March 6 Success on Kilimanjaro
It's 7:30 in the morning on March 6th, Laurie’s birthday. This is Wally Berg with Berg Adventures, and I am calling you on behalf of Climb for a Cure from Uhuru Point, Freedom Point, the very top of Kilimanjaro. It's cold and windy, the sun has come up, this team is successful. The success is going on as I speak. A group of us summitted about 7:00 o’clock this morning, I am going to tell you about that, and others are still on their way to the top. We are proud; it’s been an exceptionally emotional and gratifying time for this group. Those of you back home may not understand how a big mountain like this keeps asserting the moment to you, you don’t stand around and relax in this situation. We are proud of our accomplishment. A group of us have summitted and started down, I am going to wait for the next group and give you an update. Dennis and myself were walking up here, very emotional, crying our eyes out, about 7 o’clock this morning... (premature end of transmission.)
Ok, I will try to pick up again with this. Dennis, Charlie, Larry, George, Paul, John, Angie and myself, came up to the summit together. Just behind us, I have been talking to them on the radio, are Bryan and the birthday girl Laurie, just behind them, with three Chagga guides, and I am talking to them on the radio as well, are Julie, Michael and Sharon. Some of us are beginning to descend because it is windy and cold. I am going to stay here on the top and keep you updated. We are having a really emotional time at the top. As I described Dennis and I walked up here together, really balling our eyes out. Larry and I were talking about Jim Lister as we came to the top, as we have a few times before, who is right now back in Canada and we know is with us, we are thinking of him as well. We are busy trying to get our photo-op up here, you've all seen the sign at the top, we have been busy trying to get our photos here. George is taking a Newfie photo, at the top of African sign, and of course Angie was up here with her Calgary Flames top for her photo at the top. Just before those guys left, John took out a photo of Jim Allen, and he and I photographed that and we put on a special place here at the top of Kilimanjaro. I am going to close now, I still have radio contact with the Chagga guides, and Bryan and Laurie, who are coming up just not far behind me, as I said, and Julie, Michel and Sharon who are trying to reach Stella Point, the Crater Rim, at this point as the sun comes up. Great effort on everyone’s part, exceptionally strong statement for the cause for ALS. We are all here for our friends and family back home. It is going to be an experience that is going to stay for this group for years and years to come. Thanks for the support for everyone back in Canada.
OK, This is Wally Berg again, it is just about 8am and I have an update for you. Laurie and Bryan and their Chagga guide just reached the summit and a wonderful, very powerful emotional time here. They are starting down on their descent following the others. There is no way I can tell you how many people we are trying to honor up here, the individuals we are giving thoughts to, but I should try to take it a little bit further I know. When Laurie was here, she left a pen and some other momentos in a special place here where we are leaving some thing. For als.independence.com, the website, there are a long list of people, I know many of you are watching this, and each and everyone of you were honored up here today by Laurie and all the others; that's als.independence.com. And there was a beautiful little saying on a laminated sheet along with the pen that Laurie left, that said “In memory of those who’ve climbed the mountain and those are still climbing.” I think that problem sums up our spirit and our thoughts here today as well as anything. I am still at Uhuru Peak, still on radio contact with the 3 climbers who are still coming; that’s Julie, Sharon, Michael and they’ve got 3 Chagga guides with them. They are still pushing, I am going to be here, hoping that they make all the way. If not, I know that they have at least made it to Stella Point and they are at the Roof Top of Africa, and they probably enjoying the view and they are really proud of their accomplishment. We will keep you posted in the coming hours as to how the other climbers are doing, and I will let you know when we all get back down to base camp safely.
It is 10 minutes after 9 on the 6th of March and I am really proud to announce that the entire, 12 member team of ALS, Climb for a Cure Berg Adventures Kilimanjaro 2004 Climb did stand on Uhuru Point, did stand on the summit today. When I got to the last dispatch I did, I got a radio call from Elias, one of the chagga guides saying that Sharon, Julie and Michel had reached Stella Point. That’s the crater Rim, it really feels like the top of Kilimanjaro folks, it is 19,000ft., you are on the top of Africa, it takes one hour and ½ to go from there all around the Crater Rim looking down to your right into the Crater of Kilimanjaro and off to other direction now across the expanses of Africa, still a long, long ways, big glaciers towering around you, it is beautiful but this people were very exhausted, they came on and I went back and met them, I saw they coming out on the crater rim, hand and hand with the Chagga guides, no thought of stopping, they knew they wanted to summit and they did make it.
So now we are heading down, and the accomplishment today will stand for a long time, great effort from a lot of really dedicated people. Thanks once again everybody back home and I got to say to the folks back home that I know that you thought that this efforts from this climbers were going to be very hard and I know that they thought it was going to be very hard but today as 29th time I stood on Uhuru Peak and I learn once again that it’s even harder than you could have known. Coming this high on the atmosphere always takes an exceptional amount of perseverance, strength, determination, more than you can describe. We didn’t lay around on the summit today and thinking lot things to say on this telephone, no one talked but me, we didn’t unfold a lot of banners, just know that on this people’s hearts, you were all with them. They put out a supreme effort today, they came to the top of the Continent of Africa and that effort will stand for a long time for the Cause they climbed for and for the great individuals they all are. Thanks again and we will report to you from high camp and from all the way down off the mountain tomorrow.