93-year-old summits Yosemite’s Half Dome: ‘It felt pretty good’

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Grand daughter Sidney Kalin

Hiking Half Dome is no easy feat, but 93-year-old Everett Kaelin was up for the challenge. Kaelin got the idea to hike Half Dome after skydiving at the age of 91. With the help of his son John and granddaughter Cindy, average hikers, the trio completed the hike together. Kalin trained by walking around Lake Merritt daily and climbing the stairs of his 16-story apartment building.

They started their trek on Monday with a six mile hike. On Tuesday, they hiked Half Dome, which took 13 hours to complete. Along the way, people were amazed and inspired by Kalin, often stopping to take photos with him. At one point, a ranger warned them of a 20% chance of thunderstorms, saying they may need to turn around before reaching the summit. Fortunately, the weather cooperated and they made it.

As they got closer to the top, Kalin saw where the cables were attached to the rocks. When they finally reached the summit, the group was overwhelmed with emotion. There were tears, cheering and filming to commemorate the moment. For Kalin, reaching the top after all that preparation was incredible and unforgettable. What an inspirational achievement.

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