The Kilimanjaro YES I CAN climbing Team

Adventure means many things to many people.  To our group of six intrepid travelers it means spending 8 days climbing the highest peak on the African continent.  So we have gathered here near the boarder of Kenya and Tanzania to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro.  This photo was taken outside the hotel the morning after our arrival in Tanzania.

Our team from left to right:

YES I CAN climbing team in Tanzania









 Our Guides

Ridlon Kiphart (Sharkman) from Darby, Montana.  Ridlon has spent the past few years climbing high mountains in the Himalayas and is our most experienced climber.  His most recent accomplishment was summiting Cho Oyu at 26, 900’ in Tibet.  With his nickname, the Eveready Bunny, we think it’s possible that we may see Ridlon on Day one and then not again until the summit.  He just keeps going and going and going …

Carin Kiphart (Mantagirl) from Darby, Montana.  Carin learned technical climbing at Exum Mountain Guides in the Grand Tetons and spent summers growing up on the Continental Divide Trail. Being the only girl on the climbing team, Carin thinks that boys who use pee bottles are sissies and will show them that real girls aren’t afraid to get out of the tent at night!

Our Climbers

Jerry Braet from Mill Valley, California.  Jerry has never climbed a big mountain before and has been diligently training near his home and in Yosemite for the past six months.  Kilimanjaro is a huge bucket list adventure for Jerry.  Given the weight of water, Jerry is hoping to summit the mountain by drinking less that 200 oz of water a day.

Val Popescu from Houston, Texas.  Val is a computer programmer who enjoys hanging out in the mountains when he can.  His previous summit experience was topping out Mt. Whitney.  He says he is so driven that he hopes climbing with a group will slow him down.  Val has already been hit up for chocolate from some of the local children so we plan to secretly fill his pack with an extra 20lbs of Snickers bars and nick name him the Pied Piper.

Peter Fisher from Sarnia, Ontario.  Pete would probably rather take a bicycle to the top of the mountain and uses it as his training method of choice since he lives in a very flat part of the world.  This will be Pete’s first big mountain.  We brought Peter along as our resident comedian and hope he laughs his way to the top!

Jimmy Read from Houston, Texas is currently living and working in Mozambique so he is intimately familiar with Africa.  He’s recently become very interested in mountain climbing and plans for Kilimanjaro to be the first of many big mountains in his future.  To honor his home state, Jimmy plans to unveil a Texas size state flag on the summit.  Given the size and weight of the flag, we’ll see if the porters secretly leave it behind on day one.

We’ll be checking in daily to give you updates on how the team is faring all the way to the top.  We hope you enjoy sharing this adventure with us and that it inspires you towards your own goals and dreams!

Stay tuned!

Sharkman & Mantagirl

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