Tuesday, September 11, 2007
She's on top of the world. Samantha Larson has climbed all of the Seven Summits, the highest mountain on each of the continents. Most recently, the 18-year-old tackled Mount Everest, making her possibly the youngest person to climb all seven of the world's highest points, including Europe's Mount Elbrus, North America's Mount McKinley and Australia's Mount Kosciuszko.
Larson started her climbing career with a 19,000-foot hike up Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. At 12, it seemed daunting to her, but not as treacherous as the summits to come. At 13, Larson climbed Mount Aconcagua in Argentina with her dad, as she always does. A feat came even before reaching the top -- 14 is the minimum age for the climb, so she needed special permission.
Larson worked toward the 75-day, $50,000 quest to the top of Everest for six years. Now, she is going to conquer the academic world. Larson deferred her admission to Stanford University for a year to train for the climb, but we don't think they minded.
Update: Watch the CNN.com Live Video interview
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Young People Who Rock is a weekly interview series focused on people under 30 -- from CEOs to entertainers to athletes to community and political leaders -- who are doing remarkable things. CNN Anchor Nicole Lapin introduces them here, then interviews them Fridays on CNN.com Live. Log on in the 3 p.m. ET hour to catch the interviews.