Climbs 8K Peaks
Tuesday, August 24, 1999
Okay, Mountain Zone. I want to get you a report from Uhuru, from the very summit of Kilimanjaro.
Very good newsvery demanding day for all of us. I'm just up here by myself, as others have started down. We didn't all get to be on the summit together. I mentioned as we started out this morning that the mountain always gets the last word. The mountain had the last word, in the sense, today, that it was giddiest conditions: blowing ice, cold wind. We just weren't able to stay up here and wait for one another. But, myself, and Tobias, and James, and Johnand Sally was helping a great deal, toowe spread ourselves out.
Tears were shed, a very emotional time for everybody as they got up here. Our hearts are with Sue who turned around early. I know it was a 40-year dream for her to come to this mountain and she's certainly done it now, in a sense that she's been on this mountain and traversed high across it, but the true summit was not hers today. John was having terrible stomach troubles earlier and turned around, but everyone else on the trip made it.
I walked up here, Bill Lively was standing near the summithe had nearly turned back earlier after he left Stella Point. After he ended up going on, he and I embraceda very emotional time. Here's a guy, the President of Up With People, he's in the business of being positive, believing in people, and helping people spread that word to others, and it was great to be up on the summit with him. He's thinking of his family and asked me to send along that he made it and he's feeling good about himself. And I can't do that for everyone, but I can tell you that the camaraderie, the spirit that we all shared up here today is what mountaineering is all about for me. I mean, after the professional climbers that I go to the high summits with, I mean that, when I come to Kilimanjaro. The bonds and friendships last for a lifetime that you form in a place like this.
Alpine Ascents Guide Wally Berg, MountainZone.com Correspondent