Monday, December 28, 2015

Kili Team 2016: Chris Brophy

Mount Kilimanjaro has been the subject of many scientific studies because of its shrinking glaciers. Ice cores taken from Kilimanjaro's Northern Ice Field indicate that Kilimanjaro's glaciers have a "basal age" of 11,700 years. The slope glaciers retreated rapidly between 1912 and 1953, in response to a sudden shift in climate at the end of the 19th century that made them "drastically out of equilibrium", and more slowly thereafter. Their continuing demise indicates they are still out of equilibrium in response to a constant change in climate over the last 100 years.

Chris will be one of the few people who will have an opportunity to see Kilimanjaro's glaciers up close. Chris is 29 years old and currently resides in beautiful Victoria, BC. He spends the majority of his time working on his pilot’s license, triathlon training, and enjoying his beautiful province. With the winter coming, skiing will certainly be getting a lot of attention as well. He is also attempting to learn Spanish,, enjoys long walks on the beach :)

Chris is pumped for Kili 2016 and thinks it's going to be an amazing adventure! This is what he had to say about why he chose to take on this incredible journey:

"I completed my first Outward Bound program during high school in the summer after grade 10. Up to that point I had enjoyed Scouts Canada excursions, and camping with my family, however the mountaineering course in British Columbia raised that bar exponentially. The course was 23 days and long, and was certainly the most difficult thing I had done up to that point in my life. Through environmental, psychological, and social challenges, I believe everyone in the group gained a newfound appreciation for their capabilities, and the true depths of their physical, and mental endurance.

Outward Bound Canada strives to give people the opportunity to place themselves into challenging situations, where they will learn how to overcome difficulties, realize their potential, and gain that experience as a tool for future obstacles, and endeavours. Over the years Outward Bound has come to recognize the people that benefit the most from their programs are those in potentially vulnerable situations, specifically: Women who have experienced violence and/or abuse, military men and women struggling with the challenge of re-integrating into civilian life, and youth at risk, including aboriginal youth."

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

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Kili Team 2016: Brian Johnstone

There are several routes up Kilimanjaro, but our team will be doing the 7-day, 55 km walk up the Machame-Mweka route. This scenic route will take the team through four different ecosystems: rainforest, heath, moorland, and glacier. The route that our team have chosen may be a day longer than the other routes, but the extra night/day aids acclimatization and allows our climbers extra time to recover and prepare for the final push to the top.

Brian Johnstone is one of our climbers who will be headed up the Machame-Mweka route. Brian was born in small-town, Ontario, where he spent most of his free time playing sports and exploring in the near-by forests. A deep enjoyment of the outdoors, lead him to University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Environmental Science. After university, Brian was lured out west to Banff, Alberta, where he pursued his interest in outdoor sports. Skiing, rock and ice climbing, camping, and nature photography are just a few of the past-times that keep him busy. Recently married in Canmore, Alberta, he resides with his beautiful wife (Lenka), and dog (Sitka). Working as the foreman for the Town of Banff grounds crew, he takes much pride in beautifying the town’s green spaces with trees, shrubs, and flowers for the enjoyment of people from all over the world.

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

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Kili Team 2016: Hartland Pitfield

Wondering what it is like every day up on Kilimanjaro? Here is how one climber explained it: "The days are spent walking through spectacular landscapes which change every day as you pass through different vegetation zones; the pace is never exhausting, as you have to walk slowly in order to give yourself a chance to acclimatize... As night falls, you tuck into the huge plates of food and the stars come out and stun everyone into silence."

Hartland Pitfield will be one individual who gets to experience this scene first-hand, as part of Outward Bound Canada's 2016 Mt. Kilimanjaro Team. Here is what Hartland had to say about his trip: "Since I was eighteen and had the opportunity to do a course in Anakiwa, New Zealand, I have understood the value of Outward Bound. Simply put, the extraordinary physical, mental and emotional challenge that a three-week Outward Bound course entails teaches you an incredible amount about yourself and your ability to work and communicate with those around you. It lays a foundation of values that helps to guide you through the challenges that life can throw at you.

For these reasons, Outward Bound has been one of my most valued life experiences, and I would recommend it to anyone. The issue is: not everyone can afford it, and often the people who would benefit from it the most can afford it the least.

Alongside my dad, two of my sisters, and a team of other Canadians, I am setting out to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro as a fundraiser for Outward Bound's charitable programs. We are aiming to raise $50,000 so that we can provide the life-transforming experience of an Outward Bound course to those who need it the most.

This trip is going to be a challenging, bucket-list trip that will reinforce some of what I have already learned and teach me other things that I haven't. Climbing Kilimanjaro with three of my family members makes it that much more special for me, and with a personal fundraising goal of $4,000, I am hoping to provide similarly impactful experiences and opportunities to those who aren't able to afford them."

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

Monday, December 14, 2015

Kili Team 2016: Holly Wagg

Weather on Kilimanjaro can certainly fluctuate. The climate is influenced by the height of the mountain. As a result, Kilimanjaro has daily upslope and nightly downslope winds, a regimen stronger on the southern than the northern side of the mountain. The average temperature in the summit area is approximately −7 °C (19 °F). Snowfall can also occur any time of year but is associated mostly with northern Tanzania's two rainy seasons (November–December and March–May). Our climbers will likely be glad they are going outside of rainy season!

The next climber we would like to profile is Holly Wagg. Here's what Holly has to say about her trip:

"Kili has been on my bucket list for a long time. Now is the time to tackle it.

I’ve opted to do #kili2016 with Outward Bound Canada because Outward Bound has been so transformative in my own life.

The skills I learned through Outward Bound moved my camping from the trunk of a car to a canoe gliding through the vast backcountry waters of Algonquin. I learned how to solo portage a canoe, rock climb and even how to spend 24 hours on my own in the wilderness with nothing but a tarp, rope and sleeping bag.

But Outward Bound is about more than just the hard skills of outdoor adventure. It’s also about personal exploration and growth. It’s about reflection and self-discovery in the natural world. For me, it came at a crucial time in my life. It truly was a life-changing adventure.

That’s why, I’m climbing Kili with Outward Bound. I may have another life-changing adventure, but more importantly, I want to use this trip to help others have a life-changing wilderness experience of their own."

To support Holly in her journey, please consider giving to her personal giving page here.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Kili Team 2016: Robert Pitfield

Mount Kilimanjaro is the world’s highest freestanding mountain, rising approximately 4,877 metres from its base to 5,895 metres (19, 340 ft) above sea level. It is also known as "Everyman's Everest" due to the fact that no technical climbing. Now climbing Kili is still no easy feat, but with training, respect for the mountain, and knowledge of altitude it is possible for many to summit this climb.

Robert Pitfield will be one of those few who have chosen to take on such a feat. However, for Robert, one of the things he is possibly looking forward to the most is doing the climb with his kids. As he puts it, "anyone who's lucky enough to have kids in their life on whatever basis knows that it is simply one of the greatest things in life to spend time with them. This trip, with my children, who I have had the wonderful pleasure and special privilege of seeing grow into magnificent people whom I happen to love dearly, will be a singular moment in my lifetime".

As for the reason that Robert has chosen to take on this climb in support of Outward Bound Canada, robert had the following to say: "life should be about paying back for all the blessings so many of us receive. Outward Bound is an exceptional organization that has for many, many decades provided experiences for those, often desperately in need, that are deeply personal, inspirational and caring. Anyone who's ever taken a canoe trip into one of our provincial parks with a bunch of fellow trippers or anyone who's done anything with Outward Bound knows how powerful such a trip, in such natural settings, with such fellowship can be and how enduring its lessons are. This trip is part of that payback."

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

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Getting Ready!

Time to prepare the First Aid Kits for our Kilimanjaro 2016 expedition!
We'll be ready for anything!
Remember to bring your own blister supplies and Ibuprofen and Gravol.
Time flies, In just one short month we'll be in Tanzania!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Kili Team 2016: Kevin Pattrick

There are many local legends about Kilimanjaro. One explains the peak names, Kibo and Mawenzi were good neighbours, until Mawenzi played a prank on Kibo and threw away embers he had received from Kibo and claimed that they had burned out. Kibo eventually got angry and beat Mawenzi badly, explaining why the mountain is so badly degraded. This theory explains Mawenzi's name as "the Battered". Neat!

The next climber we would like to feature is Kevin Pattrick. Born and raised in Bowmanville Ontario, Kevin has always had an affinity for the outdoors and grew up spending a lot of his youth in the wooded areas around the town and the cross country ski trails in the Ganaraska.  After a brief stint in the Humber College Music Program studying as a jazz bassist, Kevin left school to spend six months travelling and camping throughout Europe, Russia, and Scandinavia. Upon his return to Canada he went west and briefly settled in Edmonton where he worked in a variety of jobs while searching for a broader purpose.  Seeking a new adventure, he enrolled in a three week Outward Bound Ski Mountaineering Course being offered in Keremeos, British Columbia. The course was an important and life changing learning experience. Returning to Ontario from Western Canada, Kevin refocused his life and pursued part time education in finance and accounting. Over the next 25 years on a part time basis, he completed a BA, B.Ed., MBA, CMA/CPA, Black Belt Master’s Certificate in Lean Six Sigma, and Executive Development training at Harvard Business School. Kevin’s career has included various management positions in finance and accounting, with past ten years as the Chief Financial Officer for a Global Manufacturing Company based in Toronto. When not working, Kevin’s hobbies include music, cabinet making, running, skiing, travel, and spending time with friends and family.

Kevin says he is doing the trek because of his own Outward Bound Canada experience, "In 1980, I decided to enroll in 21 day Outward Bound Ski Mountaineering course in Keremeos British Columbia. The experience was life changing for me, teaching me goal setting, perseverance, and reflection. As a kid seeking direction in life, the program gave me the kick start I needed to focus and not only set meaningful goals, but also how to harness the determination to see them through. These skills have served me well over the past 36 years and I still often reflect on specific experiences from that adventure and how they shaped who I am today."

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

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Kili Team 2016: Alison Pitfield

On January 10 our 2016 Mount Kilimanjaro Team will be departing Toronto and heading for Tanzania (which will take more than a day of travel) and making preparations for their trek up the mountain for the adventure of a lifetime. 

You'll be able to get updates on the team's progress here on the blog but, in the meantime, we thought we'd introduce you to each of our Kilimanjaro climbers.

First up is Alison Pitfield. Alison is one of four Pitfields on this year's team, including her father, twin brother, and sister. Here's why Alison is doing this climb:

"Outward Bound is a very special organization that enables a broad range of individuals to expand and push themselves out of their comfort zones. I have been incredibly fortunate in my life to be a part of four different OB expeditions around the world and I can honestly say every one of these experiences has shaped me into the person I am today. Outward Bound's mission is to cultivate resilience, leadership, and compassion through inspiring and challenging journeys of self-discovery in the natural world. OB has multiple charitable programs including: Veterans Program, Women of Courage, Aboriginal Programs and Youth at Risk Programs. All the funds I raise through this climb will be donated to these programs, which will help to support individuals who are recovering from trauma or facing a major transition in their lives. By giving someone the opportunity to experience team-work, self-motivation, and show them 'there is more in you than you think'...this is better than any gift possible. Some of the best days of my life were on those Outward Bound expeditions, so please help me in giving someone a 'best day' too!"

To support Alison in her journey, please consider giving to her personal giving page here.