88-Year-Old Vegan Climbs Kilimanjaro

Colorado resident Fred Distelhorst ascended Mount Kilimanjaro this week, possibly setting a world record as the oldest person to ever do so.

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.

Photo: CBS
“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.

Photo: CBS

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