TANZANIA – City of Cornwall’s official flag was proudly displayed this week on the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro.
Also displayed on the “Roof of Africa” was Canada 150 celebrations flag to mark the country’s confederation anniversary.
Mount Kilimanjaro in northern Tanzania is 19,341 feet.
“We did it,” an excited Cathy Chumley told me. “Eight members of our team were able to make it to the “Roof of Africa” at the Uhuru (Freedom) Peak.”
The team of Cornwall, Quebec and American residents – all hiking buddies – had been preparing for this hectic and sometimes difficult trek for months.
“We all agree it was the hardest things we have ever done,” added Chumley.
Suzzanne Biro, also a resident of the Seaway City, agreed.
“This amazing adventure was strenuous, exhausting, fantastic, incredible and rewarding.”
She said all 10 team members reached Stella Point and eight of them were “lucky” to make it to the summit.
Making the final accent to the summit began at 11 p.m. at night and the successful climbers made it to the summit at 10 a.m. the next day.
Team members were Chumley, Kathy Maguire, Sandra Tosatto, Ted Biro and his daughter Suzzanne, all Cornwall residents, Christine Buckley, Michelle John and Weston Farrell made it to Stella Point.
Two members did not make it to the summit.
Chumley said most members suffered from minor symptoms of altitude from nausea to light headaches.
The team had four guides and four in case someone needed to be brought down.
“Our pace was very slow due to the altitude,” Chumley said. “At times it was a struggle to keep walking in the dark, fighting the cold and making sure we breathed.”
As the team got higher, they noticed some hikers being brought down with assistance as they were suffering from altitude sickness.
“We all tried to stay positive and pushed through.”
Chumley said their G Adventures, a company specializing in adventure travel, were simply amazing.
“Some of us wanted to give up as it was very cold,” Chumley continued.
To raise the team’s spirit, some guides and porters entertained them with traditional singing.
“The final push was exhausting,” said Chumley adding it was amazing when they reached the summit.
“There was not a cloud in the sky. “It was a great feeling.”