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Could you be a summiteer?

Could you be a summiteer? debgardner.jpg
I was fascinated by our financial columnist, Mike Matty's trek up Russia's Mt. Elbrus. And that fascination got me thinking . is this type of extreme sport because that, after all, is what mountaineering on this level truly is a hobby that's growing in popularity among members of the boomer generation? I emailed the people at International Mountain Guides (IMG), the company Matty had climbed with twice, to pose just such a question. George Dunn, a partner at IMG was only too happy to respond to my query. "I'd say that Mike is typical of our average customer," Dunn replied via e-mail. "We don't see a lot of younger persons in the range of 18-25 years old on our normal trips, and that is probably to be expected. Younger people are still in school or just getting on track with their careers, and don't have the time or, more importantly, the discretionary income, to spend on adventure trips abroad." Dunn said the average age of today's mountaineer is "from the early 30's to the early 60s" but that chronological age isn't the deciding factor his company uses to evaluate potential climbers. "[What's] more important is physical age," Dunn said. "I am seeing more and more people in the mountains from the mid-fifties through the sixties these days. The difference is they are keeping themselves physically young through regular exercise and training." Dunn said he is 54, and clearly remembers friends and customers asking what he was going to do when he got t middle age and couldn't guide any more. "The answer," he said "is I've kept physically and mentally young staying active in the outdoors and training in the off seasons." Hitting middle age he said, doesn't phase him, despite his dangerous career. "I feel I've got another couple of decades left in my guiding career," he said. Check these things out online: If you have access to a computer and the internet, you'll find Marci's Medicare Answers in the Finance section. We at PRIME hope you and yours enjoy a blessed Thanksgiving. Debbie Gardner PRIME Editor dgardner@reminderpublications.com