For the past five years, Lucy Westlake has been reaching new heights around the country.
“I am now the youngest girl to have done all 48 states high peaks,” said Lucy Westlake.
At just twelve-years-old, Lucy has summited the highest mountain in each of the continental U.S.’ 48 states, also known as the “Lower 48.”
“Well when you look out, you’re the highest thing in the state, so you can see all the mountains and sometimes if you summit at night, you can see the cities in the distance and it’s so fun to do that,” said Lucy.
But she did not climb alone. Since her first high peak in 2011, Lucy has scaled each mountain with her dad.
“It’s just really fun to be with him, and he plans out all the routes and stuff so I couldn’t do it without him,” said Lucy.
A partnership that began after they climbed Kentucky’s Black Mountain as a family.
“The next time that we were going to do a trip we said ‘oh what an interesting way to break up the trip, drive, get out of the car, take a walk.’ It’s always good for the kids, good for kind of everybody’s attitude and that’s pretty much how the high peaking started,” explains her father, Rodney Westlake.
From there the summits grew, and so did Lucy’s passion for the climb.
“Every year in January, usually around New Years Day, we would kind of set goals and we asked Lucy what her goals are and always a part of her goals is ‘I want to summit seven more peaks this year,’ something like that. So it was always goal oriented. And if she set the goal, then it was our job to kind of help her figure out how to realize that,” said Rodney.
And now that she’s climbed the first 48, and Hawaii’s highest peak, there’s only one thing left to do.
“My next goal for mountain climbing is Denali, I’m going to do that next year hopefully,” said Lucy.
While Lucy worked hard to be the youngest high peaker to achieve this goal, she hopes to not be the only.
Lucy explains, “I would love if other people tried to break my record, because I just feel like that would be so cool to have someone else be able to do that so I’m not the only one. I know other people could.”
A goal that starts, one climb at a time.
Naperville News 17’s Evan Summers reports.
All photos and videos courtesy of the Westlake family.