The Frontierman from Palmer, Alaska, has this amazing story in it Aug. 7 issue entitled "King of the Hill
Eleven-year-old finds happiness at North America’s highest spot" By Clare Baldwin
Galen summited McKinley on June 17 Father's Day to officially become the youngest person to climb the peak.
Galen signed the expedition book:
Galen signed, “Galen Johnston, age 11, youngest person to summit.” Merrick signed, “Merrick Johnston, age 18, ex-youngest person to summit.”
"At first I wasn’t sure I would want to go,” Galen’s mother, Cari Sayre, said. “I knew that we would have to be really careful — he [Galen] would have to tell us how he was feeling.”
Maybe it was the enthusiasm of her husband and son that finally got to her, maybe it was the desire to spend time with her family. “I figured I better go with the flow,” Cari said. “The best way not to have to worry was to be there. Besides, it was a wonderful opportunity I probably wouldn’t ever have again.”
“We’ve talked about having an age limit of 18,” head climbing ranger Roger Robinson said. “There are some questions of how lack of oxygen affects the brain. Kids also crash real easily. There are real serious consequences if they get pulmonary or cerebral edema, they can die a lot quicker.”
Although young climbers are said to have more trouble acclimatizing, altitude didn’t seem to be a problem for Galen. He and his mother suffered from slight headaches. His dad had trouble sleeping at night.
[I have edited this because I incorrectly stated that Merrick and Galen were brother-sister. They are not related. Also, the link has gone stale.]
This message has been edited by dipper on Aug 27, 2001 3:31 PM