The Climb


      Scott: Just moments into our journey to the top of the world's tallest freestanding mountain, mother nature reminded us that she was in charge. Fortunately we were led on this week-long odyssey by Paul, Serafin and Johnny who were as much gurus as they were guides. And my fellow climbers and I only hours before complete strangers became fast friends. Tent life was dictated by the conditions, often frosty ones that somehow melted away with early morning song. [SINGING]

      Katie: What are we doing now? Hiking. What are you guys doing?

      Scott: Though trekking up to Africa's rooftop is no walk in the park, one of our porters was struck with malaria and injuries easily pile up. And the high-wire balancing act of our tireless crew never ceased to amaze. We dubbed them 'super heros.' Initially unbeknownst to me they'd nicknamed me too, I was 'Jesus' due to the beard. The terrain at times seemed other-worldly. The famed, daunting and dangerous Baranco Wall was a challenge, and at the same time the ultimate playground.

      Scott: What's that up there?

      Serafin: That is my office.

      Scott: An arduous but breathtaking five days on the books, the trophy was finally in sight. And with a whipping wind and plummeting temperatures we left our skyline setup for the final flight. In a body and mind-numbing midnight start we moved at snail's pace, headlamps and six layers of clothes, one monotonous step after another, seeing only the feet in front of us. It went on for seven silent hours. We pressed on past any hypothermia and altitude sickness and the dawn delivered our first real reason to smile: the sun over Africa's horizon. We'd reached Stella's Point. But our goal was Uhuru Peak and at 19,341 feet, with 37 miles behind us and glaciers now gracing us, we were finally rewarded with that iconic wooden sign. Summit success, where the hugs were plentiful, the pain disappeared, and fatigue never felt so good.