful surprise to read your comment, especially with all your vocabulary words! I am so proud of you! I also loved reading about your work with the radio. That is a wonderful accomplishment, and like climbing Everest, something I can never see myself doing. I am not very technologically savvy. We miss you at school and hope you feel better soon.
          ~Mrs. Donofrio

  17. Hi Mrs. Donofrio,
    I wouldn’t at the age I am at right now but maybe when i’m older when my body could adjust the the thin air. Plus I wouldn’t be able to keep up with pressure of the wind and backpack weighing me down. For right now I have to say no but, in the the future maybe I will climb with a group and have the rush and feel of climbing Mount Everest.

    Q) If you were to climb Mount Everest what would you bring on the trip and what would you expect to see?

  18. Hi Mrs.Donofrio,
    I would not climb Mount Everest because of the high risk of dying also, the fact that if you are on a expedition with friends or family if you don’t feel well or have breathing problems they would have to leave you behind.That’s so scary! Also I think Jordan Romer is very brave to climb such a dangerous mountain!-Sydney

  19. Hey Mrs.Donofrio!
    NEVER! I would not climb Mt.Everst because I like the wamth of Flordia, am not very athletic, and I don’t like heights. I’m not saying that you have your head in the clouds if you want to climb Mt. Everst, but it’s not ment for me.

  20. Wow! These are some great videos but for me mountain climbing is not on my bucket list. One reason is I was made for warm weather. Not cold. Another reason is that I can’t stand heights. It is probably impossible for me and my body to do this Sisyphean task. But I do know there are many people out there that do have the guts and strength to do it. Kudos to them. Would you let any of your children climb Mt. Everest?
    Love, Hannah

  21. I would most definitley climb Mount Everest. I think that the experience would be the main reason to climb for me . It would take a lot of prep and testing, and it would be a very long and hard challenge. I will probably never do it, but if given the choice, I would most certainly say yes. Although climbing would be fun, I don’t think I could ever be mentally or physically prepared to go to such a great height with so little oxygen. So many people have died trying to complete the climb, and most likely a lot more are going to. I think that only specific people are prepared enough to climb the mountian. Jordan is very brave and strong and has climbed many mountains before Mount Everest. He is probably very qualified to make the climb. I am excited to read Peak again. It is very interesting and a good read. Do you know anyone who is a mountain climber? Have you ever climbed a mountain?

    • Hi Claudia,
      I have driven in our car to the top of Mount Washington in New Hampshire. The road is quite steep! Both the vegetation and temperature change considerably as you get toward the top. Mt. Washington is the highest mountain in the northeastern U.S. As far as hiking, I have climbed the Blue Hills, obviously not mountains, which are in Massachusetts.
      My brother is a Boy Scout, and he has climbed a number of mountains, but I don’t know how many or which ones. He also does a lot of rock climbing, and he took me with him once. It is hard to do!
      I will pray for you if you ever climb Everest!
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  22. Hi Mrs. Donofrio,
    I don’t think I would ever want to climb Mount Everest. Even though it would be an amazing thing to accomplish, I wouldn’t risk my life to do it. Mainly because if I became sick or too weak along the way, I couldn’t imagine being left behind. It would also take many years of training and adjusting my body to such frigid temeratures? Would you ever encourage your child to do such a risky thing, even if it was there passion?

    • Hi Megan,
      I would never encourage any of my children to climb Everest, but if they were adults, and had trained for the climb, and could afford it, I guess I would have to let them go, but I wouldn’t like it, no matter their ages. I think some adventures are just not worth the risk. I don’t see a lot of gain in clilmbing Everest or any other high altitude mountain. Although each successful climber has great personal satisfaction, I don’t see that mankind benefits much from such an undertaking. Scuba diving in underwater caves in another endeavor I would not try. And I have to say, I would not be interested in space exploration either, although the benefits to mankind there might be worthwhile in the future. Just moving to Florida from Massachusetts was enough of an adventure for me!
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  23. Hi Mrs. Donofrio!
    I love this post. This book intrigues me a lot! But down to the point, I don’t think in a million years, that I would even think about attempting to climb Mount Everest. One reason being is, what if I run out of energy and can’t continue? Now what do I do? I don’t think I would want to sit there die. Another reason is, the weather. Freezing weather would make it even more difficult. Would you consider climbing Mount Everest?

  24. Dear Mrs. Donofrio,

    I would want to climb Mt. Everest, because it is on my bucket list, but I would only do it if I could be the youngest person to do it, which means, I would have had to begin conditioning years ago. It seems like an amazing experience and I would love to get to the summit, and see the rest of the world below me, If there was nice weather that day, of course. How fast do you think you could climb Mt. Everest?



    • Hi John,
      Similar to school work, you have to pace yourself in order to successfully climb Everest. It’s not a race. The human body needs time to acclimatize to the decreasing oxygen in the air. There are a number of camps along the route, and climbers need to stay at each camp for a certain amount of time before progressing to the next level. We will learn more about this as we read the novel. One of the reasons I really like Peak is that there is so much to learn about so many different topics, high altitude climbing being one of them.
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  25. Hello Mrs. Donofrio,

    No I would not climb Mount Everest. Why? Mount Everest takes a lifetime of preparation. Physically and mentally. The weather would also be the exact opposite of the weather we need to appreciate here in Florida. Mount Everest isn’t a rock climbing wall with a bell on the top, it is one of the Seven Summits that I just can’t imagine climbing.
    – Nick

  26. Dear Mrs.Donofrio,
    I would not climb Mount Everest, for a number of reasons.
    1. I really have no passion to climb Mount Everest. I never even thought of climbing any mountain, small or tall.
    2. I, even if someone gave me the chance, would not risk my life just to sayi climbed Mount Everest. I know that there are a number of people that would, but I’m not one of them.
    3. I am in no condition to climb it, mentally or physically. I am definintly not strong enough, and all the hardships that go into climbing it ( like seeing people who died attempting what you are doing) would make me head back home.- Ben

  27. Hi Mrs. Donofro,
    I would never even think of ever climbing Mt. Everest.
    I don’t even think it would be a fun or worth wild experience. It’s definetly not worth losing your life over! I guess it’s kind of cool people do it for fun, and even other mountains but, I guess you have to be a crazy person to do that stuff. Would you ever climb it? Would you climb any other mountain?

  28. Mrs. Donofrio,
    Honestly, I think I would not climb Mt. Everest. There are only a few ups but many downs to climbing the mountain. Sure, you could brag and get tons of exercise but you have a high chance of dying, miss lots of school, have to buy top-notch gear, pay money to climb the summit, and you have to bear the dead bodies and trash. I don’t exercise much so this climb would be my death, probably. Although, I am sure some people have this on there bucket lists but I don’t.

  29. Hey Mrs. Donofrio! I would never climb Mt. Everest! It is far to dangerous and the risks are to high. Doing something that extreme is for professionals. I would be too scared of losing my life. Although I think it is an amazing accomplishment, I would never do it myself. would you climb Mt. Everest? And if you would, what are you’re reasons?

  30. Hi Mrs. Donofrio,
    I think if I ever had the opportunity to climb Mount Everest, I would take the chance. In order to sucesfully climb it one must be determined, and aware of the risks. I actually want to try climbing Mount Kilimanjaro before I turn 23 because I think it would be a thrilling experience, even though it would take months of rigorous training. I love heights and I’m always willing to take risks. Oh, and the pictures you could take are amazing! Would you be willing to take such a risk in order for the adventure of a lifetime?

  31. Hi Mrs. Donofrio,
    I would not climb Mount Everest because if it is very very cold there and I need a jeans and a big jacket for 52 degrees I don’t think I would last very long. Plus I know it would be a great experience but I would not risk my life for it, but I would try to climb a smaller mountain. If you were to climb Everest what are you reasons?

  32. Greetings Mrs. Donofrio,
    I don’t think I would climb Mt. Everest. The reasons are that I could easily die. The man in the video said that 1 in 10 people die who climb it. Also I would be kinda scared of an avalanche or if I fell. Would you climb it?

  33. Hey Mrs. Donofrio,
    I probably wouldn’t be able to climb Mount Everest because the oxygen level is really low and I don’t think I could handle it. I don’t think I would have a really good time achieving this goal because of the risk of not being able to keep up with everyone.

  34. Hi Mrs. Donofrio,

    I would totally climb Mount Everest because it would be an amazing experience. Even though I would be risking my life it still sounds really fun! Going through all the training and preparation would be hard but it would be worth it in the end! I bet the view is breath taking. I like trying to new things!
    Would you climb any other mountains?


  35. Well hello Mrs. Donofrio!

    Honestly I would have to think about climbing Mount Everest because of all the dangers it has. I would love to climb it because not a lot of people can say that they have climbed it and I think it’d be a great experience. I wouldn’t want to because you can die very easily. Did you know that 1 out of 10 people who attempt climbing it one dies? Would you climb it?


  36. Hi Mrs.Donofrio. I would not climb Mt. Everest because 1) I am afraid of heights
    2) I don’t want to die
    3) I would be afraid about the air and how my lungs may give out.

    Do you have any fears if you climbed Mt. Everest?

  37. Hey Mrs. Donofrio!

    I think that I would be up for the challenge! I think that being one of the people to successfully climb Mt. Everest would be the coolest thing. Of course, it’s not definite that I would survive but I would never do it if I didn’t think I was capable of reaching the summit. I know that it would take a lot of preparation and conditioning but I just think it would be so beautiful to see the Earth curve at the top of the Everest. I mean, why not? If you prepare yourself enough and you are confident enough to do it then why let the opportunity pass you up? This is definitely one of the biggest adventures on my bucket list.

    If you were to climb Mt. Everest, who do you think you would want to accompany you on your journey?


    • Hi Heather,
      The only person I actually know whom I would want with me is my brother. He is a skilled climber and outdoorsman, although he’s never undertaken anything like Everest. I really would want someone who knew what he/she was doing; someone who had already summited would be best. We are going to learn about the Sherpas, people who live on the Himalayas and who help climbers on their quest to reach the top. Good question, Heather!
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  38. Hey Mrs. Donofrio!
    I do not think I would climb Mount Everest for many reasons. First off, it takes TREMENDOUS amounts of training and work. You’d have to start at a very young age, and it’s probably a lot to take on as a kid. Not only that, but you would miss a lot of school! It may sound fun, but it wouldn’t be so fun making up all the work.
    Climbing Mount Everest is probably one of the most dangerous things ever. The risk of dying is just too high. I would never have the courage to do that. Would you climb Mount Everest? What would you be most afraid of?

  39. Hey Mrs. Donofrio,
    I will not be climbing Mt. Everest anytime soon, in fact I probably won’t climb the gigantic mountain EVER! Climbing Mt. Everest requires a very high level of physical and mental strength and it takes months of training to get ready for the climb. Not only that but the oxygen is very limited at that altitude and oxygen tanks are needed while climbing Mt. Everest.
    ~ Cogan

  40. Hi Mrs. Donofrio,
    I would not climb Mt. Everest because it is dangerous and some past climbers have died. There is a lot of preparing and training before you start climbing. Would you climb mount everest? If not would you climb any other mountains?

  41. I would not like to climb Mount Everest because the oxygen is very thin and this scares me because I have had some breathing issues. I would also be petrified of the height and possibly being left behind. If there were such a thing as an airplane ride to the top, I would love to take it!

  42. Having the mental and physical preperation for such a big journey would take me years and years to build upon. At 29,029 feet above sea level, oxygen is at it’s lowest so you would have a extremly hard time brreathing. All the exercise you would have to do would be a tremendous amount of work plus your school work. Doing this climb for my would change my life forever. Would you be willing to climb the highest (and most life threatening) mountain in the world?


  43. Hi Mrs. D,
    I would not climb Mount Everest because the physical preparation for the climb requires all heavy gear which is very expensive. All the time away from school and friends would not make me mad and sad. I would be scared to get frostbite and get left behind.


  44. I do not think I would like to climb Mount Everest.Becace it sounds dangerous.I would rather climb a smaller mountain.Woud you rather climb a smaller mountain too?

  45. Hello Mrs. Donofrio,
    No I wouldn’t climb Mount Everest because it would be very dangerous, also cause of the oxygen change and it would take so long to accomplish I doubt that ill get to the top. If i ever tried to climb Mount Everest ill would most likely would not make it and that ill turn around and ill go back down to the bottom. What would be you biggest fear for climbing Mount Everest?

  46. Yes I would climb mount eversest, because I want to feel the thrill of climbing the worlds tallest mountain. And I also get to say to self ” Wow I actualy did it”. I also get the street cred. So yes I would!

  47. Hello.
    I would never climb Mt.Everest but reading Roland Smith’s book Peak makes me want to so bad. During the summer I went to Mt.St Helens and saw thw summit and want to climb ever since then, I only climbed the stairs to get to see the lake with all the debris and wanted to climb up a mountain ever since then. I love the book Peak and I recommend anybody to read it

    Thank you

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