Wednesday, March 3

Sweet Success

Displaying the flags. We are honored to represent PHA and all of the supporters who have made this a success.

A view of the glaciers on the top of Kilimanjaro

Many heartfelt thanks to everyone who has followed along and supported us. The words of encouragement carry us quite a long way. Our success is not just ours, but rather, it is the success of every person who quietly followed the blog, of every person and group who helped donate or raise funds, of each hospital, PHA, and corporate sponsor who dedicated resources to this adventure, and certainly, of every patient and family member who is afflicted by PH-- this success is yours.

Despite the immense undertaking inherent in this trek, despite unforeseen obstacles (e.g. my illness), and despite any pervasive thoughts of doubt, we singularly forged ahead with grit and determination. We all agreed that summit day was the hardest thing that we have ever done... and it was done for the unified cause: a path to a cure.

Developing PH

Dr. Frantz's GPS altimeter.

Pulse ox documents an oxygen saturation of only 70%, heart rate of 129 beats per minute. Without doubt, the "thin air" of exteme high altitude was causing PH in the climbers.

A few video clips

Climbing Ravines while transversing the plateau

Over the river and through the wood, its into the clouds we go...

Climbing Baranco Wall

Her Majesty of Landscapes

Above... a daunting view of the majestic Kibo as our trek brings us ever so close. Standing before us, beckoning to us, we tingle with excitement and anticipation, squelching any self-doubt that may dance across our thoughts.
A picture of clouds? Look closer. Floating amid the clouds, you see Her Majesty peeking through (what a tease). When I first looked at this, I too mistook it as a cloud. Then, as realization settled through me, all I could think was, "Oh My God... we are going up there!"
Beautiful landscape of the Shira Plateau.

An Unexpected Surprise

There was a total of 12 climbers in our trek up Kilimanjaro. An unexpected but delightful surprise, this dirty dozen became a cohesive team, building friendships that will likely long surpass our short tenure on the mountain. Countless times during this adventure, the power of teamwork and friendship manifested itself in the most unexpected places.

Video from Shira Cathedral

We scrambled (climbing without ropes) up the slopes of Shira Cathedral as an aclimization climb, as well as for the spectacular views.

Early hiking