After a week long venture, the Summit On the Summit team have reached the peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise awareness of the global clean water crisis. Congrats to everyone involved.
The thrill of conquering your fears especially in such a physically and mentally taxing environment can’t really be done justice in words. – Lupe Fiasco
January 12, 2010 (19,340 Ft, Mt Kilimanjaro) – Kenna, Grammy-nominated musician, philanthropist, “actionist” and mastermind behind SUMMIT ON THE SUMMIT: Kilimanjaro, was joined at the top of Africa’s largest free standing mountain with fellow climbers Lupe Fiasco, Isabel Lucas, Emile Hirsch, Jessica Biel, Santigold, Elizabeth Gore, Alexandra Cousteau, Bernise Ang, Kick Kennedy, Simon Isaacs, Michael Muller, Jimmy Chin, Melissa Arnot and Dr. Greg Allgood. In an unprecedented movement, millions of people joined the climbers for the week long trek on www.summitonthesummit.com, where they were also able to be a part of the world’s first virtual mountain climb and literally follow their favorite climbers to the top.
After a successful climb that saw each and every person on the expedition reach the top of Kilimanjaro, Kenna reflected, “Even with as many grandiose illusions that I have had, this has gone beyond my wildest dreams and expectations. The influencers, educators, staff, crew, and publicists have literally braved this on behalf of the world and in a personally meaningful way on behalf of my father.”
Fellow climbers Lupe Fiasco and Emile Hirsch shared their thoughts after summiting. Hirsch said, “The last 48 hours have been the most intense and physically grueling experience of my life, miraculously we all made it to the top together. To have such a complete success for such a worthwhile cause – the global clean water crisis – more than reaching the summit is what is really satisfying ” Lupe added, “The thrill of conquering your fears especially in such a physically and mentally taxing environment can’t really be done justice in words.”
After six intense days of hiking and climbing, the group set out for their final trek at 1:30am local time and after nearly seven hours reached the Uhuru peak which generally has only a 75% success rate. Each participant battled a plethora of physical and natural elements over the past week to make the ascent. Between coping with weather ranging from rain, hail, snow and the effects of altitude, including headaches, dizziness and fatigue among other ailments all made the over 50 mile journey that much more arduous. Immediately after summiting, the group descended for an additional six plus hours of hiking to 12000 feet, where they will make their final night of camp.
SUMMIT ON THE SUMMIT: Kilimanjaro was a call to action to raise awareness of the global clean water crisis and funds to benefit The Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and Water For People’s Playpump Technology. The expedition and the dramatic final ascent were also recorded for a special documentary that will air on MTV on March 14th at 9pm/8pm CST. The documentary is being produced by Radical Media, Procter & Gamble Productions and Fury League Inc.
For Kenna, the vision behind SUMMIT ON THE SUMMIT: Kilimanjaro stems from his drive to create a greater good for our youth and has personal meaning as his father was deeply affected by water-borne illness as a child in Ethiopia and his uncle had passed away from a related illness’ as well.
The climbers of SUMMIT ON THE SUMMIT: Kilimanjaro have been blogging and discussing the issue of water alongside educators who are leaders at the forefront of global issues. As a team they have been learning of solutions to the problem, discussing how to improve social awareness and embracing the idea that they are now an example for influencing ways to take action and giving back to those with little or nothing.
Kenna added, “I also can’t be more thankful for all the people that followed us, donated and have fought the global clean water crisis with us.” Supporters followed the action and were able to interact with the climbers through the SUMMIT ON THE SUMMIT: Kilimanjaro website (www.summitonthesummit.com) which has been updated daily with photos, videos and information about the climb and the cause. There has also been a major presence and call to action on Facebook, Twitter (@sotsk) and dedicated climber blog (www.sotsk.tumblr.com).