At 88 years old, Distelhorst credits his good health to his vegan diet and his granddaughter’s do-good spirit, saying, “I think I’m in pretty good shape even though I’m a little old guy.”
The retired dentist climbed one of the world’s highest peaks, at 19,341 feet, with his 22-year-old granddaughter, Ellen Edgerton. Impressively, Distelhorst only needed oxygen on the final ascent during the six-day excursion.
“There were some times at night when I thought ‘I can’t believe we are really going through with this but we are so let’s give it our best,’” said Edgerton.
Edgerton, who was volunteering at a Kenyan orphanage, asked her grandfather if he would like to make the ascent. In conjunction with the climb, she set up a fundraising campaign to raise money to build housing for boys affected by violence and the AIDS epidemic.
“I figured, let’s climb for a purpose instead of just a hobby,” said Edgerton.
Distelhorst’s incredible climb is currently under review by the Guinness World Records to determine if the he will receive the title of the oldest person to conquer Kilimanjaro.