#BadassDaughter: This 6 Year Old Girl Just Climbed Mt. Whitney
"Fearless" has a new face and it's a 6 year old girl from California.
My 6 year old on top of Mt. Whitney
My daughter is 6 years old and she just made it to the summit of Mt. Whitney in the USA a few days ago (July 2018). Please note that the actual name of this mountain is Tumanguya, named by the Pi Ute indigenous people before that region of the Sierra Nevadas was colonized.
My daughter's name is Eva Luna. I believe she may be the youngest girl to have done this on record in the last ten years. Research shows that a six year old boy did it in October 2016. So far, the number of children to have done it at the age of 6 and under are 3 kids (at least on record). Eva Luna wanted to be one of the youngest girls on record and it seems like she is probably as well as the youngest African American person on record. You can go here to learn more about why this is significant within a sport in which we rarely see more African Americans doing 14k+ mountains-- or mountaineering and extreme hiking in general. The Mountaineers also addresses this here.
Tumanguya is the tallest mountain in the contiguous USA at 14,505 feet. 22 miles, but the high elevation and thin air can make it grueling and feel like twice as long for many who have attempted the ascent. She persevered through mild symptoms of altitude sickness. She woke up at midnight to start the ascent with headlamp and with her daddy and nine year old brother. It took them nine hours, half in the dark.
One of the photos below is of Eva Luna on my back while we hiked Yosemite when she was a baby. Learning about hiking all the time from our many adventures from Utah to Yosemite, and other places with great long trails. She thought it was normal that I had a 25lb baby on my back while hiking up mountains and other places for miles. My favorite was her on my back for ten hours while we hiked Bryce Canon in Utah.
In one of the photos below, I was pregnant with Kiki (her younger sister) while Eva Luna was on my back (Yosemite).
Eva Luna has seen me hiking while pregnant and has seen me hiking while having Kiki (younger sister) on my back. Same with me being pregnant with Miro (who was born in 2016). We have 4 kids now and they have all spent hours on my back, while our family hiked and camped.
Also, her daddy is a mountaineer. It is part of our family culture. He was an amazing mentor and lead as he took Sun and Eva Luna to Tumanguya (renamed Mt. Whitney) and handled business.
I can't emphasize enough, how much here older brother Sun, delivered as "big brother". Our 9 year old gave her continued support and encouragement to let her know that she can do it when she was trying to manage very light symptoms of altitude sickness. My husband told me that Sun never complained and his words of encouragement were like "gold" to Eva Luna's ears. Eva Luna didn't do it alone, as her brother and papa were there to support her dream.
In addition, Eva Luna's triumphant is unique in that fact that it is rare to see little Black girls like herself hiking mountains like Tumanguya being represented in mainstream news outlets, advertisements, and other media. She is a super-girl and a super young mentor for showing little Black and Brown girls in the USA that mountain climbing can be done by a diversity of people.
Now that we know she has enough energy for Tumanguya she no longer can complain that walking .75 mi to school this fall is "too long" and she is "too tired", which she often did when we'd do the walk this past academic year. LOL.
Below are photos of she and her brother Sun (9) descending (1st photo) and ascending (2nd photo) Tumanguya (renamed Mt. Whitney). The 3rd one of her on my back was in 2013, "learning the ropes" in Yosemite. The last one is my favorite hike in Utah at Bryce Canyon National Park. About 10 hours and she was on my front, half the time because I nurse on demand.