Imagine climbing the highest mountain in your continent. If you’re reading this in North America, we’re talking about scaling the more than 6 kilometer high summit of Mount McKinley in Alaska. Checking us out from the Land Down Under? You’re in luck, you don’t have to go that far up – Mount Koscuisko is only about a third as high as the North American peak. Are you in Asia? I hope you’re not afraid of heights! You get to climb the grand daddy of them all, Mount Everest on the border of Tibet, China and Nepal.
Climbing one of these imposing mountains is a tough business, right? Now, imagine doing it not once but seven times – one for each of all the continent’s highest peaks! I’m sure you’re already impressed at the idea of someone conquering Cerro Aconcagua (South America), Kilimanjaro (Africa), Vinson Massif (Antarctica) and Elbrus (Europe) aside from the aforementioned McKinley, Kosciusko and Everest. Here’s one more minor detail – the person who did this astounding feat is an eighteen year old girl!
After 18 year-old Samantha Larson reached the snowy peak of Mount Everest just this May 17, the incoming college freshman officially claimed the title as the youngest person to ever reach the summit of all the mountains considered to be the ‘Seven Summits’ (i.e. the tallest peaks in all seven continents). She broke the record of then-20 year old Rhys Miles Jones set just last year.
Larson’s first ascent was a successful conquest of the 19, 340 foot Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania at the ripe old age of 12. Since then, there was no stopping her. After six years, Larson fittingly claims her highest peak at the roof of the world – the Himalayas.
So what’s in store for the barely legal expert mountaineer? Just like most people in their late teens, Larson is all set to go to college. Which one? You might have heard of it – it’s called Stanford University. Haha. She’s not only tough enough to brave the elements and persevere to reach the top, she also has the impeccable cerebral power to back it all up. And did I mention she blogs too?
Some people just get to have it all, eh?