Day 5…They Made It!

Day 5 (SUMMIT DAY) began at…oh what the heck, we’ll just cut to the chase and let you know EVERYONE made it to the summit!!! As mentioned in yesterday’s BLOG, everyone was up by 11pm, put on their gear, headed to the Mess Tent for last minute instructions and details, had a cup of tea and some biscuits, and started hiking up around midnight.  It’s a long, chilly night-hike, going very slow (pole pole…[poh-lay] slowly slowly in Swahilli), and stopping frequently to rest & keep hydrated.  A couple hours hike below Stella Point (picture below), which is a 40-minute hike away from Uhuru Peak (the highest point on Kibo), one of the most spectacular sunrises ever to be seen is happening.  As the sun rises, the temperature does as well and that feeling of “the light at the end of the tunnel” is realized and everyone’s adrenaline and excitement level begins to climb.  Once at Stella Point, the Team is surprised with a cup of warm tea (that the porters brought up for everyone) and a small rest period to enjoy the view at the Crater Rim. After enjoying the summit for about a half hour, it’s back down the mountain to Barafu Camp…but not on the same trail as hiking up on (the down trail is a lot shorter & more “make your own way”).  Once at Barafu, the Kitchen Crew has snacks and fruit juice (the most delicious cup of mango or pineapple juice you’ll ever have) ready for everyone to indulge on.  Before heading further down the mountain, everyone swaps out their summit gear for lighter hiking gear, packs up their Porter Bags, and then hikes down to Mweka Camp.  Mweka Camp is still a good 5-6 hour hike down from Barafu, and after all the hiking that’s been done so far it’s no” walk in the park” getting to Mweka Camp. Sean messaged on his way down how impressed he was with everyone’s will power today, how happy he and everyone are, and everyone is on their way to Mweka Camp.  Mweka Camp is situated in the thick part of the rain forest region on Kili and the sat phone signal may not be strong enough to send out any messages (it’s hit & miss), but we’ll let you know of anything we receive once we get it. Once at Mweka Camp, it’s a short-lived festive environment (Summit Day is a grueling day and a lot happens from Camp 4, up to the summit, back down to Camp 4, and then finally to Mweka Camp) and after a quick rest and warm and hearty dinner it’s time to hit the tents and get one of the best night’s sleep one will ever get! After they wake up in the morning and have breakfast, Sean and the Team will hike the final 3 hours to Mweka Park Gate where Sean will sign everyone off the mountain, they’ll take a bus down through the coffee plantations, and finally […]…read more

Day 4…Easy as 1-2-3

Day 4 (Barranco Huts/Camp to Barafu Camp) is done and over with, and we’re happy to report everyone made it to Barafu Camp (aka, High Camp). Everyone is looking strong, and have been given the green-light for the summit push. Day 4 started the same as all the others with fluids, warm water to freshen up with, and a hot breakfast. Gaspar “The Cook” is hands down the BEST chef on Kili, and without him the team would be eating freeze-dried nasty’s and bologna sandwiches instead of …for breakfast: porridge, eggs, sausage, toast, bananas …for lunch & dinner: pasta, chicken, steak strips (let’s just call it this and leave it at that!), stir-fry, vegetables, fruits, & chips (OK, french fries…and yes, you read this right!). After breakfast, it was up and over Barranco Wall, through the Karanga Valley, and onto Barafu Camp. Sean relayed back it was sunny and warm weather all day long, and at 15,000+ feet the sun’s rays are intense and staying hydrated is a must. Once at Barafu there is not a lot of time to relax before dinner and a brief nap, as everyone will be getting up in 6 hours (11pm Tanzania Time) to start their push to the summit. After dinner, and thanks to another great photo from Juliana Teles, below you can see the Fearless Guides (left to right) Theo, Filbert (aka, FBI), and Zungu giving important details and instructions on what to do before they leave and what to expect heading up…Thanks Kakas (Brothers in Swahilli), and without you and your Team this journey of a lifetime would not have been possible! Once back in their tents, everyone would be getting their gear ready (hopefully remembering to put their water bottles in their sleeping bags as they nap – so water doesn’t become ice on the way up) and taking a nap. The Team will be starting their ascent at midnight, and should reach the summit around 9am (both Tanzania Time). Once they wake up, it’s time to put on the layers of gear, get some hot tea and biscuits in their stomachs, turn on the head lamps, and up they’ll go. Finally, the other below picture is of Barafu Camp and Kibo sits silently in the background awaiting the Team’s arrival – Enjoy! Today’s shout outs go to Sheri, Aunt Becky, Aaron & Ruby, Nana Mary 98 Ystrday, Mom, Suz, Carol S., Shanna, Mike B., Nikki, Aunt Gail, Seth, Stef. Thanks ANDREA WITHROW, ADAM HARRIS, JOSHUA PAINTER, MARY JO, JIM, & BR MURPHY (ELIZABETH MURPHY), SKYLAR BROWN, and NICHOLE ZABLOCKI for the Crowdrise donations! Want to keep sending FREE satellite messages to the 2013 Kili Team, and encourage them to KEEP CLIMBING up Kili??? Sure you do, so visit at the top of the page click “Send a Satellite Message”, in the “To” field make sure to enter the code (satellite phone #): 881632511299, then type away and send. Your message will be delivered to them in Africa, on the […]…read more

Day 3…Check!

Day 3 (Shira Plateau/Camp to Barranco Huts/Camp via Lava Tower) started at 6:30am for the Team, and after another hot and hearty breakfast off they went towards Lava Tower and finally to Barranco Huts/Camp.  Today was a long day.  The Team hiked a lot longer in the morning before stopping for lunch and having an extended rest period near Lava Tower.  The reason for this is to allow the Team to spend as much time near Lava Tower as possible at an altitude above 15,000 feet before heading down to Barranco Huts which is just below 13,000 feet – aka acclimatization.  The “normal” person tends to feel the effects of altitude at around 16,000 feet, and we’re happy to report the entire Team felt great at this altitude.  After having lunch and playing around Lava Tower for a while, everyone hiked just a couple more hours and arrived at Barranco Huts around 3 pm.  Enjoy the below two pictures showing the hike down to Barranco Huts (and Barranco WALL!) and behind the Camp the summit of Kili (Kibo) for the Team to admire as they get closer and closer to her.  Sean messaged back everyone is feeling great, a little tired, and attitudes are awesome and everyone is excited (yet a little nervous) for tomorrow night (Summit Day!). Everyone is enjoying the text messages, so keep sending them!  The latest shout outs go to Garrison, Suz, Ben Heidi and Charlie, Stef, Ary Family, Lisa, Diana, Kathy, Aaron, Kyle, Christy, Tim, Caleb and Jackie, Abby, Ann, Mom. Keep sending FREE satellite messages to the 2013 Kili Team, and encourage them to KEEP CLIMBING up Kili! Visit, at the top of the page click “Send a Satellite Message”, in the “To” field make sure to enter the code (satellite phone #): 881632511299, then type away and send.  Your message will be delivered to them in Africa, on the side of Kilimanjaro…all thanks to USSecure Net! Don’t forget to donate and support this year’s CancerClimber Association’s Kili Climb and Serengeti Safari Fundraiser:  The Team is doing the hard part by hiking 15,000 vertical feet (Kili is the largest free-standing mountain in the WORLD), and all you have to do is click on the above link and in 3 minutes you’re finished! Thanks to photographer Juliana Teles for today’s images!…read more

Day 2…In The Books!

Day 2 (Machame Huts to Shira Plateau/Camp) is in the books, and we’re happy to report all made it to Camp safely and without any issues.  After getting a good night’s sleep last night, everyone awoke to an early morning wake up knock on their tents accompanied with hot coffee and tea.  While sipping on their coffee and/or tea (while still in their sleeping bags!), everyone would have started to pack up and get their day gear and porter bags ready for the day’s trek up to Shira Plateau.  Once out of the tents they had warm water to clean and freshen up a bit with.  Next was breakfast…more warm fluids, porridge, eggs, sausage (aka hot dogs!), and toast!  They will be burning a lot more calories the higher they ascend, so it is important to fuel the body as much as possible during breakfast.  After leaving Machame Huts (and no, they are not sleeping in huts…it’s just the name of the Camp) they hiked, and hiked, and hiked.  The rainforest gets lighter and lighter the further they hike up Kili, and by the time they reached Shira Plateau they will be at the edge of where it ends…and a different true beauty of Kili emerges.  About half way up yesterday they stopped for a warm lunch, and a little rest.  Once reaching Shira Plateau/Camp, it was the same routine as when they reached Machame Huts yesterday evening…warm water to wash up, relax a little, eat a warm and hearty dinner, and sit around the Mess Tent and read the day’s satellite phone text messages.  Speaking of, here’s the shout outs to those who sent some encouraging messages to everyone… Thanks to Shanna, Mom, Abby, Gail, Becca and Melissa, Jenn B., Aaron, Kayteebell, Diana, Don, Garrison, Pamm, Stef, Lisa, Tim, Gina, Tina, Alli, Danielle. Keep sending the satellite text messages! Send a FREE satellite message to the 2013 Kili Team, and encourage them to KEEP CLIMBING up Kili! Visit, at the top of the page click “Send a Satellite Message”, in the “To” field make sure to enter the code (satellite phone #): 881632511299, then type away and send.  Your message will be delivered to them in Africa, on the side of Kilimanjaro…all thanks to USSecure Net! That’s all to report on today, and again everyone is well, having fun, and in high spirits. Once everyone gets off the mountain and back to Moshi, Sean will upload & post the videos taken on the mountain.  For now though, watch the following video and share with everyone you know So you can see what the Team is seeing, enjoy the below two Shira Plateau/Camp pictures (again, all courtesy of our friend, cohort in crime, and photographer Juliana Teles!)…read more

Day 1…DONE!

Today was Day 1 up Kili, and Sean relayed back the entire Team made it to Machame Huts safe, sound, just a little tired, and in great spirits!  Once the Team arrived to camp, they got to relax a little and enjoy a HOT meal before turning in for the evening.  Day 1 started early in the morning with breakfast in Moshi, Sean’s earlier BLOG post, and an hour long van ride to Machame Gate.  Once at Machame Gate, Sean signed everyone in while the rest of the Team ate an early boxed-lunch and checked their gear one last time before starting a journey of a lifetime.  After a few hours of hiking, the Team stopped to refuel with a light late-lunch and then hiked another few hours to Machame Huts.  All is well with everyone, and check back here tomorrow to read about their trip up to Shira Plateau (Day 2)! The following is some information so you can encourage the Team to Keep Climbing up Kili!  For all your efforts in doing so, we’ll try and relay back some information and shout-outs (from the text messages you send to the satellite phone) from the day’s events.  Satellite messages will normally be downloaded and read during the end of the day after dinner…all the while, playing some card games before turning in for the night. Don’t forget to donate and support CancerClimber:  It’s incredibly simple… please share…and all proceeds go to support the Mobile Camp the CCA is creating (and it encourages the Team to Keep Climbing up Kili as they hear of the day’s total donations!). Take 5 minutes and read about this year’s Team at Send a FREE satellite message to the 2013 Kili Team, and encourage them to KEEP CLIMBING up Kili! Visit, at the top of the page click “Send a Satellite Message”, in the “To” field make sure to enter the code (satellite phone #): 881632511299, then type away and send.  Your message will be delivered to them in Africa, on the side of Kilimanjaro…all thanks to USSecure Net! Want to keep track of them on Kili?  Yes, you say! Well, it’s as easy as going to and checking back right here every day! Photo Courtesy of: Juliana Teles…read more

Heading up….

So… HERE WE GO!!! At breakfast and we’re all getting ready to head into the van to take us to Machame Gate! From there we’re heading up the mountain through the rain forest and the dispatches will be a little less frequent/detailed…. Sorry for that! On that note, send us text messages to the satellite phone and keep us company with some jokes, riddles (send us the answers!!!), encouragement, etc. It’s going to be a GREAT time!!! Thank you all for everything you’ve done to help us. It’s been absolutely amazing……read more

Not-so political Obama visit to Tanzania

Monday is a great day… minus the weather. It’s overcast and kinda crappy out, but that’s ok because I heard the conditions on the mountain are decent. Yesterday I headed to the airport a couple times to pick up the folks who are crazy enough to go on the trip this year…. And trust me with their lives… hmmmm. Later today I head back to the airport to pick up Kassidy. I’m sure she’ll be happy to be here since she’s the one who got left behind thanks to some storms in Detroit that caused her flight to be re-routed and not land in time to catch her flight to Amsterdam. I think she was worried about catching up to the group on the mountain, so I emailed her saying she had to make up two days, but not to worry because I left a donkey for her at the airport with a sign that had her name on it. I don’t think she got the email yet because I haven’t heard from her… either she is on her way here, or she didn’t get my sense of humor and is on her way back to the States! Haha. Last night, after everyone got here, we sat around the garden, had a couple beers, relaxed and talked about a LOT of things, but one thing that kept coming up was Obama’s visit to Tanzania in the next couple weeks. I know the folks here who are VERY well connected and they know all about his trip. I asked the people who just came in about it and apparently in the States and on websites, it’s being advertised as political visits, etc etc. Well, if you want the truth, read on….. I’m not going to go into politics and argue who’s better, who’s at fault to blame for things, I’m just going to point out facts so you know what really is going on… the president could be a republican, or a democrat and I could care less. I just want people to know what’s truly happening from (nearly) the horses mouth…. He’s coming here on our dime (taxes), on planes we pay for, to bring businessmen to invest in the country’s natural gas. Yep, it’s not a political visit AT ALL… it’s a personal business trip to make himself some money. He’s… I mean we’re… paying for the secret service to fly over here, his automobiles were too heavy and costly to transport, so he shipped over bullet-proof glass to replace the glass in the safari trucks. He rented out entire hotels on a safari, and he’s paying for it with our money to invest in his future through businessmen accompanying him to invest in natural gas. I’m sorry, but I don’t see one thing right about that…. Just had to get it off my chest. Sorry…. Anyhow… today we went into town (Moshi) and walked around checking out the stores, the culture, people, and local cuisine. It was really […]…read more


Super quick update on everything from here… Yesterday was great with the chicken gizzards (yuck), the parish visit, being with my good friend and his brother, the Father (both good friends actually), and meeting a family from Denver. Yep… I come this far from home (roughly 10,000 miles flying) and I meet a family that lives less than an hour from me in Colorado. Haha. I love how small the world is and what you can find out about people by simply being nice and by saying something we all too often don’t say anymore because our faces are buried in our phones and other technology…. “hi.” It’s a simple concept isn’t it, but think about how often people say hello to strangers anymore. It’s rare that people say hello because we’re all too involved in our own world and stuck in our personal bubble that we don’t look up at others to recognize their existence. It’s a shame. Maybe today say “hi” to a stranger. Smile at someone you don’t know… I bet it’ll affect their day. Either that or they’ll look at you like, “what the hell do you want???” Last night at about 2AM I randomly woke up and checked my email. It was a good thing because I got an email letting me know that Kassidy might not make her flight to Amsterdam, which would in turn make her miss her flight to Kilimanjaro today. Apparently there were some nasty storms in the Detroit area? Anyhow, she’s in the air right now heading to AMS and won’t make her flight to JRO, but will have some time in the city to get used to the time difference and then fly out (hopefully) tomorrow morning and arrive tomorrow night. Keep your fingers crossed!! Later today I’m heading to the airport to pick up April around 1pm (you guys will be asleep hopefully since that’s 4am Colorado time), take her back to the hotel, and then go pick up the rest of the group (except for Kassidy) around 7. It’s a fun drive and I’m sure everyone else (Tom, Deanna, and Mike) will be exhausted when they get here, so they’ll just want to crash. I’ll sit here on my laptop and do some work on a presentation/workshop I’m developing. Speaking of…. I’m developing a seminar that is going to help people achieve their personal goals and happiness. Any thoughts on what happiness means to you? Shoot me an email on what you’ve done to be happy and what you’re goals are. Maybe we can work together on them and I can help you achieve whatever you want!? [email protected] With that said… it’s time to clean up and get my day started. 2 cups of coffee down, my leg is shaking and I can’t sit still. I hardly ever drink coffee so my synapses are firing like crazy and I just want to act like Cornholio (anyone know who that is? Haha…. I need T.P. for my bung […]…read more


Soooo … My friend just gave me some food and I choked down as much as I could. She didn’t tell me what it was and I had no clue. It had the texture of goat tongue, a flavor I could only describe as interesting (but better than the lamb anus I had in Nepal, that’s for sure). Turns out it was chicken gizzard. Yummmm…. Blech.…read more

Hanging out in the garden

A lot of time when you get to a place you’ve been before, it feels comfortable and it’s great to see friends, and this time it’s just like that. I’m sitting in the garden at the hotel in Moshi, Tanzani getting things ready for the group to arrive tomorrow. Putting together the plans for tents, porters, guides, and even a toilet. Yep, we bring a private, portable toilet up the mountain so we can wake up in the morning, have a seat in the “office” and read your daily newspaper in peace. Ok, maybe not the newspaper, but we don’t have to hover over a hole in the ground and pray you aim is on target that day. When my buddy Filbert gets here, I’m heading out to the hospital to drop off some supplies, then off to the orphanage to do the same, and then to my friend’s new parish to do the same. Thanks to my mom and Karen and some others for helping out so much with equipment, etc. I know everyone is going to appreciate it and really be happy we’re helping After doing the good deeds, I think it would be time for a little rest, some more prep, and then maybe pombe kidogo (a little beer). After that, I need to get some work done and start prepping a presentation/workshop I’m developing. Speaking of… if there was one person in the world who has done something, cancer or no cancer, one lung or two, would you want to learn from that person and find out what he’s trying to share with the world so others can accomplish their goals as well? I think that’s about it from this end. Time to go to town and help some more people! While you’re going throughout your day, and you need a little inspiration, please check this out and share with everyone you know:…read more