Climbing Kilimanjaro

Climbing Kilimanjaro

Standing On The Roof Of Africa

Will the sun ever rise? That was the thought on everyone’s mind on the all-night climb to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

15 of us from two continents set out to climb Kilimanjaro earlier this month. We took the Machame Route, a path known for its steep climbs but with breathtaking panoramic views. We committed to climb the mountain in 6 days. 4.5 days up and 1.5 down. It was grueling, painstaking, and inspiring climbing 6 to 8 hours a day and then 24 of 30 hours leading up to the summit.

Our team was made up of pastors, businessmen, and a handful of young people—all with a passion to make a difference for 60 Zimbabwean orphans.

The night that we summited, we left camp at 11pm and headed for our final ascent up to reach the 19,341ft (5,865m) mark at Uhuru Peak (which means “Freedom" in Swahili). We climbed 8 hours through the night at 50% oxygen levels.

Our guides told us that we would climb until the sun rose, then we would be at the summit. That night, we all kept looking back hoping to see a light on the horizon. It felt like it would never come.

As I stood there on the side of the cliff in the frigid darkness, I couldn’t help but think, "Maybe that’s what the orphans feel like as they wait to be apart of real families, except no one’s told them how long they’re going to wait…"

This picture made the hard climb worth it.

Usually only 60% summit on the 6-day Machame Route, yet all 15 of us summited within an hour of one another. A miracle that surprised all of our guides. We were all determined and had our hearts set on one goal.

Upon summiting, one of the leaders of our trip reflected, “If you have a purpose, you can press through the pain.”

I think this applies in many areas in life and especially life running a company. At the end of the day, making a ton of money and pushing for maximum profits is critical to business success, but that’s not what will get you through the tough times.

It’s the purpose of why you started your company in the first place, the people you are reaching, and the lives you can impact that counts. Or at least that’s been the case for us.

As we climbed all 19,341 feet of Kilimanjaro, we soon realized that all of us had our own individual struggles. But one thing was clear, we couldn’t have made it to the top without relying on each other.

Who are you relying on to help you reach where you’re going? If it’s no one, or very few people, then you may consider inviting a few people to be apart of your life.

Everyone is climbing a mountain in life, why not climb together?

Uhuru Peak: Tommy on the Left in red. Tim on the right in black. 

(photo sunrise at the top of Africa by ben deuschle, cmedia)