News July-September 2009

Climb for British Heart Foundation begins today
Posted by Henry at 8:42 am, September 26th 2009.
As I write this, Aman Modi from the UK will be just setting out in an attempt to reach the top of Kilimanjaro. In doing so, Aman hope to raise money for the Britisih Heart Foundation. It is a charity that is particularly close to Aman, after their father passed away through heart disease last year.

If you wish to sponsor Aman’s efforts to reach the top of Africa’s highest mountain, you can do so by visiting the justgivin page as follows:

We wish Aman every success in the climb.

Climb for children’s village
Posted by Henry at 9:39 am, September 23rd 2009.
Between October 7-13 this year Hussein Alidina and friends Christina, Farhad and Paula will make a charity climb in aid of the SOS childrens village in Arusha. We have an ambitious target. They are hoping to raise the ambitious target of CA$15,000, which they estimate will be enough to enable 5 orphans in Arusha to have a home, an SOS Mother, food, clothing, school & medical care for a year.You can find out more about SOS by visiting .

We think it’s a very worthy cause; if you’d like to donate, you can visit their donating page at

[ADDRESS NO LONGER VALID] We wish them all well in both their fundraising and their trek.

Climb for MacMillan Cancer Relief
Posted by Henry at 11:11 am, September 19th 2009.
In Oct 2010 Maria Munro from the UK will be attempting to climb Kilimanjaro in aid of Macmillan Cancer. The charity is particularly close to Maria’s heart, for in 2005 Maria’s mum was diagnosed with brain cancer. Maria’s stated aim is to raise £4000 for the charity, which to judge by her efforts so far will be a breeze: in the past month she has already raised £758 by hosting a women’s ‘Pamper’ evening and a gig by local ban The Locks.

You can follow Maria’s progress both in raising sponsorship money and training for the climb by visiting her weblog . You’ll also find details there on how to sponsor her, or you can go straight to her justgiving page at

We do of course wish Maria every success in raising cash and, of course, in getting to the summit. GOOD LUCK MARIA.

Roman Abramovic’s climb – the truth (well, as far as we know)
Posted by Henry at 11:09 am, September 15th 2009.
As you are all probably aware, billionaire and Chelsea owner Roman Abramovic recently failed in his attempt to conquer Kilimanjaro. There are tabloid papers in the UK that are running pictures of Roman on the mountain today.

To be honest, some of us are relieved that a high-profile climber didn’t manage to reach the top: following Comic Relief’s successful climb in which all nine climbers were said to have reached the top (though we have heard reports from some people who were closely associated with the climb who say that this wasn’t the case anyway), at least Roman’s experience proves that it is not as easy as the Comic Relief climb would have you believe. We received a rash of ‘I want to climb Kilimanjaro’ emails from people following the Comic Relief climb, but it was clear that a lot of them were from people who had no idea what it entails, nor how difficult it is, but who had been inspired by seeing Chris Moyles et al make it to the top.

Anyway, reading about Roman’s climb in the Sunday newspapers, we have been made aware of a few inaccuracies in the reports. So here is what we believe to be an accurate summary of the climb.

Roman climbed as part of a group of six, together with a crew of around 113. The company he used was African Environments. Contrary to earlier reports, he did not climb via the Western Breach but instead took the Lemosho Route via Barafu. And it was at Barafu that he decided to stop after consultation with his doctor, having suffered from a bad cough since the first day of the trek. Apparently there was a strong possibility that he could have made it, but it was decided in the interests of safety not to go any further.

It was not the altitude and a lack of acclimatization that prevented him from attempting the summit climb.

The rest of his party continued the climb and made it to the top. Hopefully, the experience hasn’t put Roman off and he will make another attempt on the mountain soon.

Chelsea owner climbing Kilimanjaro
Posted by Henry at 9:25 am, September 6th 2009.
As I write this, the owner of Chelsea Football Club, billionaire Russian Roman Abramovic, is currently attempting to reach the top of Africa’s Highest Mountain.

Abramovic, in Tanzania on a private visit, is making the assault together with six friends and bodyguards. He is hoping to reach Uhuru Peak via the 8 day Shira Route on the western slope of the mountain, via the Western Breach Wall.

Before the climb, Mr Abramovic arrived on a Boeing 747, a 200 seater jet for just his entourage, and stayed at The Rivertrees Inn, which was sealed off to outsiders during his residence.

The best website on Kilimanjaro’s changing climate – bar none
Posted by Henry at 3:25 pm, September 4th 2009.
Just thought I would point you in the direction of a superb weblog site by Dr Doug Hardy, one of the meteorological team from the University of Massachusetts that has done so much since 2000 in explaining the disappearing glaciers on Kilimanjaro and other natural phenomena. The weblog can be found at:

In it you’ll find all the very latest info on their research, as well as links to papers they have had published recently (and those boys clearly work hard, to judge by the amount of articles, interviews and papers they publish each month).

Really, if you have any interest in Kilimanjaro’s climate and glaciers, this is definitely the first place to look. It’s just wonderful.

New record for youngest girl to climb Kilimanjaro 
Posted by Henry at 8:36 pm, August 24th 2009.
Tanzanian Silipa Swai, daughter of Cuthbert, the boss of Moshi-based trekking agency Ahsante Tours, has broken the record for the youngest female to climb Kilimanjaro. She reached the summit on 20 August 2009 at 3.06pm, which means she was 10 years, 1 month, 1 day and 22hrs when she reached Uhuru peak, the summit of Kilimanjaro and the highest point in Tanzania.

She beats the previous record, held by Kaylee Moniz of the USA who was 10 years and 3 months old when she reached the summit on June 20, 2008

We do, of course, congratulate Silipa Swai – and her dad! – on her remarkable achievement. Fantastic!

New blog on Kili
Posted by Henry at 7:44 am, August 23rd 2009.
We’ve just been sent details of a new blog on Kili. [ADDRESS NO LONGER VALID] is named after the height of Kili, as we’re sure most of you know. It’s written by David Dean and is about his climb with two friends on Kilimanjaro in aid of diabetes UK. It’s not a large blog and is amusingly written, so if you fancy getting a trekkers’ eye view on the climb, this is a diverting website.

Macmillan’s Mr Challenge attempts fourth expedition on Kilimanjaro 
Posted by Henry at 2:50 pm, August 20th 2009.
Next October David Knight will be climbing Kilimanjaro with Macmillan Cancer Support. Nothing unusual in that, of course, except that this will be the fourth time that he has undertaken one of the cancer charity’s challenges, having previously ‘done’ the Inca Trail in Peru in 2004, the Grand Canyon Hiking Challenge in 2006 and the Nepal Hiking challenge in 2008.

If you want to sponsor David in his endeavours next year you can visit his JustGiving page at

We do, of course, wish David every success in what he admits will be his toughest challenge yet.

Jack’s very own justgiving webpage 
Posted by Henry at 2:29 pm, August 11th 2009.
Following on from the news this week of Jack Harley-Walsh’s record-breaking climb, I have been advised by his handler/agent/mum that he has his own justgiving webpage, should you wish to donate to his charities.

The address is

I hope to have more details of his climb soon.

Ten-year old Jack Harley-Walsh successful in his climb! 
Posted by Henry at 2:18 pm, August 10th 2009.
I have just received a couple of pictures – no text, just pictures – that proves that Jack Harley Walsh has successfully summited in his attempt to climb Kilimanjaro. I have no details yet, but I think this makes Jack the youngest Brit to successfully scale Africa’s highest mountain.

Will bring you more news when we get it. Until then – NICE ONE JACK!

Ten year old climbs Kilimanjaro for charity
Posted by Henry at 6:53 am, August 5th 2009.
As I write, a ten-year old boy from Berkshire is attempting to become the youngest Brit to conquer Africa’s highest mountain.

Jack Harley-Walsh, of Ascot, is trekking with his mum. He’s already given himself the best possible chance by conquering the neighbouring peak of Mount Meru – the perfect acclimatizqtion trek for Kili.

Jack is collecting for two charities, the Thames Valley and Chiltern Air Ambulance Trust and Sebastian’s Action Trust; the latter is a small local charity that was set up in memory of Sebastian Gates, from Binfield, near Wokingham, who died of cancer in 2003 aged nine. The trust runs a holiday home where sick children can visit with their families.

You can sponsor Jack and donate to his worthy causes by visiting his webpage at

We do of course wish jack every success with his climb and will let you know how he gets on.

We’re on the mountain again
Posted by Henry at 10:32 am, July 25th 2009.
Just to inform everyone that we are going back on the mountain from tomorrow until the 2 August. Please do keep on sending in your emails as usual: your photos for the Hall of Fame, your experiences and anecdotes about your time on Kilimanjaro, your news about forthcoming climbs and your enquiries about climbing with us – and I promise we’ll answer them all as soon as we return back down to Earth.

Thanks for your patience over the coming week or so. Look forward to reading all your emails when we return!

Blind climbers reach summit of Kilimanjaro
Posted by Henry at 5:52 am, July 17th 2009.
After a year of intense training, a group of blind climbers along with sighted guides from Phoenix-based non-profit Foundation for Blind Children, reached the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa on Monday, June 29, 2009 via the Machame route.

The entire team of 25 hikers started the trek up Mt. Kilimanjaro on Tuesday, June 22, 2009, and was guided by Expedition Leader and Foundation for Blind Children board member, Kevin Cherilla, from KC Summits. The team consisted of 8 blind climbers and 17 sighted guides.

Reaching the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro at 19,340 ft. is an incredible feat in itself, but climbing blind is an entirely different story. Indeed, as they themselves boast, there were some remarkable individual feats among their party. It is possible, for example, that one of their party, Thomas L. Hicks, was the first blinded US veteran to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro, or that another, Adam Messler, was the first albino to summit Kilimanjaro. It’s also possible that a third member, Max Ashton (13), son of Foundation for Blind Children CEO, Marc Ashton, is the youngest blind climber to summit – though there are plenty of other rivals to that crown.

Nevertheless, their feats are astounding. As experienced Kili guide Nickson Moshi, who has guided over 200 groups to the top of Kilimanjaro, said: “This is very rare to have such a large group all summit, but to summit together with two children and 8 blind climbers. Truly remarkable.”

Full details about the entire climb can be read in the blog featured on [ADDRESS NO LONGER VALID]

Congratulations to everyone involved.

9-year-old reaches Gillman’s Point
Posted by Henry at 12:39 pm, July 13th 2009.
On July 2, nine-year-olld Parker Phillips from Sterling, Virginia, reached Gillman’s Point on the crater rim of Kilimanjaro, an altitude of 18,638 feet.

While not the youngest person to reach the crater rim – Keats Boyd from Los Angeles reached Uhuru Peak, the actual summit of Kilimanjaro, on 21 January 2008 aged just 7 – it was nevertheless a good effort by Parker. As his father, Todd Phillips, who was also on the expedition, says, “It’s interesting to note that in climbing to Gillman’s Peak at 18,638 feet Parker has already climbed higher than the summit of Mt. Elbrus, Mt. Vinson, and the Carstensz Pyramid.”

We congratulate Parker on his achievement.

Kilimanjaro news stories October-December 2009 >>