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KILIMANJARO SUMMIT!

January 31, 2019

misty morningTrip report by Climb to Fight Cancer climber Jeff Fryer

Following an extraordinary trek to Mt. Everest Base Camp in Nepal as part of the Climb to Fight Cancer, benefitting Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, I eagerly anticipated another adventure. On January 8, I departed Arusha, Tanzania with Alpine Ascents International (AAI) to tackle and hopefully summit, Uhuru Peak in Kilimanjaro National Park – otherwise known as Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest point in Africa at 19,341 feet and one of the “Seven Summits.”

It was extremely important to me to do this with the Climb to Fight Cancer. I lost both of my brothers and my father to cancer. As a result, I felt a desire to do something to help eradicate this horrific disease.  This is what called me to join the Everest Base Camp team last year and fueled my desire to continue to meld my love of backpacking, hiking and trekking with an opportunity to raise critical dollars for cancer research.

Our trek began at the Machame Gate at the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Climbing through the Cloud Forest (or the Rainforest Zone) was surreal, culminating with a well-earned rest at Machame Hut camp.  Day two we hiked higher, through the Heather and Moorland Zone, to Shira Caves camp.  Days three, four and five we traversed the mountain through the Highland Desert Zone, with a brief overnight stay at Kosovo camp in preparation for summit day. Summit day was on day six, Sunday, January 13, 2019.

We were unable to actually see our goal until halfway through day five. Mt. Kilimanjaro had been “socked in” with a stubborn weather pattern for two weeks.  Fortunately, the clouds briefly lifted in the afternoon of day five and we were excitedly able to view our ascent route.

the ascent route

On summit day, we left Kosovo camp at midnight and slowly worked our way toward the roof of Africa. Watching the sunrise was breathtaking. It was sheer beauty and magnificence.

summit morning

Fourteen of the fifteen climbers successfully summited by 7:00 a.m.  Woo hoo!

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The blessings I have been so fortunate to receive through these experiences are immeasurable. Hiking through the Khumbu Valley, spending two nights at Mt. Everest Base Camp and summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro were adventures that weren’t even on my bucket list. Next up . .  .  Aconcagua!

Blessings do, indeed, abound, you simply need to look around . . .Jeff Fryer.

All photos courtesy of Jeff Fryer. 

the 'ol man

One Comment leave one →
  1. Michael Heathfield permalink
    February 13, 2019 3:51 pm

    Jeff! Congrats! Was a special honor to share the Everest Base Camp Trek with you…continue, namaste- michael

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