Youngest U.S. Woman to Summit Mount Everest!

Youngest U.S. Woman to Summit Mount Everest!

Need some motivation for the rest of the week? Find out below how Lucy Westlake, at age 18, became the youngest U.S. woman to summit Mount Everest this past May. After reading her story, it is hard to not want to get up and do something!

After months of training and hard work, Westlake trekked the 25 days up Mount Everest, the highest point in the world, standing at 29,053 feet. And just ten days after her big success, she was back home in Kentucky getting her high school diploma. As if this can’t get anymore impressive, Westlake graduated from high school a semester early to work on water filtration projects in Uganda and Kenya before the big hike. There, she was able to run with Kenyan Olympic runners, which trained her for the big hike and for her current position on the cross country and track team at the University of Southern California. She’s a queen!

Mount Everest was neither Westlake's first big summit nor world record, as she set the record for the youngest female to climb all 50 of the U.S. state high points at age 17. However, Everest was the first big trek she had completed without her dad, Rodney Westlake. He hiked the first week with her to basecamp but sadly had to turn around due to the high cost and length of time it would be away from work. As most people conquer this significant success with a group, Westlake did it all by herself! On top of that, as Everest can range from around $28,00 - $85,000, with some even paying $200,000 to climb, this is out of the vast majority of people’s price range. However, with Westlake’s $12,500 scholarship, this made the trek possible, and would cover the cost of only one sherpa, as most people have two. This means that she would have to carry more weight than most, making it all even more impressive.

As she is normally one of the few females on the mountains she climbs, she would like to change that, but realized the way to do it is by example. Just through this trek, I can confidently say that many have been inspired by her. She is a trailblazer for women, especially female athletes, and is a strong testament that "you can do anything you set your mind to," no matter your gender or age. 

Now, as a freshman at USC, she will be kept busy with her education and running career, however she is not ready to quit climbing and wants to continue breaking world records. Her next goal is to complete the Explorer’s Grand Slam, which includes the 7 summits and reaching the North and South Pole. The 7 summits, if you are unfamiliar, are the highest point in each continent, and Westlake is getting pretty close. I cannot wait to see what she accomplishes next and now am inspired to live like Lucy, always having a new challenge and never letting “no” be an answer.

So, as you’re enduring a new challenge or out on your next adventure, whether big or small, keep Westlake’s story in mind for some extra motivation and use SWAKE’s sweat proof cosmetics line to glow while doing it!

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