A team of visually impaired climbers representing the See Kili Our Way organization reached the summit of Africa’s highest mountain, Mt. Kilimanjaro, last week, claiming two records in the process. The group consisted of eight blind mountaineers and 17 sighted guides, and their successful summit was remarkable for putting the most blind climbers on top of Kilimanjaro ever. 13-year old Max Ashton claimed the record for youngest visually impaired climber to achieve the summit as well.
Standing 19,340 feet in height, Kilimanjaro is the tallest free standing mountain in the world and has become a major destination for adventure travelers. A typical climb takes roughly seven days to complete and there are a variety of routes to the summit, and while the mountain doesn’t require any technical skills to climb, its altitude often poses problems for those trekking its approach trails.
That didn’t seem to be the case for these 25 climbers, who kept an interesting blog of their adventures, and managed to summit as a single unit. The group was climbing to raise awareness and funds for the Foundation for Blind Children, an Arizona organization dedicated to helping the blind live full and enriched lives, often by beginning to assist them at a very young age.
Congratulations to the entire team. They are an inspiration to all of us.