93-Year-Old Summits Yosemite’s Half Dome ‘Stubborn as a Mule’

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Everett Kalin was looking for an adventure to celebrate his birthday. For a man of his age, that might entail going out to eat ethnic food, but the 93-year-old Californian had other plans.

“When you hit your 90s, you think, ‘What would be some things I’d like to do?’” he told SF Gate. “… I guess Half Dome was the thing that most popped into my mind.”

Half-Dome—the monumental mass of granite in Yosemite Valley is no place for faint hearts or knackered knees. For those with apposite fitness, it’s a 14-16 hour endeavor that involves gaining and then losing over 4,000 feet in elevation. Toward the top, cables embedded in the rocks require upper body strength to pull oneself up steep inclines.

Despite all that, Everett was determined, and requisitioned the company of his son Jon, 57, and granddaughter Sidney, 19, for the excursion.

Training hard, Everett made ample use of the days leading up to the trek to walk up and down stairs, and around Lake Merritt.

Then the day of the hike came, and Everett admits that he probably underestimated the difficulty of the beginning half, with plenty of steep paths that he described as slick.

Jon and Sidney helped him along every step of the way, even pushing on his backside during particularly vertical bits.

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