Climbs 8K Peaks
Thursday, July 20, 2000
"We're proud of the spirit of life that we carried through in our climb on Kilimanjaro...We live lifed to the fullest, which was our goal, in honor of many people that mean a great deal to us...."
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Climb for the Cure 2000
[Breast Cancer Facts]
The Kilimanjaro Climb for the Cure 2000 event consists of a seven-day hike to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro and a three-day safari in East Africa. The event will support the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation in achieving it's mission of eradicating breast cancer as a life-threatening disease.
This support will be accomplished by:
Their goal is simple: to light a candle on the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro in honor and celebration of the many women who have battled this disease.
Summitting Mount Kilimanjaro is a visible tribute to the courage of breast cancer survivors everywhere and will further promote education and awareness as a method of prevention of the disease. Climbing a mountain, like the fight against breast cancer, is accomplished "one step at a time."
Breast cancer is the leading cause of death for women ages 35-54. According to the American Cancer Society and literature published by the Susan G. Komen foundation, it is estimated that more than 1.8 million women and 12,000 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer during this decade, the majority of whom have no known risk factors. Statistics estimate 500,000 deaths will occur during this decade as a result of breast cancer. Yet research reveals that breast cancer is 90% curable when detected in it's earliest stages and that the mortality rate would decrease by 30% if every woman in need of a mammogram had one.
The Berg's enthusiasm for the event is not deterred by the fact climbing for a cause is not a new or original idea. They take comfort in the fact that they are not forging a new road but adding their support to a cadre of people who strive to make a difference fighting breast cancer by orchestrating outdoor adventure expeditions. Theirs is a personal story and they can use it to add to the long list of successes of other individuals and organizations who have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the fight against breast cancer by climbing mountains, kayaking oceans and riding bicycles across the United States.
Day 1, July 6: Depart USA for Nairobi, Kenya.
Day 2, July 7: In transit via Europe.
Day 3, July 8: Arrive Nairobi in early am. Airport pick up and shuttle to 4-star hotel in Nairobi.
Day 4, July 9: Private shuttle pick up at Nairobi hotel. Shuttle to Arusha, Tanzania. Final gear check.
Day 5, July 10: After registering with the park service, we will meet our porters. Porters are an integral part of our African journey. They become friends and provide insight into African culture and society. Their warm and energetic nature is a wonderful aspect of the expedition. We travel by jeep to the Machame trailhead. The drive winds through cultivated coffee fields and small forests of ferns and flowers. Our climb begins on the edge of a rainforest (elevation 6,000ft). Below the watchful eyes of the monkeys, we trek four-five hours to the Machame Hut (9,000ft) and set camp for the night.
Days 6-7, July 11-12: Leave the Machame Hut, cross a small valley and begin our ascent. The environment changes from heath forest to moor lands. These moor lands are littered with wild cactus plants called Senecios. Halfway up the trail we meet a river gorge and continue to the Shira Plateau (12,460ft). We will spend two nights at the Shira Hut, allowing plenty of time to properly acclimatize and explore the surrounding areas.
Day 8, July 13: Hike to Barranco Hut (13,500ft). From this vantage point, we will behold outstanding panoramic views. To our right stands the awesome Breach Wall, the largest ice and rock face in Africa. Breach Wall is famous for its climbing route, known as the icicle, first climbed in endless horizon of the African plains. Daytime temperatures are quite warm (80°), while nighttime temperatures often drop below freezing.
Day 9, July 14: We continue up the mountain, heading almost due east and rising just about 1,500ft. Our goal is to reach the Barafu Hut at 15,700ft, which takes approximately five hours. As we wind through beautiful and rarely traveled regions, we enter a high desert plateau, littered with volcanic boulders. Looking south we view the desert plains as the pinnacles of Mawenzi peak tower before us. At Barafu Hut we make preparations for the summit attempt. While our porters prepare the food, we spend our time packing and preparing for the next day's 2:00am departure.
Day 10, July 15: Summit day! Awake at midnight and prepare gear for the ascent. We begin the climb wearing head lamps until the predawn light is reflected off the African plains. Following a distinct ridge we approach the crater's rim, then traverse northwest along the rim to the main summit, Uhuru Peak (19,339ft). From here we can view the Bismarck Towers, rock pinnacles along the crater's rim and the hanging Rebmann Glaciers.
As the sun rises over Africa, we are privy to a panorama of incredible views. To the north stands Mt. Kenya (17,000ft) with its unique twin summits. This is the second highest mountain on the continent. The southern exposure reveals the sprawling plains of Tanzania and East Africa and Mawenzi Peak.
After enjoying the view from the top, we begin our descent down the Marangu Route on the southeast side of the mountain, setting camp at Horombo Hut. The sunrises are exquisite as we awake below the towering mountain.
Day 11, July 16: We descend through the lush green landscape of the Marangu Route and the festivities begin. The trail gate is marked with stores and huts where we spend time with our porters, celebrating the success of the climb. Continuing our descent we enter thick jungle lands. After reaching Marangu Gate we drive to Arusha.
Day 12, July 17: Begin the safari to the Ngorongoro Crater, one of the worlds most incredible natural wonders. Here we will encounter herds of zebra, antelope, buffalo, elephant, rhino, cheetah and hippo. As we drive through the crater we pass members of the Masai tribe, nomadic herders of the region. (The Masai travel in pairs or solo, carrying long spears for protection.) We will have the opportunity to visit the Masai village in which we observe tribal dance and local lifestyles.
Day 13, July 18: We continue to explore the nature and wildlife of the crater. In the early afternoon we travel to Tarangire National Park via Lake Manyara. We safari through Lake Manyara and observe the land of antelopes, baboons and gazelles as they are stalked by lions, cheetahs and hyenas. Lake Manyara is world renown for its ornithology and vast game reserves. From Lake Manyara we travel to the Tarangire River. This beautiful valley overlooks African grassland, sprinkled with acacia and baobab trees. This area is known for its variety of large mammals.
Day 14, July 19: We continue a full day of safari in Tarangire, then return to our hotel for last minute shopping and a farewell dinner in Arusha.
Day 15, July 20: Morning in Arusha and depart via private shuttle to Nairobi airport. Depart Nairobi for Europe and the USA.
Day 16, July 21: Arrive USA.