Feel-Good Friday: The Youngest American Woman to Summit Mount Everest Gives Hope for a New Generation

Lucy Westlake Sets New Goals and Conquers Them. Credit: Lucy Climbs.com, used with permission.

As we watch young and old desecrate Supreme Court Justices’ lawns, cosplay a book pretending it is our reality, and scream for their right to murder their children, it is always inspiring to find young people of vision and a thirst for life. Lucy Westlake is one of those people, and the subject of this late evening Feel-Good Friday.

From People.com:

Just 10 days before her high school graduation, 18-year-old Lucy Westlake became the youngest American woman to reach the top of Mt. Everest.

The Naperville, Illinois teen reached Everest’s top — roughly 29,032 feet — on May 12 at 5:30 a.m. according to an Instagram post Friday morning, after an expedition that took 26 days.

“Looking up at the summit from camp 4 the day before our summit push, it truly looked impossible, but that night at 9 p.m. we began our climb and 8.5 hour later we did it!!,” she wrote in a caption on Instagram along with a series of photos documenting the impressive feat.

Westlake is currently working to complete the “Explorers Grand Slam” — a challenge that includes summiting the seven highest mountains of every continent (Everest, Aconcagua, Denali, Kilimanjaro, Elbrus, Vinson Massif, and Puncak Jaya and Kosciuszko) and visiting the North and South poles.

Damn. My greatest accomplishments these days are getting out of bed and writing. Hashtag #Goals

Westlake is also a runner, and plans to attend the University of Southern California as part of their track and field team. She gives new definition to a kinetic learner. Also part of her focus: clean water, which is the crisis of the Millennium that elected leaders across the world seem to care nothing about. Unlike Greta Thunberg, who read climate change talking points given to her, as an ambassador for WaterStep, Westlake uses her accomplishments to raise awareness and money for clean water and proper sanitation. She took a trip to Uganda to install a WaterStep system in that country. The system now supplies 3000 people a day with safe drinking water.

Greta Thunberg is still trying to solve climate change. Perhaps she should take some lessons from Lucy Westlake.

Speaking of lessons, here are the takeaways from her story that are inspiring and can be replicated:

  • Westlake credits her faith in God for her accomplishments.

Westlake’s father encouraged her sense of adventure, and on a Sports & Spectrum Podcast, she talked about how her parents would take them on mission trips in order for them to learn service.

Faith, family, and a purpose beyond oneself has taken Westlake far. Getting back to those first principles could help other young, and old persons as well.

  • Westlake’s first big climb was when she was 12. She summited the Black Mountain in Kentucky, a height of 4,145.

Westlake became the youngest woman to reach that summit—one of the highest points in each of the lower 48 states. In 2021, Westlake broke that record in 50 states, reaching the summit of Mt. Denali in Alaska. At 20,310 feet,

Denali is the highest point in North America.

Big accomplishments require small plans. You have to start somewhere, and Westlake fearlessly chose a 4,000 foot summit. Once she reached that goal, the other summits didn’t look so difficult. Lesson: one hurdle at a time is the pathway to greatness.

  • Westlake has a sense of purpose, and is not only fulfilling it, but inspiring others to find theirs.

From the Sports & Spectrum podcast:

“I really hope that I inspire other people to climb their own mountains,” she said recently on the Sports Spectrum Podcast, shortly before she left for her climb. “I hope that they see me as someone that has a lot of trust in God, a person that will go for it that really wants to push their limits. That’s kind of my mantra that I try to live out — that limits are perceived.

“I hope to inspire this in other people as well. Maybe they can’t do it by themselves, but through God, they can. When they reach the end of what they think is possible, there’s so much more beyond.”

Thank you, Lucy Westlake, for teaching this old dog that there is still life and accomplishment left at any age. We need more young people setting real goals, dreaming big dreams, and pursuing them with this passion.

Let’s hope that Westlake will continue to accomplish big things and inspire others to do the same.