85-year-old grandma could set world record on Kilimanjaro

Age ain’t nothing but a number. But so is 19,341 feet.

Anne Lorimor, now 85 years old, climbing back in 2006. Photo: Courtesy of Lorimor

Anne Lorimor, now 85 years old, climbing back in 2006. Photo: Courtesy of Anne Lorimor

If 40 is the new 25, then consider 85 the new beast mode. Exhibit A: Anne Lorimor, the 85-year-old great-grandmother who is just days away from her attempt to become the oldest woman to reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.

In the early-morning hours of July 5, 2015, the Arizona resident will begin the long climb to the top of the tallest mountain in Africa and the tallest freestanding mountain in the world at 19,341 feet above sea level.

"I don't feel the need to go climb all the seven summits, but this one I really want to climb," Lorimor says. "I know people my age who sit in the chair and watch television all day. I'm not going to do that."

Lorimor, who has traveled to more than 100 countries and climbed dozens of mountains (including Pike's Peak in Colorado, which comes in at 14,115 feet above sea level), is attempting Kilimanjaro to raise money for the Challenge Youth Fund, a project she founded to help children (especially those who are fostered, orphaned or homeless) reach their full potential through education and mentoring opportunities.

Lorimor says her mission stemmed from her own upbringing during the Great Depression, when she and her 10 younger siblings were often homeless and living in tents.

"My family was poor. There were times when we were hungry and cold, but people were often kind," she says. "I was very fortunate that a teacher even offered to pay for my high school tuition because she saw potential. Since then, I've been compelled to pass that forward."

Follow Lorimor's Guinness World Record attempt and donate to her climb at annekiliclimb.com.

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