Marc Middleton sent the following information in an email to the Growing Bolder team, his first report since arriving in Africa. Marc and Growing Bolder’s Wendy Chioji are in Tanzania to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro as part of the Survivor Summit, which leads cancer survivors and their supporters to the top of the world’s largest free-standing mountain. Before getting there, the climbers raised money to benefit LIVESTRONG.
We’ll be sharing Marc’s stories as we receive them. We also encourage you to like Survivor Summit on Facebook for updates and photos.
I’m receiving no texts or emails. There is no WiFi and the power went out today at the lodge for about 6 hours so the one old rickety computer with Internet access wasn’t working. Back on now but not sure for how long.
One thing that’s surprised me has been the LOUD thunderstorms. One woke me up in the middle of a pathetic night’s sleep. It was so loud that my first thought was that Mt. Kilimanjaro was erupting for the first time in a million years or so. When I wasn’t swallowed up in hot lava within a hour or so, I figured it wasn’t an eruption.
We had two orientation meetings led by Chris Warner today. As Bill will attest, he is the man. I love his message, his style and his passion for getting everyone up and back down. As he said, “I work for your mother not for you. You will return home alive.”
Chris is one of only nine Americans to ever summit Mount Everest and K2. Chris has also led more than 200 successful mountain expeditions. (Click here to learn more about Chris’ impressive experiences)
Today I shot some interviews with Wendy, Chris and Dr. Robert Masson, who is making the climb to support his sister, a cancer survivor. I’m trying to find time to interview LIVESTRONG CEO Doug Ulman, who will be my tent mate on the mountain.
The group is impressive and highly motivated. All are endurance athletes of some sort sans one. He’s a straight up sprinter.
We had a gear check weighing our bags and I, like everyone else, was a few pounds too heavy so I’m leaving behind a few items Chris assures me I can do without.
“All gear is group gear,” Chris told us. “There is no individual load. There is only group load.”
Dinner is in 30 minutes. The food at the lodge has been very good! We’re up early tomorrow for breakfast and then a 5 hour ride to the trailhead to meet our porters and get started.
I’m not optimistic about any getting any communications out once we start but I’ll try. So far so good but then again we haven’t started what we came for.
Miss you all. Much love.