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Climbers reach summit of Mount Kilimanjaro December 12th, 2006
At 8:45am Monday morning we heard from the Expedition team who reached the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.  26 of the 32 climbers made it to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro at approximately 1:00am our time.  Here is a portion of the article that was covered in the Ottawa Sun on Tuesday December 12th written by Ben Webster....

Success is always sweet and yesterday it was tasted in large measure as 26 Canadian climbers reached the roof of Africa – Mt. Kilimanjaro. The climbers came in all shapes, sizes, and ages as members of an expedition that represented Algonquin College, Elmwood School, the Ottawa Carleton Catholic District School board and several members of Expedition Africa including Everest conqueror Shaunna Burke. The climbing expedition was to have Canadian students and their parents come to Africa to build a school in the village of Rongai at the base of the mountain and to later attempt reaching the top of the mountain. The expedition members spent 6 days camping and trekking to get in position for an attempt at reaching Gilman’s Point, which is recognized as one of the high points on the carter rim. Tired, cold, hungry, and oxygen deprived the climbers battled against the elements to reach their objective. Once the goal was attained the hardship endured by the climbers during the week led to tears and hugs at the crater rim in a celebration of facing many hurdles during the ascent and being able to clear them all. And hurdles there were. Besides Mother Nature the climbers also had to fight the demons from within after watching the sobering process of a few climbers from other teams be put on a stretcher and wheeled down the mountain. These climbers suffering from altitude related problems caused by trying to reach the majestic mountain’s summit too quickly.

Having successfully climbed Kilimanjaro before and as the leader of the climbing expedition I was keenly aware of building in enough time in the climbing plan to allow for the Expedition team members to properly acclimatize. For a more a detailed look at the drama of the climb unfolded on Mt. Kilimanjaro with its stories of joy and sadness please read this Sunday’s edition of the Ottawa Sun.   



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