Today myself, Liana Middleton along with my husband, Todd Middleton and my father Barry Mcnish will begin our journey to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa. This is Africa’s highest peak and the world’s highest free standing mountain standing at 19,341 feet above sea level. Due to the high elevation with fifty percent less oxygen then what we now breathe, the severely changing temperatures of +25 to -25 and dangerously high winds this will probably be the hardest thing we ever do. We will be climbing with a company called Climbkili along the Lemosho route. This route is considered to be a more dangerous route because of the time on the mountain and the amount of climbing required but also the most beautiful and better chance of success because we will have more time to acclimate. We will travel through five different ecological zones: rain forest, heath, moorland, alpine desert and finally arctic glaciers.
8 Days Lemosho Trek: September 13- September 20
Day 1: LONDOROSSI GATE to MTI MKUBWA 7,742’~2,360m ∙ 3 mi~4.8 km ∙ 3-4 hrs
After a restful night at the hotel, we begin our trek from western side checking in at the Londorossi gate with a starting altitude of 7,742’~2,360m. The trail with gently ascend through the montane forest until you are welcomed into camp under the Climb Kili banner with tents set up and your personal belongings inside. Tonight’s camp is nestled in the Kilimanjaro rain forest at the Mti Mkubwa which in Swahili means Big Tree.
Why are we doing this trek?
Fifteen years ago when my son, Jordan was diagnosed with a very rare genetic disorder as well as autism I felt fear for what his life would be like socially and physically. There have been many challenges over the years but thanks to Special Olympics my son and all those who attend can have the sense of belonging for friends are bountiful and acceptance is unmeasured. I know that each child who attends will have the support that is needed for their individual abilities or disabilities. I look at my son and the incredible athletes who attend Special Olympics and I know that every day of their lives they must climb their own mountain. So on September 13 we will climb our mountain in honour of our son, all the athletes and a family that we call Special Olympics.
We can’t do it alone just like our athletes can’t do it alone so please help in any way that you can to support Special Olympics and giving them the resources needed to provide inclusion, ability and acceptance. We thank you.