Now Why Didn’t I Think of That?

She’s the oldest woman in the world to climb the highest mountain on every continent.
World beating mountain woman

Photo – via Coast Radio NZ

At the age of 50 Carol Masters set a goal to climb the highest mountains on each continent ..  And what prompted this goal? In her words  “When I turned 50, my life fell apart. Within 18 months, I lost a job I loved, I learned the man I loved was involved with someone else, my mother died, and my own health deteriorated.  To cope with grief, anger and stress, I went to the Bolivian Andes for high-altitude mountaineering training, summitting (sic)  seven peaks over 17,000 feet. I found I was a pretty good at it, and felt my best in the mountains.”
‘It led me to later climb Cho Oyu, the sixth highest mountain in the world in China in 2005. I could see the summit of Everest from the summit and thought: “I don’t want to die without knowing whether I could climb Everest because I didn’t try.”‘
On March 17 2012 at the age of 65 she reached the summit of Australia’s Mount Kosciuszko and so reaching her goal in just over five years. The marathon wasn’t without mishap – she went blind for 10 hours descending Mount Everest, but this is one determined woman!
“I should be learning how to knit and play bridge and doing things that are more age appropriate to people my age, but that’s just not me,’ Carol told the media.
Carol is in the process of having her record validated and will take the record currently held by Kay LeClaire who completed the feat aged 60.
So why didn’t I think of doing that?  Because I have never had any desire to be  a mountain climber and don’t know what attracts men ad women to scale these lofty heights.  But I am in awe of their perseverance and applaud them for their effort.
As a New Zealander I am still proud of Sir Edmund Hilary’s achievement in being the first man to climb Mt Everest.  In 1953 he and his Nepalese Sherpa mountaineer Tenzing Norgay became the first climbers confirmed as having reached the summit of Mount Everest.  And he is reported as saying to another climber about reaching the summit “We knocked the bastard off”  What an understatement.
Of course since that time Everest has been climbed so many times that it no longer makes the news.  And now there are guided climbs to the peak.  What a difference 50 plus years makes.
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21 responses to “Now Why Didn’t I Think of That?

  1. I love hearing about Crone women who are fulfilling dreams, whether that dream be climbing mountains, regaining their health, or enjoying the peacefulness of their home.

    • We all have to do what’s right for us whatever that might be. I applaud anybody who moves out of their comfort zone and takes on a challenge head on. 🙂

  2. Hi Judith! This reminds me of the 62 year old woman in our news in the U.S. today, who tried for the third time to swim from Florida to Cuba. She gave up because of the deadly box jelly fish bites to her lips (every other part of her body was protected). In an interview after her return, she said she did not want to end life having just sat on a couch eating fritos (chips).

  3. I admire anyone who sets out to reach his/her goal. Last night, my husband and watched a show titled, “Becoming Elmo” about Kevin Clash’s journey to be the puppeteer that brings Elmo to life. His story is inspiring, just as Carol’s story is inspiring. (Though I’d prefer to follow the path of Kevin, as I have no desire to climb mountains.)

  4. I too love stories like that. They are so inspiring. Thanks for sharing!

  5. It is never too late to follow your dreams…or invent new ones!

  6. We don’t realize how much abuse our bodies can take! It’s a wonderful story of one woman’s true grit.

  7. It is very inspiring, especially as I am currently on my own journey towards Cho Oyu and beyond. We are only limited by our own imagination and will to do something!! Carol demonstrates that, don’t you think so?

    I’m climbing in New Zealand’s Southern Alps in a couple of weeks, and heading back in January to do Mt Aspiring…Our family has fallen in love with New Zealand!!!

    • We’re excited that you are coming our way to climb Mt Aspriring. I have never had the desire to climb mountains but metaphysically(?), I have climbed many in my long and rewarding life. Have a great trip and thanks for dropping by. 🙂

  8. Go Carol … good on you !

  9. Remarkable woman! I went parasailing when I turned fifty, even though I have acrophobia. Does that count for anything? Didn’t think so.

  10. I’m not into that kind of mountain climbing, but I think it’s great that she chose to do that rather than shrink into herself from the heartbreak. Good for her!

  11. I am 50 right now ! I am about to be all alone. My son turns 18 next year and will got to university. I am single since some years and my job gets on my nervs.
    I need a plan! That was amazing. I just have one question? How did you finance that all.???

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