Kyle Maynard, a congenital amputee, set out to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro (we talked to him before the trip) – and succeeded. It takes a typical climber about 5 days to climb Africa’s highest peak (at over 19,000 feet), and they had projected 15 for Kyle and his team. While climbing, Kyle’s arms started to swell up massively because of the mileage, despite his special gear, so they changed tracks…and went on a trail that had killed some hikers from Colorado just a couple of years earlier.
At one point, Maynard was climbing the western breach for 12 straight hours…and his crampons (spikes in his shoe) didn’t grab the ice, and he slipped four or five feet down the mountain. If the team leader (who had done several hikes) hadn’t jumped on him, Maynard would have taken out the entire team (since he was leading the pack). He actually thought he was going to die.
In the end, Maynard and his hiking crew made it to the peak five days ahead of schedule.
From letting loved ones know they were alive and well by posting with an iPhone (they had around 80% service) to lessons about sleeping bags (there are different grades, and they’ll affect how warm – and unfrostbitten – you’ll stay) to near death experiences, Maynard climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro by climbing with ONE duffel bag – and he is the only person to crawl up Mt. Everest.
What’s your excuse?