A Rancho Santa Fe boy became one of the youngest people to ever complete the “portal to peak” hike on Mount Whitney earlier this month.
Anthony Slosar, 6, set out with his family in the early hours of the morning on August 5, embarking on a 12-hour journey to the summit of the tallest mountain in the Lower 48; he didn't return to the trailhead for another 20 hours.
Mt. Whitney’s marquis “portal to peak” trail begins at Whitney Portal and ascends more than 6,000 feet of elevation over 11 miles to the mountain’s peak at 14,505 feet.
Climbing Whitney was Anthony's idea. His inner competitor wanted to hike the trail at a younger age than his big brother Jackson, who accomplished the feat at age seven.
Formal records for summiting hikers are not kept, but published reports suggest that he may in fact be the youngest to ever reach the top.
Anthony’s father, Jeff, told NBC 7 that he was prepared to cut feet holes in his backpack so that he could carry his son, but Anthony insisted from the beginning that carrying was not allowed—holding hands with dad was, though.
He got over his initial fears of elves, crocodiles and other creatures he thought he might encounter, and pushed himself toward the top despite seeing his older brother and sister turn back after succumbing to altitude sickness.
“If you can teach your kids a lesson beyond the golden rule, not quitting, I think, is important,” Jeff Slosar said. “This was a very tangible example of that."
Once Anthony gets a chance to watch “Captain America: Civil War”, a movie his mother initially forbade him from watching before granting permission as a reward for finishing the climb, he’ll set his eyes on future expeditions in the Grand Canyon and the Grand Teton Range in northeastern Wyoming.