Lucy's Highpointing Journey
Lucy began her highpointing quest at the age of seven when she and her family stood on the top of Black Mountain, Kentucky, on April 9, 2011.
While standing on the top looking at the US geological survey marker, Lucy and her parents began to wonder where other state highpoints were located. They spent the next four hours while driving home looking up and reading about state highpoints.
The following summer Lucy’s family took a road trip out west and mapped out all the highpoints along the way. On that trip, at the age of eight, Lucy and her father summited seven highpoints (Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota) and the dream to climb all 50 was born on the top of Mt. Elbert, Colorado. For the next five years, Lucy and her family traveled throughout the United States climbing each state’s highest mountain.
Sets World Record
» Youngest female to climb lower 48 US state highpoints
» Youngest father-daughter team to climb lower 48 US state highpoints
Youngest female to climb the lower 48 state highpoints
On July 22, 2016, on the top of Kings Peak in Utah at the age of 12, Lucy set the world record as the youngest female to climb the lower 48 state highpoints and she and her father set the record as the youngest father-daughter team. Proud of this accomplishment, Lucy knew this was only a step to her ultimate goal… to be the youngest female to climb all 50 state highpoints.
Lucy heads to Alaska by way of Africa
Before a guide company would allow Lucy to climb Denali at the age of 13, she had to prove her body could handle high altitude. The only way to prove this is to climb a mountain over 19,000 feet. There are not many easily accessible mountains in the world this high, but there was one Lucy always wanted to climb… Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain on the continent of Africa. After Lucy and her father climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and stood on the top of Africa together, the Alaska Mountaineering School agreed to guide Lucy on Denali.
Attempts another World Record
On May 27, 2017, Lucy and her father arrived in Talkeetna, Alaska, to begin their 20-day journey to the top of their 50th highpoint together - Denali. Unfortunately, 18 days into the expedition the weather was still unsafe to make a summit attempt and a 28-year old man from Kathmandu, Nepal, died just above their camp in the poor conditions.
With a stormy forecast predicted, low amounts of fuel remaining, and the lack of oxygen for survival at 17,200 feet, the guides decided to descend without a summit attempt. This is a very common occurrence on the world’s highest mountains. You have to be in the right place at the right time when the weather allows for a safe push to the summit.
Lucy’s 20-day journey on Denali is a story of determination, teamwork, and extraordinary effort. Lucy plans to return to Denali one day and if she makes it to the top before June 2021, she will set the world record as the youngest female to climb all 50 state highpoints.
“Goals can be created in a day, but goals cannot be accomplished until the mountain is climbed.”
Lucy’s Highpoint Climbs
|Harney Peak||South Dakota||06-09-2012|
|White Butte||North Dakota||06-10-2012|
|Sassafras Mountain||South Carolina||11-29-2012|
|Mount Mitchell||North Carolina||12-03-2012|
|Spruce Knob||West Virginia||03-05-2013|
|Mount Marcy||New York||06-15-2013|
|Mount Washington||New Hampshire||06-18-2013|
|Jerimoth Hill||Rhode Island||06-20-2013|
|High Point||New Jersey||06-20-2013|
|Tatum Sauk Mountain||Missouri||06-06-2014|
|Wheeler Peak||New Mexico||06-09-2014|
Youngest females to climb lower 48 US state highpoints:
|Lucy Westlake||12y 8m 18d||2016|
|Kristen Kelliher||17y 4m 13d||2011|
|Fallon Rowe||17y 6m 4d||2014|
Youngest females to climb all 50 US state highpoints:
|Kristen Kelliher||18y 1m 15d||2012|
|Kim Coupounas||30y 8m 30d||1997|
The Quest Continues
Lucy will be 17y 6m during the 2021 Denali climbing season. If she returns to Denali and reaches the top before then, she will set the world record as the youngest female to climb all 50 state highpoints.
Follow her journey to the top on Facebook and Instagram.