Summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro & Our Tanzania Adventure

We made it.

IMG_1151 Noah and Jay at Uhuru

On July 1st our middle son Noah and I summited Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain on the African continent. It took a unique combination of physical, mental and emotional strength to make it to the top. The Kili climb was part of a three week adventure across Tanzania, starting with safari through three national parks including Serengeti, then our climb and ending with beach time and diving off Zanzibar Island.

We have three boys, and when they each turned five years old, I made a pact with each one: every five years, a father-son trip anywhere they wanted. Most of the five year old trips were water parks and most of the ten year old trips were baseball parks. At fifteen, things started getting serious with our older son Ethan choosing to go to Europe. Then Noah turned fifteen and took a pass… not interested. I kept pitching… it will never happen if you stop asking.

This spring, our friend Vib sent me a text message – “any interest in climbing Kili?”. I texted back “sure” and that evening, found Noah–18 years old and a couple months away from graduating high school–and tried again. Any interest in climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa with me? After three years of asking, I got my mark. “I would do that.”

I went from a nonchalant “sure” to committing to climb one of the world’s highest peaks in just a few hours. It would have been so easy to demur and let the entire idea go into the wind. We didn’t do that.

This is a journal of our adventure.

NEXT: Tanzania – Ready, Set, Go

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