June 24, 2024

A 93-Year-Old Climbed Yosemite’s Half-Dome, Says He’s ‘Feeling Great’

  • A 93-year-old retired professor is likely the oldest person to summit Yosemite’s Half Dome.
  • Everett Kalin, of Oakland, California, trained by climbing the stairs in his apartment and walking daily.
  • Kalin’s son and granddaughter helped him make the climb, calling Kalin as “stubborn as a mule.”

If you ever catch yourself getting winded climbing stairs, prepare to be humbled. 

A 93-year-old man who just summited Yosemite National Park’s 4,800-foot Half Dome is likely the oldest person to do it. And he says he’s “feeling great.” 

“When you’re 93, it’s a little extra special,” Everett Kalin told SFGATE. 

Kalin, of Oakland, California, completed the 13-hour climb on July 18 with the help of his son and granddaughter, according to Men’s Journal

“I just feel so very grateful to the people that made it possible,” Kalin told Men’s Journal. “I’m actually feeling great.”

Kalin, a retired theology professor, trained by climbing the stairs of his 16-story apartment building and taking daily walks around Lake Merritt in Oakland, which is over 3 miles in circumference. 

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

A Yosemite National Park spokesperson told SF Gate that they don’t keep records on the ages of climbers, so they’re not entirely sure if Kalin is the oldest. However, Kalin’s son said they spoke with several rangers who had only ever seen elderly people up to their 80s complete the climb – never anyone in their 90s. 

A spokesperson for the park did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment. 

The first portion of the climb — with its slick, steep subdome — was difficult, Kalin told SFGATE. His son and granddaughter, Jon and Sidney, held onto him to support him. 

“I didn’t fully realize how tricky it would be, especially at my age,” Kalin said, noting that it was easier once he got to the portion of the climb with cables to hold onto. “I walked and pulled the best I could. It’s a matter of balance and leaning forward to try and get the power.” 

“He’s stubborn as a mule. When he sets his mind to something, he’s going to do it,” Jon, Kalin’s son, told SFGATE. “He kept proving me wrong every step of the way.”

When the trio finally reached the summit – after almost being rained out – all the climbers along with them celebrated, Jon told SFGATE. 

“It was like paparazzi, everyone taking videos and photos. It was unreal,” Kalin’s son told the outlet. “I’m choking up just talking about it now. The power of seeing him was so much joy and inspiration.”

Kalin wasn’t even sore when he returned home to Oakland. 

“That was fantastic. Just super,” he told SFGATE. 

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