Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Samantha Larson
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
Good job Crown of Earth is a great beginning. Now you need to set a hard (much) task of taking the crown of Himalayas. All these peaks over 8000m to do - you got one so far. Good luck
What field of study are you interested in pursuing at Stanford, and why? Do your academic interests relate to your interests in climbing, world travel, etc.?
Not to disrespect this girl who climbed these mountains, but how does this relate to the philanthropic philosophy behind the vignettes featured in this CNN blog? How did she better the lives of others by climbing a mountain?
that's cool. i wish i could do. kudos to her and much to her in the future with other endeavors and school. take care and keep on!
I tottaly agree with gatsby. All I can say is "How does this help" and all I see is filthy rich. It makes me embarrased. Also disgusted with CNN for this type of image to the world. Silver Spoon I guess, please.

"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*. "

I don't see this blog as being limited to only those who "better the lives of others".

In addition, one can find *inspiration* in this remarkable woman's achievements.

As a hiker (but no means as extreme as Miss Larson's career), I have caught a small glimpse of what it must take to have achieved this amazing goal. Rock on, girl.
While the theme is only young people who are doing remarkable things -- and I admit that this is a remarkable feat -- I agree that I much prefer the stories of how young people are helping. Even if Samantha's story can be seen as inspirational, how many other people will ever have the same chance?

If desired, one can take some joy in asking: "What did it get you?" and "Now what? You're 18 and how are you going to beat that?" She's 18, and will possibly never again achieve something this great again in her life. Nowhere to go but ... ?
Kudos to Samantha for her accomplishment. I am soon to climb Kilimanjaro with the oldest North American to climb the seven peaks, Werner Berger. To set lofty goals and accomplish them brings a great sense of fulfillment. I am taking my two younger children to climb also, ages 14 and 16, and hope the experience will enlighten them while exposing them to new cultures. Hopefully Samantha will write and share her learnings from this experience. If she needs a ghostwriter, I am available : )
Rob Britt
Anonymous wrote... "While the theme is only young people who are doing remarkable things -- and I admit that this is a remarkable feat -- I agree that I much prefer the stories of how young people are helping."

This is an excellent opportunity for you to start your own blog that focuses exclusively on young people that are helping people. CNN has decided to broaden their focus to people under 30 who are doing remarkable things. Please don't chastise the girl b/c she was born into a family with money. She doesn't chastise me b/c I was born with brown hair... something that I had as much to do with as she did being born into a family with an adventurer for a dad.

I won't even comment on your suggestion that she has "nowhere to go but...?" There is so much wrong with that it would take more time than I'm willing to spend to fully address it.
Samantha's accomplishments are indeed significant, but they are all personal accomplishments, for her own glory. I don't think she belongs in the same league as the other young people who you have featured.
and how is this impressive??

Where did the silver spoon comment come from? I read 6 years working toward the 50k trip as pure determination. Accepted at a great school too, I think this girls future accomplishments has nowhere to go but up. Rock on.
This is a person who is "helping?"
"Making a difference?"
How? All this is about is a rich girl feeding her ego.
How is that impressive?
Speaking as one who has spent time working to get up tall mountains, this is less of a story of a young woman who accomplished remarkable things, but a young woman who had remarkable resources.

How is this different from a young man who shopped at the seven largest department stores in the world or ate at the seven largest restaurants in the world?

The difference is that Ms. Larson is a girl who followed her daddy as he spent more money on recreation than most Americans will ever come close to affording. I salute Mr. Larson for taking his daughter along, but I will politely shake my head in wonder at the people who think his daughter's accomplishments are worth anything more than a shrug and a click onto something more worth my time to read.
This was posted by anonymous:

"This is a person who is "helping?"
Making a difference?
How? All this is about is a rich girl feeding her ego.
How is that impressive?"

Where out of any of this is she feeding her ego? Where does it say that she was born rich and didn't have sponsorships. These people are nominated for Young People Who Rock. Unless there is something I missed, you have no basis for your comments.
It's kind of funny how some of you who think that Samantha's journey was not " worth anything more than a shrug and a click onto something more worth my time to read" spent the time to post a comment. Ms. Larson is very lucky and I am envious of her accomplishments, however, that does not mean that I should try to downtrod the poor girl. Yes, life handed Samantha an amazing opportunity, but she had to work for it. How many of you jealous folks would even climb that mountain if you got the chance to. Samantha, you rock!
I think what is truly amazing about what Samantha accomplished is that she did it. It's very easy for those of us sitting comfortably in our living rooms surfing online to criticize or downplay her accomplishments. But if a neighbor, family member or coworker were to tell you "I climbed Mt. Everest" the majority of people would find that amazing. This girl has climbed SEVEN of the world's tallest mountains. That to me is quite an accomplishment and required a lot of training, dedication, and spirit. I can only imagine how those qualities will lead her to do other things in her life. Way to go Samantha!
I hope you picked up all your trash including oxygen tanks on the way up and down the mountain. I have seen the pictures of all the trash on Everest. I think you mountaineers are irresponsible. Clean up after yourself like your mommy told you to!
Those of you who are critical of this woman's accomplishments are obviously not aware of the technical skills, physical conditioning, critical thinking skills, and luck it takes to reach the summit of mountains even half the elevation of Everest. There's no question that money is necessary, too, but without the afore mentioned abilities a person's money would get them no closer to the summit than base camp.

As for the trash left by mountaineers - that's old news. Try to view some current pictures or video and you'll see that the environmentally insensitve days of mountaineering are largely over. In fact, the Nepalese and Chinese governments that issue climbing permits now require a "clean up deposit", and they keep it if a team fails to leave the mountain as pristine as they found it.

And one more comment for all of you armchair philanthropists: When did you last inspire thousands with something you've done? Have you recently accomplished any daunting challenges that took literally years of preparation? Were you admitted into one of the world's premier universites? Did you accomplish all of these things and more while still a teenager?
That's way cool. Us teens are the next generation, and it's time that we prove to everyone else that we can handle the pressure and that we won't disappoint them.
Keep up the good work and push yourself for the best results.

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.
Know someone who rocks?
Maybe your neighbor or your friend? Let us know.

Got a question for the interview?
Fire up your camera and send it in, then look for your video on CNN.com Live.
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