70-year-old makes history as oldest woman to climb El Capitan in Yosemite

El Captain. Mark Ralston / AFP / Getty Images

Dierdre Wolownick has found a pretty impressive way to celebrate a milestone: On her 70th birthday, Wolownick became the oldest woman to climb the El Capitan of Yosemite.

She actually broke her own record – in 2017, she climbed the 3,000-foot vertical rock formation with her son, famous climber Alex Honnold. Wolownick started climbing in 2009, as a way to connect with Honnold and get a better idea of ​​what it was like for him on his climbs. She worked as a French teacher, writer, musician and artist, and it opened up a whole new world.

“It has been an incredible experience, an experience that I could never have imagined on my own,” Wolownick told the Los Angeles Times. “I used to look at those little dots going up on that granite wall and wondering what they saw up there and how they felt up there.”

She made her birthday climb on September 23 and after 10 a.m. she reached the summit at sunset. Wolownick was accompanied by a group of friends, who celebrated her achievement with champagne and cupcakes. She wants others to see her as an example and know that it’s never too late to follow a new interest. “Once you start and decide you want to do something, it can be powerful,” Wolownick told the Times. “I say, try it. Give it a try! You never know what could happen. “

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