Summit on the Summit: celebrity Kilimanjaro climb begins today!

Standing 19,340 feet in height, Mt. Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain in Africa, and a popular trekking destination for adventure travelers. The mountain requires no technical skills to reach the summit, but remains a significant challenge none-the-less, which is why it often serves as the location for high profile, fund raising climbs.

One such climb, dubbed the Summit on the Summit, begins today with a number of celebrities joining the expedition, which hopes to raise awareness about the need for clean drinking water around the globe. The SOTS website says that more than 1 billion people do not have access to potable water and that every 15 seconds, somewhere on the planet, a child dies due to a water-related disease, such as malaria or typhoid. The expedition has partnered with the Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program, the UN Refugee Agency, and Playpumps International in order to deliver clean drinking water to remote places around the globe while educating the developed world about this growing problem.

The Summit on the Summit expedition is the brainchild of musician Kenna, who invited a few of his friends along for the climb. He is joined by rapper Lupe Fiasco, actor Jessica Biel, and adventure photographer Jimmy Chin, amongst many others, on the eight day climb that will take them to the Roof of Africa, passing through five unique climate zones along the way. If everything goes according to schedule, the team will stand at Uhuru Peak, the summit of Kilimanjaro, next Wednesday.

The expedition has multiple ways for us to get involved and follow along with the team as they make their way towards the summit. The official website offers a slick interface with all kinds of information on the mountain, the climbers, and their cause. You can also follow their progress and get updates through the team’s Twitter feed, which is found at @SOTSK. They have been tweeting about their experience since their arrival in Tanzania yesterday evening.

But more importantly, you can contribute directly to the cause by sponsoring a foot of the climb. The team hopes to get all 19,340 feet sponsored before they are done, with all funds raised going directly to providing clean water for people in need all over the planet. It’s a great cause with a dedicated crew, and it should be fun to follow along.