R.A. Dickey today reached the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest point in Africa. Here is part what he had to say in his piece in the New York Times:
“We had been briefed at our 5 o’clock dinner that night that we were leaving for our summit attempt at 10:30 p.m. sharp. This was for two reasons. First, as we ascend the mountain, the rocky skree that litters the steep trail to the peak will be frozen and less likely to give way under our boots. Second, leaving at that time would allow us to reach the summit as the sun was peeking up over the eastern glacial ridge. However, I believe that there was a third reason, one the guide intentionally never discussed. Psychologically, if we were able to see the sheer steepness and distance of the trek, it would have been defeating.
Our departure time came, and we were dressed in our best cold weather gear. At the time we took our first steps from base camp, the temperature was in the single digits and the wind was sharp. We had our headlamps on and could see far above us the dim light of a group of other climbers, evidence that we were not the first ones in what could be a long queue up the mountainside.”
“The view was unforgettably magnificent, as incredible as anything I have ever seen. But as I took time to contemplate, I realized that the reason the view was so rich was the overall experience of the trek. We had walked approximately 40 miles and climbed 13,000 feet since the beginning of the journey, overcoming all kinds of adversities. All the while, we were building relationships with everyone from the porters to one another, sharing in our triumphs and helping one another in times of need.”
Congrats to R.A. on making the incredible journey up the mountain. Remember, you can still donate to the Bombay Teen Challenge, an organization trying to end human trafficking in Mumbai, India. Dickey and his team are just about $15,000 away from reaching their goal. The deadline to donate is January 31.