Local climber becomes oldest woman to summit Mt. Rainier

Provided to The Dispatch

A local climber who lives not far from Eatonville became the oldest woman to summit Mt. Rainier. 

The event took place in July, and was her ninth and final summit. Her name is Rose Vanderhoof, and at the age of 78, she summited Mt. Rainier for the ninth time with her son and granddaughter. It was her son’s and granddaughter’s first climb.

Vanderhoof is so proud of her accomplishments because she says that “only 50% of the people actually made it to the top.”

Vanderhoof also says she and her fellow climbers were up there for four days, and on July 10 of this year, they made it to the top where the crater rim is at eight o’clock in the morning.

When asked what obstacles Vanderhoof faced before and during the climb, she said a couple of people could not go on the climb but found other people to go with her. A crew was also there to haul some of the gear during the climb.

Vanderhoof and the other climbers faced all-weather during the climb. There were extreme heat, wind, thunderstorm and lighting, rain, and a hailstorm.
One of the incidents Vanderhoof mentioned happened during the climb was when one person lost one of his crampons and had to take the time to retrieve it. Otherwise, that climber could not continue the climb on the glaciers.

Vanderhoof says one of the things she does to prepare for any climbing is conditioners. She says she does long-distance hiking, lifting weights, stair climbing, and snowshoeing. When asked about food and nutrition, Vanderhoof mentioned she eats healthy, and during the climb, she had brought some healthy snacks but did not eat much because she did not have much of an appetite at that time.

When asked how and when she got started climbing, Vanderhoof says she did not start until the age of 45 when she met her husband, and her husband was the one who got her involved with climbing.

Vanderhoof wants to say “thank you to all the people who helped with the climb and that it was a really good climb and is very happy with the climb.”


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