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18-year-old Everest Climber says the Waiting is the Hardest Part

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The Long Beach teenager who became the youngest person to climb the Seven Summits after she mounted Everest last month, says that even though she fell into a frozen lake, waiting for the weather to break was the hardest part of her climb.

Samantha Larson, 18, graduated Long Beach Polytechnic High School early so she could take a year off before entering Stanford. Instead of hanging out in her parent's house or interning at some lame job, she took that year to climb the biggest mountain in the world. Today was interviewed by the Stanford Daily where she also said the during last few days at Everest she barely ate.

TD: Did you face any life-threatening situations during the climb? SL: There was one day when I was pretty freaked out. We woke up in the morning to go down to another camp, but we got a radio call saying a sherpa had died, and we weren't sure what had happened at that point. It was scary climbing back down knowing he could have fallen from where you were standing.

Another time, I was coming back down after the summit and I was by myself. I came to a split in the path, and picked the way that I thought was correct. Instead, I fell into a frozen lake up to my thighs or so. I was so tired, and I kinda had a panic attack because I wanted to get back to camp as quickly as I could so my dad could take off my boots and I wouldn't get frostbite.

Of course, every step really counts when you're climbing Everest, but we didn't have any particular moments that I can really say were life-threatening for any of our team members.

Larson said that one reason she chose Stanford was because it was close to Yosemite... which probably looks like the Bunny Hill to her now.