Age truly is nothing but a number, and there’s no reason to slow down just because you’re getting older. Everett Kalin certainly feels that way, and the 93-year-old didn’t let the years stop him when he became the oldest ever person to climb the legendary Half Dome at Yosemite National Park in California on July 18. Given that people even half his age would struggle to complete such an arduous trek, it only makes his accomplishment that much more impressive!
The National Park Service estimates the Half Dome Day Hike would take most hikers — and that includes seasoned ones who do this kind of thing all the time — about 10 to 12 hours to finish. It’s 16 miles round trip and sits at 8,800 above sea level. In other words, this isn’t for the faint of heart.
Well, Everett Kalin thought he was up to the challenge and it appears he was right! As he told SFGate: “When you hit your 90s, you think, ‘What would be some things I’d like to do? I guess Half Dome was the thing that most popped into my mind.”
July 18th, Everett Kalin became the oldest known person to climb Yosemite’s Half Dome at 93 years old. Words cannot describe how proud I am. Opa, it was an honor to take on this trip with you. I hope this stands as a lesson to everyone that you are never too young or old to achieve your dreams.
Of course, he didn’t finish the hike alone. With him were his 57-year-old son Jon and his 19-year-old granddaughter Sidney, who were there to provide help, support, and encouragement. They also carried all the supplies they’d need so that Kalin only needed to have his water on his back.
And, it’s also important to mention that Kalin, a retired theology professor, didn’t just get up from his armchair and decide to do this. For months, he would walk up the stairs of his 17-story apartment building. He also did almost daily walks around Lake Merritt to make sure he would be up to the task.
Everett Kalin’s son Jon told SFGate that while he was unsure about his dad’s plans, it was ultimately an incredibly inspiring thing for everyone.
“He’s stubborn as a mule. When he sets his mind to something, he’s going to do it, he kept proving me wrong every step of the way,” he said. “There were tears in everyone’s eyes. It was like paparazzi, everyone taking videos and photos. It was unreal. I’m choking up just talking about it now. The power of seeing him was so much joy and inspiration.”