February 16 The First BCACL Team Members Reach the SUMMIT!
At 2:45pm I’m looking across at the sign of Uhuru, the very top of Africa and I do see Jan, Ray and Damian on the summit of Kilimanjaro, the first of our team to reach the top of Uhuru, Freedom Peak. We congratulate them, we are proud of them. More and more people are arriving at Stella Point, 19,000 feet. It’s a great day on the top of Africa. Wonderful things are happening for a team that deserves it.
It’s 4:00pm in the afternoon and I’m still standing at Stella Point. What a magnificent place. Try to look at our aerial photograph of Kilimanjaro to appreciate where we are. It’s a dream come true to be in a place like this, back home just try to let your imaginations appreciate where we are now at the top of Africa. The team continues to cross Stella Point. About half of them are walking over towards our Crater Camp and I’m looking down at the rest of the team climbing. And of course we are talking to everyone on the radio.
Now I want to talk about Brock Metcalf. Brock’s experiences on the mountain this week have given me a deeper appreciation of why I climb. I told him a few minutes ago he’s my brother and a man that I admire more than anyone else I know now. I know a mountaineer's passion in their eyes and I see it day in and day out in Brock Metcalf. We have been brothers in our efforts here and I know a lot of other people feel that way.
So Brock and his wonderful team, the trailrider team reached Stella Point and we had to do our conference about whether we would go on. You have to understand that it is a mile or an hour and a half walking around the crater rim to that little point called Uhuru that is 300 feet higher than us where a bunch of us are going to try and go tomorrow.
Brock talked to his teammates, his support team, he looked at me, I knew his answer when he looked at me and after we talked a bit more Brock said to me “I’m too high”. I broke out laughing and then crying because as a mountaineer I can’t remember the times that I’ve looked at my brothers around the world in high places and known, yes you are too high, which means that’s enough. We’ll be fine; we took it as far as the mountain wants us to go today.
So now Brock with his wonderful crew, including his African team which is huge and wonderful with their smiles and their spirit, it would have brought tears to your eyes. Actually it will because Star TV was here and I think we got good video tape of this. So not only to Brock but to Jordan, Paul, Luke and Andrew, job well done you are heroes, no one has ever done anything like this. We got to take it home now. What we’ll remember and appreciate during these high times in Africa will be with Brock and the rest us forever. So great job and thank you team!
This is Wally Berg and I’ve just come back to Stella Point. I descended down towards one of our climbers, Don Matthews who was giving it his all today but was moving slowly. I spoke with Don and decided that he needs to go down to Millennium Camp. So Don and his guides have turned around and are heading towards Millennium Camp.
Doc has reported that Brock’s team has reached Millennium Camp. So tonight Sheena, Cherry, Brock, Jordan, Luke, Andrew, Paul, and Don will be at our Base Camp with Doc and support staff. The rest of the team have reached the Crater Camp and are dreaming of the summit tomorrow.
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