Richard Byerley

The oldest person to summit Kilimanjaro

Richard Byerley, 84, owns a 4,000-acre alfalfa seed and wheat farm with his three sons in the Walla Walla Valley in Washington State, which he’s been farming since 1950. He has led an active and adventurous life, hiking in Europe, Peru, Nepal, Canada and the U.S. He has bicycled in France, Italy, Germany and Austria, and in 2001 biked across the U.S., a 45-day trip that started in Carlsbad, Calif., and ended in Saint Simons Island in Georgia (and yes, he was the oldest person on that trip at age 74). He has scaled Mount Whitney in California (the tallest mountain in the lower 48 states, at 14, 495 feet) and Mount Rainier in Washington (the most heavily glaciated peak in the lower 48 states, at 14,410 feet) and has skied for 44 years, a pastime he took up at the tender age of 40. But his physical pursuits are not limited to land. He and his wife Beth have also sailed the high seas; their voyages include trips from Seattle to Tahiti and Alaska on their 50-foot sailboat. He trained for his Kilimanjaro climb by hiking mountains in both Washington and Idaho, bicycling, running and occasionally moving 40-foot pipes in the fields on his farm. He is now the oldest person to summit Mount Kilimanjaro on foot.

Karen Goodwin is a veteran editor and writer. As a former editor-in-chief of OAG's Frequent Flyer magazine, she was frequently interviewed about travel trends by print and broadcast media. She has written on business, leisure and Internet travel topics for numerous publications and is now a freelance writer based in Boulder, Colorado.

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