Last year I started this GoFundMe page before climbing Mount Everest. The opening paragraph read, "My name is Lucy Westlake - I'm 18 years old from Naperville, Illinois. I've been climbing mountains since I was seven. I’m now ready to climb Everest to attempt the American Record as the youngest American woman to stand on the top of the world. Why? For the past eleven years, I’ve been fighting to prove my worth in the mountains. Mountaineering is a sport dominated by men twice my age and size and I’m ready to show this generation of girls and young women that we belong in the mountains. The gender gap exists not because girls and women are any less capable than men, it's solely because there is not a clear pathway and little support for women in the sport of mountaineering. Girls don't feel they belong in the high mountain realm because they don't see anyone like themselves there."
On May 12, 2022, I reached the summit of Mt. Everest and set an American Record as the youngest American woman to reach the top. Now I am climbing K2 - the 2nd highest mountain in the world and far more challenging than Everest. Thank you NCTV-17 for the great summary of my story:
After the endless media coverage I received for Everest, I was hoping corporate sponsors would join my effort and help fund the trailblazing expeditions needed to show young women what they are capable of achieving.
My efforts need more time; therefore, I am once again turning to my friends, family and community to ask for support in helping me continue my grassroots effort for a passion I care so deeply about and truly believe will make a lasting difference on a generation of girls. I am attempting to set this World Record to inspire the next girl to break it. As the late Hilaree Nelson stated, "It's much easier to be something when you see a path put down by women before you."
On this climb, I will also be collecting snow samples along the way to help climate scientist Dr. Ulyana Horodyskj Pena at the University of Colorado-Boulder in her research on black carbon and ice mass loss from the Artic and Himalayan regions. Pakistan is currently one of the countries suffering the most from climate change and they desperately need our help to find answers to this global issue. I am honored to play a part in this global cause and your financial support makes collecting these samples for Dr. Peña’s ground-breaking work possible. To learn more: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/18voxF7cb9NlZCxKEDSgjOgg7ToknYa_CL8RPNxrutBc/edit?usp=sharing
It takes a village to climb a mountain of this size and magnitude. Not only is your donation helping me show the world what young women are capable of on and off the mountain, your dollar is also reaching into the lives of people in some of the poorest countries in the world that work harder than we can ever imagine to put food on the table each day for their families. This GoFundMe page is not about me climbing a mountain, it is an avenue to give to a global community and a global cause that needs our support. Every dollar donated goes directly to helping Nepalese Sherpas and Pakistani porters meet their family’s basic needs. Without them, none of this is possible. Thank you for joining this team to help make this world a more equitable place for all.
Please know that any amount you donate will make a tremendous difference. I am humbled to be a part of this experience and I am beyond grateful for your contribution to make it possible. Thank you!