Tag Archives: Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro

Mt. Kilimanjaro? Bring it on!

If I’m not ready to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro by now, I’d say it’s too late. Blake and I leave tomorrow to fly 14,000 kilometres around the world to Tanzania. The morning after we arrive we begin an eight-day trek that will take us to the top of Africa’s tallest mountain.

Striking a pose at Lake Agnes, above Lake Louise. Kili? Bring it on!

We’re climbing Kili to celebrate 15 years of marriage and also to raise money for our son Bennett’s special needs school. So far we’ve raised $6,895 (thanks everyone!), surpassing our goal of $5,895 (5,895 is the height of the Mt. Kilimanjaro in metres).

In the past three months during “training” I’ve taken nearly 1-million steps, walked 700 kilometres and trekked up the equivalent of 3,545 flights of stairs. On my best day I ascended 3,900 feet (1,188 metres), basically the elevation between our final camp on Kili and the summit. I’ve also had sore muscles, an on-again/off-again achy knee (currently ache-free, woot!) and exactly one blister (from a pair of fashion shoes, not my Raichle hikers).

Training for this trip has been highly motivating. I’ve been keen to walk more, climb more and hike more. Blake and I have done some amazing day hikes on our own and with the kids and it’s helped me rediscover the beauty of the Canadian Rockies.

Here’s the highlight reel…

Best View: Lake Louise from the top of the Big Beehive. Sept. 8, 2012. It was actually hot at Lake Louise.

From this height (2,270 metres), Lake Louise is, in a word, stunning. Or as my friend commented, “Bombay Sapphire blue.”

Most Rewarding: the Polar Peak loop, which included a ridge walk and navigating a rocky outcrop with a cable. We even saw a boy moose! Aug., 5, 2012.

The view from up where they blast avalanches all winter = sublime. And it was a beautiful 30C day too — with no wind!

Best for Kids: Tamarack Trail at Island Lake. It has enough elevation gain for adults, with cool distractions for kiddos (a stream, a rockslide and a view). Aug. 6, 2012.


Most Rewarding: Mt. Fernie. Its 1,188 metres of elevation (322 flights of stairs!) kicked my soft behind. I was sore for four days after, but it jump-started my muscle memory. June 30, 2012.

Our first summit of the summer. Yes, I really like that hiking outfit!

The climb up Kili and views from the top will be completely different than those above. I can hardly wait!

We reached our fundraising goal! Now, let’s go higher!

I am thrilled to let everyone know that Blake and I have reached our goal of raising $5,895 for Renfrew Educational Services! Thanks to everyone who’s donated and to all who have been so supportive of our cause — we couldn’t have done it without you.

Bennett won’t be there, but I hope he and his sister will be proud. I know they’ll be excited to see our pictures.

There’s still a month left until we start our climb … who knows how much more we can raise? Maybe $1 for every foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro ($19,341)?? Dare to dream!

Climbing Kili for a Cause: Update

It’s been a month since we launched our fundraising effort for our son Bennett’s integrated special needs school. To date we have raised $3,775 for Renfrew Educational Services in advance of climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in September.

Summit success on a Mt. Fernie training hike.

We have been wowed by all the support and we are on track to meet our goal ($5,895, or $1 for every metre of mountain from sea level to the summit). And, I am going to be on Global TV in Calgary to talk about the climb and the cause this morning (at 8:24 a.m.), so please tune in!

Over the past four weeks I have clocked 152 miles (350,000 steps) on my Fitbit, hiked to the top of Mt. Fernie in Fernie, B.C., dragged the children on a mud hike and spent more money than I thought was possible on outdoor gear at Mountain Equipment Co-op. I have yet to tackle the steps at Scotchman’s Hill but they are next on my hit list (Fitbit will be thrilled).

We are so keen to train for Kili, we dragged the children on a “mud hike.”

This training odyssey has not only helped me feel more prepared to tackle Kili in seven weeks, it’s led me to discover some great hikes for kids in or near Calgary — look for write-ups in future posts.

Tomorrow I fly to San Antonio, Texas with Bennett for the annual Chromosome 18 Registry & Research Society conference. I’m looking forward to finding out more about our son’s genetic condition (18q-), learning about the latest research and meeting other families with kids like Bennett. Everyone will have a different tale and I’m looking forward to hearing their stories, and sharing our journey with B.