Monday, December 18, 2017

Self Described "Crazy Grandma" Attempting Seven Summits

Proving that age is just a number and adventure can keep us all young, a self described "crazy grandma" is attempting to climb the Seven Summits at the age of 58. Lisa Walker has already knocked Kilimanjaro off of her list and will head to Aconcagua next month for her second mountain, as she pursues her quest to climb the higher peak on each of the seven continents.

Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance has a profile of Walker on its website in which she shares some of the challenges she has faced climbing and traveling in different parts of the world, including an intense trek to the top of the 20,100-foot (6126 meter) Stok Kangri in the Indian Himalaya. Only half of her team managed to reach the summit on that tough expedition.

Walker isn't just a climber, but an endurance athlete too. She competes in long distance running races and triathlons, including half-Ironman events, which keeps her in better shape than most people her age. That has also inspired her to want to climb the Seven Summits. As part of that plan, she trekked to Everest Base Camp last spring to get a glimpse of the mountain that will eventually be her ultimate goal. While there, a travel companion got seriously ill, contracting altitude sickness and had to be taken to lower altitude on a horse before being evacuated to Kathmandu for treatment. Unfortunately, that person didn't have travel insurance, and was nearly bankrupted by the experience.

The story the Ripcord shares is a cautionary one. On the one hand, it provides some inspiration in the form of Lisa's attempt to climb the Seven Summits. But on the other, it is a sharp reminder of the things that can – and do – go wrong when traveling to remote corners of the globe. In those cases, I'm a big advocate of having the proper travel insurance, and Ripcord is the best that I've come across. They'll pretty much insure you for any kind of trip, including mountaineering expeditions without a limit on altitude. They also cover adventure racers, hunters, and other extreme athletes heading to pretty much anywhere on the planet. I've used Ripcord a couple of times and have even seen them in action evacuating two of my teammates off Kilimanjaro, and can attest to how efficient and professional the staff is.

As for Lisa Walker, hopefully she'll never need to use Ripcord on her adventure to Aconcagua and beyond. There is no word yet on which peak will come after that, but she's just getting started on this challenging endeavor. Hopefully we'll get future updates on her progress.

No comments: