Dad and daughter duo conquer Mount Kilimanjaro for a good cause
A father and daughter duo has just returned home to Fredericton after experiencing an adventure of a lifetime.
Last year, Brian and Forest Jones set their sights on scaling the highest mountain in Africa together - Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. The plan became reality for the two this past December.
“It was insanely nerve-wracking,” says Forest Jones.
“The whole entire journey to get to the base of the mountain, I was constantly thinking of ‘What happens if I don’t make it up? What happens if you get sick halfway up?’ So all that’s left to do is your best and just walk for so many hours a day.”
It wasn’t just the physical climb the two had to contend with, altitude, nutrition and climate zone changes presented a challenge as they made their way up the mountain.
“Your extremes do go from plus 30 in the rainforest to minus 20, minus 25 at the summit,” says Brian Jones.
“Which makes it a logistical nightmare from a clothing perspective because you have to obtain all of these clothes – one minute you’re wearing a t-shirt and the next minute you’re wearing three layers and two coats.”
After five and a half days of climbing more than 19,000 feet, the pair made it to the top – just in time for a sunrise.
“It felt absolutely amazing, it was a lot of pain for the first six hours of climbing in the middle of the night,” says Forest.
“But once you get to a certain point, about forty minutes from the top, the hike there is just adrenaline.”
Much of the determination to reach the summit came from the desire to raise money for the “Feed the Lions” program for Leo Hayes High School in Fredericton, which helps students experiencing food insecurity.
The goal is $10,000 and so far, about $7,000 has been raised. Donations are still rolling in, and being welcomed.
“Even though it may go unseen, there are a lot of students who don’t have reliable access to affordable and nutritious food, and food stability is such a major issue especially in the winter months,” says Forest.