Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Kilimanjaro Update

As previously mentioned a team of Ottawa executives and Doctors were going to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.

Here are the results of the Ottawa team I received from Jim today:
Through your support I was able to raise over $15,000 in donations for breast cancer. The team as a whole managed to raise over ½ million for breast cancer and there are still several large corporate donations pending so we expect that number to grow significantly. I have included a short summary of our Kilimanjaro climb below those folks who didn’t have access to my climbing blog.

One of the unexpected outcomes of the funding raising drive was getting to touch base with so many friend and colleagues who I don’t see on regular basis. I would like to thank you again for your support of me and the breast cancer research & treatment. I am confident your generosity will make a real difference.

Yours sincerely,


I returned from Africa last Friday and I am slowly getting back into the swing of day to day life here in Ottawa. I feel great. I don’t appear to have brought home any nasty African diseases or parasites. But like my climbing mates, I did lose weight in the climb (~10 lbs) but I am feeling none worse for it. Climbing Kilimanjaro was a powerful life experience. The mountain and climb were tough (both mentally and physically) but hugely rewarding. It did have its impact on the team, of a climbing team of 23, 20 of us summated. Two of our team (including the trip organizer) were overcome by Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) and were forced to descend. A third developed pulmonary oedema – a very dangerous condition where the lungs start to fill with fluid. As painful as it was (for rest of us and them) to give up on their dream of summating, there was no doubt that right choice was made for each of them. But to put this in perspective, the team had a success rate of over 90% which more than double the mountain average of 40% - no doubt a dividend on the months of training logged through 2008. The scenery on the mountain from jungle to ice field was breathtaking. The climbing team was a really remarkable and diverse group of people to spend 3 weeks with. Most the people on the team had never met before the climb but the common goal and bit of adversity really seemed to cement strong connections between us. The people and country of Tanzania were a captivating as well. People are warm and funny and quite a bit more laid back than a bunch of Canadian doctors and exec’s. We went on a short safari in the Serengeti after the climb. We were fortunate that this time of year the herds are migrating. We saw every African mammal I could name and lots ones new to me as well. Some like wildebeest and zebra’s we saw in herds numbering in the 10,000’s of animals. It is hard to find an aspect of the trip that wasn’t positive, that being said I am happy to be home and picking up the traces of my regular life which I am so fortunate to lead.

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