Thursday, January 22, 2015

Enjoying Amsterdam

And then there were three... Trip leaders Sarah and Lenka enjoy a brief stopover in Amsterdam with John Underhill eating Dutch pancakes and walking the canals before final flights to Canada. What an adventure we have all had and thanks to friends and family, almost $90k raised for outward bound programs. Thank You!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Last day

Well, our group has started to disband. Some to the white sands of Zanzibar and others to the wilds of the Serengeti. We have shared a wonderful and challenging outward bound experience. Thank you all for your support and encouragement. Lala Salama!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Summit Reached!!

The team all summited but one, super teammate Jill Wagman, who supported us all from high camp. The team is all well and recovering from a long night and day of climbing and descending. More tomorrow when we are back at the Kilemakyaro Lodge.

Here are some photos from the last couple days (courtesy of climber Ian Tuck's Facebook page):

Day 4 at Karanga Camp, 13 500ft.

Anne and Ian at Kilimanjaro's summit!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Karanga Valley

Another beautiful day weather-wise. We have had no rain yet.  After a yummy French toast breakfast sitting outside the dining tent enjoying the morning sun, we approached the "Barranco Wall" with some trepidation. However, it was more fun than not and a great break from our usual walking so quite enjoyable in the end. We got to our campsite in the Karanga valley early and had a hit lunch followed by much needed "chill time" as we mentally prepare for our summit challenge starting at midnight tomorrow.

Sorry, not enough reception to post new pictures but you can see previous blog posts for older pictures or check out Ian Tuck's Facebook page fur updates as well.  More to come...Lala Salama!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Barranco Camp

We had a great day today.  Beautiful topography and "other worldy" vegetation.  We did the classic mountaineering "climb high sleep low" practice today.  Reached 15000ft our highest point so far and then descended to 13000ft to sleep.  The group is all in good spirits though some are suffering expected headaches and nausea.  However, we are confident after a good meal and sleep we will all be ready for morning ascent of the barranco wall. Lala Salama (good night).

Friday, January 16, 2015

Pics From the Field

Kili 2015 team member, Ian Tuck, has been snapping some great photos from the field. He send us the link to his Facebook page so we could share these beauties with you too.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Shira Camp

All is well, the group made it to Shira Camp with smiles. We're at elevation now over 12,000 ft and we can feel it but spirits are high. Chagga guides are amazing, the mountain is setting our hearts ablaze. Nick names appear, the summit gets near and away with the wind blows our fears.

Day Two on the Mountain

Everything is awesome! We had a great first day on the mountain. Lots of sunshine and no rain. Lots of signing, laughing and gas! As we say at altitude, "if you are farting well you are faring well".

We are now enjoying a breakfast of champions before heading off on day 2. We will be camping at 12,000 ft tonight. Thinking of you all, hakuna Matata!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Group Photo

We are heading off to the mountain with our Chagga tour guides - Gerald, Benson, Apeles, and Cide. Beautiful day! As we head up the mountain we will try to send updates when we have coverage. Won't be able to send too many photos though. Thinking of you all and will all take care of each other on our adventure. Hakuna Matata!

Sarah and the Kili 2015 crew

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Packing for the Mountain

Looks like the #Kili2015 team is having a blast getting ready for their journey!

Breakfasting in Africa

We all had good sleeps and an awesome breakfast of fresh mango, pancakes, omelettes, coffee and fruit juice under the palm trees on the lawn with Kilimanjaro on the horizon. Heading out now for a practice hike in the coffee plantation.  Loving the warmth and sun and food company!

Kili Team 2015: John Underhill

As you have seen, our 2015 Mt. Kilimanjaro team has arrived and is beginning their journey! Did you know, over 120 languages are spoken in Tanzania. Most of these are Bantu languages, a category of over 535 languages and dialects that are spoken throughout Africa.

Luckily, our team has some great leaders and local guides to help them communicate and navigate throughout their journey. I'm sure our last climber to be profiled, John Underhill, will appreciate the support.  Read more about John and his journey here:

I am a physiotherapist in the Collingwood area and live on a hobby farm in beautiful Creemore Ontario with my wife Sue and children Jake (15) and Abby (13).  I love the outdoors and world travelling.  In 2010 my family and I lived and volunteered in the small mountainside village of Nkoranga, about a 2 hr drive from Kilimanjaro.  It was then that I fell in love with the people and region and vowed to return one day to claim its ultimate prize…Mt Kilimanjaro.  I am very much looking forward to this personal challenge and raising funds for such a worthwhile organization that has had such a positive effect on so many people.

To support John in his journey, please consider giving to his personal giving page here.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Best Friends Already!

Sharlene and Jill - joining us now from the first class lounge!

At the Airport

And the adventure begins! Here are a few of us at the Toronto airport- john, Leslie, bill, and Shazia. Doing some last minute emails before we fly to Amsterdam. We will send more from there.

Kili Team 2015: Shazia

Our 2015 Mt. Kilimanjaro team is likely getting to Africa right about now.  Did you know that Tanzania is the largest country in East Africa and it includes the spice islands of Zanzibar, Pemba, and Mafia. It should be a beautiful and inspiring location for the team, that is certain!

Well, we have a couple more last team members that we would like to profile still.  The first is Shazia, who has done an incredible job of fundraising and training.  Here is a little on her and her journey:

Outward Bound is a not for profit organization that supports some of the causes that are very close to my heart. It provides life-changing experiences to women recovering from abuse and violence, youth at risk including new youth to Canada, veterans and aboriginals. Having myself immigrated to Canada with young children, I can appreciate the importance of providing support to new Canadian youth transitioning between cultures and enabling them to adjust in their new environment by helping them realize their true potential. The youth at risk program is designed for young people who are experiencing difficulties at school, at home or in their environment. OBC works with ‘at risk’ young people helping them turn away from risky and self-destructive behaviors.

Outward Bound Canada’s Women of Courage Program offers inspiring journeys of adventure, challenge and healing for women recovering from trauma due to violence and/or abuse including sexual, physical or emotional abuse. Since 1988, over a 1000 women have experienced these transformative journeys resulting in powerful growth and recovery.

I took on this challenge despite having no prior climbing experience and with very little time to prepare; yet I am determined to achieve this goal. It has always been a dream for me to undertake such a challenge and I am thrilled that I am able to participate in this expedition and at the same time help a cause that I hold dear to my heart.  In order to raise funds for this charity I am requesting all of you for a donation to OBC. Your donation could help some women find their way to recovery or make a difference in a youth’s life by providing a life changing experience.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Getting Ready for the Mountain!

Well, we are down to the final countdown. Only 3 more sleeps. Getting all the group and my personal gear ready and treats for the group on the mountain. Here is a picture of my dining room table...

Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the Bell network.

Kili Team 2015: Sarah Wiley (Trip Leader)

Did you know: About 30,000 people climb Kilimanjaro each year and about three-quarters of those reach the summit. It is a relatively safe climb, and most climbers who fail to summit experience altitude-related issues or harsh weather near the peak. The climb can be done any time of year but the rainy winter season make the summer and early fall a popular time to climb.

Ensuring that each of our climbers reach the summit is our second trip leader, Outward Bound Canada's Executive Director Sarah Wiley.  Read about Sarah's journey here:

"I am currently the Executive Director of Outward Bound Canada, a position I have held since June 2010. I got my teaching degree and speciality in Outdoor and Experiential Education in 1989 and began working for Outward Bound Canada as an instructor in 1992. I left Outward Bound in 2004 and moved to Calgary where I worked as Director of Student Life at Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School and then moved to Vancouver Island where I was the Deputy Head of School – Operations at Shawnigan Lake School.  I have a Masters of Education and an MBA (I love learning). I have travelled extensively and have climbed mountains in South America, North America, & Africa. I have led five climbs up Mt. Kilimanjaro with all but one of the participants successfully summiting. 

My husband and I have a six year old son, Hugh, and a five year old dog named Charlie who both keep us quite busy! Though I work in Toronto at OBC’s head office, I am lucky to live in the country, about 90mins northwest of the city. I am really looking forward to spending ten days on the mountain with what seems to be a fabulous team and am grateful for the fundraising efforts to date. With the funds raised from this climb, we will be able to increase access to Outward Bound programs to those who will most benefit from them."

Good luck Sarah, we will be rooting for you and the team!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Kili Team 2015: Lenka Stafl (Trip Guide)

Did you know: There are three volcanic cones that make up Kilimanjaro: Kibo is the summit; Mawenzi at 16,893 feet (5,149 meters); and Shira at 13,000 feet (3,962 meters). Uhuru Peak is the highest summit on Kibo's crater rim. Uhuru, Swahili for "Freedom," was named in 1961 when Tanganyika gained its independence . Tanganyika later joined with the islands of Zanzibar to form Tanzania.

The first of our trip leaders to be profiled, Lenka Stafl, will be helping the team het to the highest of the peaks - Kibo.  Read more about Lenka's journey here:

"I fell in love with the mountains as a youth and haven’t stopped adventuring since. It is so satisfying for me to share the unique beauty of mountain landscapes with others and participate in the deeply personal journey’s that happen therein. In 2009, I began working as a mountain instructor for Outward Bound based out of Leadville in Colorado. I knew after Instructing my first course how powerful and important the work we can be. My passion for the work, people and places that make Outward Bound so unique continues to drive me. I am a member of the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides, and have taken numerous Wilderness Medicine and technical courses to hone my skills in alpine terrain. I have been fortunate enough to travel and work in amazing mountain ranges and regions of the world including Patagonia, the Tibetan Plateau, the Cascades and beyond. Before moving to Canmore, I worked on Rainier, guiding clients up the peak on a weekly basis. 

For the past few years I have worked at the Rocky Mountain region of Outward Bound Canada, supporting, guiding and managing our courses. I make an effort to instruct a few programs a year to stay in touch with the meaning and impact of our organizational mission."

We are sure it will be a challenging but life-changing experience thank to Lenka and Sarah and the team!