Early on Sunday, July 5 2015, Arizona great-grandmother, Anne Lorimor, embarked upon her bid to become the oldest woman to climb Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro (19,341 feet).
She declared that she felt no need to climb all of the Seven Summits, just this one. She added, “I know people my age who sit in the chair and watch television all day. I’m not going to do that.”
Update: Having successfully summited in 2015, Anne summited again in 2019 at the age of 89, making her the oldest person to climb Kilimanjaro. Read the full story here.
All about Anne Lorimor
Lorimor has travelled to over 100 countries and climbed mountains in their dozens, the tallest being Pike’s Peak in Colorado, which is 14,115 feet high. She will raise money for and awareness of the Challenge Youth Fund, which she founded to enable children, particularly those who are fostered, homeless or orphaned, to attain their full potential through education and mentoring.
She feels that if nobody helps these children from disadvantaged backgrounds, they won’t get the same chances other children do, and she wants them to have these.
Back during the Great Depression, Lorimor was herself one such child. She and her 10 younger siblings were often without a permanent home and lived in tents.
She went into further detail: “My family was poor. There were times when we were hungry and cold, but people were often kind.
I was very fortunate that a teacher even offered to pay for my high school tuition because she saw potential. Since then, I’ve been compelled to pass that forward.”
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How will she cope?
Lorimor explained that her whole body, especially her muscles, felt great, and that she had been climbing since she was around seven years old: “I grew up in the mountains of northern New Mexico and everywhere I have been I have climbed whenever there has been mountains to climb.”
There are many risks in the eight-day trek, but Lorimor insisted that clean eating, a positive mindset and her climbing experience would see her through. She has no fear of altitude sickness, which puts paid to many people, because she takes good care of herself, to which she believes the body responds. She is sure of this, having been unaffected while people around her suffered in high places.
Lorimor designed a year-long personal training programme that employed mountains in northern Arizona, one of her favourites of which is Mummy Mountain (11,533 feet), which is right outside her door.
Her motivation? “I feel a lot of people are counting on me here and I really am going to get to the top.”