What will you do at age 65?

Have you given much thought to what you’ll do when you retire? (Assuming, of course, that the economy manages to survive that long.) I freely admit that I’ve gotten more sedentary as the years go by, but I hope I can still maintain the energy to go fishing and putter around in my work shop. But perhaps some of you are considering something a bit more vigorous in your twilight years. Well, here’s one mark you could shoot for: how about mountain climbing? And not just casually… we’re talking about somebody climbing the highest peak on all seven of the continents at the age of 65.

And just to twist the knife in a little deeper for you guys out there… she’s a lady.

Carol Masheter, at age 65, says she is now the oldest woman to have reached the top of the tallest mountains in all seven continents, a feat completed in four years: Denali, Aconcagua, Elbrus, Kilimanjaro, Vinson Massif, Everest and Kosciuszko.

It’s likely she will keep the record, because those who issue permits for Everest in Tibet have since decided no one over 60 can attempt the climb…

“I was discovering my talents rather late in life,” she said. And they weren’t knitting or playing bridge.

“Mountaineering,” Masheter said moments after getting off her plane and hugging a gaggle of welcoming Wasatch Mountain Club friends at the airport, “saved my life.”

And she’s not stopping now to rest on her laurels. Carol will next head out to climb Carstensz Pyramid in Indonesia.

Writing this, I realized that I was almost out of breath when I came back from walking my dog around the block this morning. Somehow I don’t think scaling Kilimanjaro is in my immediate future. But you keep on chugging along, Carol. Pretty darned inspirational.

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