Not 60 but I am 59 in two weeks and still going strong. Am going on a 5 day backpack trip next month and looking forward to it. I can't imagine not backpacking. I hope to still be out there when i'm 70 too. Age means nothing to me.
Anyone heard of GeezerJock magazine? Pretty funny I know but it's real - I'm headed in that direction. It's put out by the Masters Athletic people. Anyway, there's tons of people over 60 on the trails - keep up the search.
Down ______ Creek without a paddle.
Back in 1984 I met Paul Petzoldt, who was still going strong well into his 80's. One of my current mentors is 71 (has summitted Denali 4 times, the last time when he was 69). One of my skiing partners is in his 60's. Another backpacking buddy is in his 60's. My climbing partner is >50. Both of the Washburn's (Brad and Barbara) still hike, though not as much as they once did (I think they are in their late 80's now). I turn 40 this year, so, like you, I look around for peers in my age group and beyond, and happily I see them everywhere.
YMMV. Viewer discretion is advised.
My wife and I were on a chairlift for a black diamond run on Mammoth Mountain in CA 2 years ago with a woman who looked like she was 50. Turns out she was 73, and had shuttled up there with a seniors club of skiiers where no one was younger than 70. We were way impressed.
Norman Vaughn plans to celebrate his 100th birthday on top of the ANTARCTIC mountain named after him - 10,302 foot Mt. Vaughn (he was a sled driver on Admiral Byrd's 1928 Antarctic expedition). He climbed it back in 1994 just before his 89th birthday. this article doesn't mention it, but i think Vaughn was actually the first to ever summit the mountain and has done it a number of times.
Glad to see all of you going strong. So I've got 45 or so more years to look forward to?
I am only 24, but I thought I'd mention that my 81 year old Grandmother, who got me into hiking when I was a kid, still goes on the periodic day hike with me. She likes to carry her things in a grocery sack <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />...whatever, I'll stick to GoLite Hare.
I am 59 & have been backpacking since I'm 20. I am anxiouly awaiting age 62 so I can retire from the day job & backpack whenever my wife allows. To the GrumpyGord poster, I also plan a Alaska trip for summer of 2006 along the Kesugi ridge in Denali STATE Park.
In dog years I'm 273. Seriously though, between 7 and 10 years ago I had two different chiropractors tell me I had the joints of someone past 50. The results of indiscretions of a misspent youth I guess. My philosophy is use it or lose it so I continue to hike.
Oh geez, two of the people who went with me to the Yosemite backcountry last month are into their 60's and took lead most of the way. Neither is slow. They're considering either a return to the Dolomites or a couple of weeks in the eastern Sierras (depending on mood and budget) late in the Summer and another trip into the mountains of Montana or Wyoming just before winter. Both allow that it was lightweight gear that allowed them to really do this stuff, but there's no question that they've got a lot of miles ahead of them. It's getting hard to think of 60 as "old," at least in backpacker terms, any more.
Look at the size of that thing!
Thanks for the response. You are the type of role model I was looking for even though you only have about 5 years on me.
A two week long trip without re-supply would be well within my capabilities. With about 21 lbs of food and 15-20 lbs of gear I'd be up to about 40 lbs. That's OK for me.
The mileage you are aniticipating however (175) would be about twice my normal pace. I tend to go slower and take more time off from actually hiking. Most trips here in Washington include a few thousand feet per day of elevation gain.
By the way, I've noticed that walking on the level hasn't been affected much by the aging process. Up hill with a pack has, however......big time. My up hill pace is roughly half of what it was 30 years ago.......with half the weight. Used to be able to go up switchbacks at about 3MPH with 60 lbs. Now it is 1.5 MPH with 30 lbs. Feels just the same but the watch and maps don't let me maintain the illusion that nothing has changed.
Loc: Southern California
About ten years ago, when I was in my mid-thirties, a friend and I hiked up to Big Pine Lake #1 in the Eastern Sierra. This was before I went lightweight, and the two of us just about died making it up, lugging 50 pound packs (out of shape, knee problems, general whining). On the way back down two days later, dragging along and whining all the way, this guy passes us up like we were standing still (come to think of it, maybe we were standing still). He had a spring in his step, and looked fresh as a daisy.
When we finally got back to the trailhead, he was still there, and we struck up a conversation. He had hiked all the way to Big Pine Lake # 8, several miles further than we'd gone. Turned out he had just celebrated his 69th birthday. That guy became my role model, and at that point I resolved to still be backpacking at 70. It's great to hear that so many of you "youngsters" are still going strong -- gives me renewed hope.
My blog on politics, the environment and the outdoors: Haiwee.blogspot.com
DJ2, When I was in the Winds a few years back I met three little old ladies in their sixties. They had matching hats and packs and were all former thru-hikers. Year before last I met a guy who was 85 and section hiking the Colorado Trail. He told me he could only go twelve to fifteen miles a day because of his age. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/ooo.gif" alt="" />
Deeds can't dream what dreams can do. e.e. cummings