One of the most compelling experiences for any adventure traveler is a climb to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa. Standing 19,341 feet (5895 meters), Kili is the tallest mountain on that continent, and while it is a non-technical climb, the trek is a significant challenge nonetheless. Still, it is within the reach of just about anyone who is in reasonably good physical condition, and has the determination to get to the top.
Last February I was fortunate enough to make that journey myself, traveling with the amazing guides, porters, and support staff of Tusker Trail, which is – for my money – the best outfitter operating on the mountain. Every aspect of a Tusker climb is top notch, including the incredibly knowledgeable guides, excellent cooks that have been trained by the Culinary Institute of America, and the tents and other gear that are used along the way. In fact, I’ve never seen a company take such good care of its clients, conducting twice-daily medical checks to ensure they are healthy, strong, and capable of continuing the climb.
To say that I came aways impressed with Tusker’s operation would be a vast understatement, and it was clear that they put a lot of effort into making each trek special for the travelers. But, I wasn’t on just any Tusker trek. I went to Kilimanjaro to take part in the inaugural Climb for Valor, a special fundraising expedition that was conducted in support of Duskin and Stephens Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting the families of fallen U.S. Special Operations Soldiers. On last year’s Valor Climb, Tusker raised more than $50,000 for the organization, with all the proceeds from the trek going to that great cause.
The first Climb For Valor was such a success that the Tusker team is doing it again, and this time you can come along. Not only will you get the chance to climb Kilimanjaro with the best outfitter there, you’ll be doing so for a good cause as well.
The 2016 edition of the climb will take place April 24 – May 4, and will cost participants $4990. Additionally, the goal is to raise another $50,000 for the Duskin and Stephens Foundation, so participants in this very special climb are also requested to help raise funds to meet that goal.
When you join this trek, you’ll also be joining two U.S. soldiers who were wounded in the line of duty. Those two men will be a part of the team, and you’ll get to hear their stories first hand throughout the journey. I can tell you from firsthand knowledge that it is a very moving and inspirational part of the experience.
The Climb For Valor already has a number of participants joining the team, but there are still several slots available for those who are interested in climbing the tallest mountain in Africa, and helping families of fallen soldiers along the way. For more information, visit the Tusker Trail website.
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