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Oldest Backpacker/Climber You've Met

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Oldest Backpacker/Climber You've Met

Postby maverick » Tue Mar 12, 2013 3:19 pm

How old was the oldest backpacker/climber you have met in the backcountry?
Where did you meet this person? Male or female?

Met a man near Shadow Lake he was 80 years young and doing the JMT in 3 weeks
supported by this family. He had been doing this every 3 years and planned to do
it many more times, this was over 10 year ago.
Met two climbers both in their early 70's at Colby Lake, they had just finished
climbing Midway and Milestone.
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org



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Re: Oldest Backpacker/Climber You've Met

Postby The hermit » Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:52 pm

Ive met a few backpackers in their 70s. Most notable was on my first trip out of florence. I ran into a family going from south lake to florence. Mom,dad,kids,grandpa,seemed like even an uncle or two. Very inspiring!
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Re: Oldest Backpacker/Climber You've Met

Postby sparky » Tue Mar 12, 2013 6:30 pm

I met a man in yosemite, not sure how old he was, but I guessed lake 70's early 80's. He said he spent every summer in the backcountry. Wonder if it was the same guy you met maverick. He was solo and had a big osprey pack.
There is a million ways to be human, all are worthwhile.

True happiness is the absence of striving for happiness.
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Re: Oldest Backpacker/Climber You've Met

Postby Rockchucker » Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:34 pm

All the older backpackers I know are some of the best. My main partner is 66 and can hike all day at altitude and not flinch. I only aspire to do as well. Sunday we did a 8 mile day hike 4500' vert gain.
I'm no suture for my future.
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Re: Oldest Backpacker/Climber You've Met

Postby oldranger » Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:53 pm

92! Solo backpacker. 1983. Had a camp about 50 yards off the trail near Comanche Meadow in Sugarloaf Valley. It appeared that he visited again in 1984 but I never saw any more evidence of him after that. He had pots and pan stashed away. Even though that was not legal there was no way this BC ranger was going to tell him not to or was going to remove them until it was clear he was not using them any more.

Mike
Mike

Who can't do everything he used to and what he can do takes a hell of a lot longer!
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Re: Oldest Backpacker/Climber You've Met

Postby whrdafamI? » Wed Mar 13, 2013 4:20 pm

I met a group of 4 up in the Humphrey Lakes about 10 yrs. ago. The youngest was 78 and the oldest was 82. Said they had been backpacking together for over 40 yrs! Needless to say I was impressed.
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Re: Oldest Backpacker/Climber You've Met

Postby maverick » Wed Mar 13, 2013 6:23 pm

oldranger wrote:
92! Solo backpacker.

:eek: Wow, and solo to.
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Oldest Backpacker/Climber You've Met

Postby Jim F » Wed Mar 13, 2013 7:37 pm

Fred Beckey is now 90 and Bob Rockwell is nearly 80. During the last five years I have encountered:

(1) Fred twice-at East Face Lake (below Mt Whitney) and on the approach to the Fishhook Arete (Mt Russell).

(2) Bob at least a half dozen times on Mt Whitney or Mt Muir.

They were often in the company of attractive young women!
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Re: Oldest Backpacker/Climber You've Met

Postby gdurkee » Tue Mar 19, 2013 7:24 pm

Well, I don't ask ages and surely not the oldest, but in my first year as a ranger in Yosemite, I medivaced a 76 year old woman from Washburn Lake with a heart attack. When I asked how she knew it was a heart attack, she said she was a cardiologist. Good enough.... Pretty exciting short haul with LeMore NAS.

A few years ago, I ran into a cheerful 79 year old doing the JMT. He was Italian (well, born there) and had to hurry because there was a huge family get together in celebration of his 80th. Solo and, of course, having a great time.

My thing on aging hikers is absolutely not to take the "awwwww, what a dear sweet old man (or woman)" and so, in a sense, diminish them. They're solid hikers, like the rest of us. I used to see people do this to Dr. Carl Sharsmith, who stayed a ranger in Tuolumne into his 80s (???). Drove me buggy.

g.
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