The Heroes Project is a non profit organization that supports climbing programs for wounded veterans by putting them on some of the highest summits around the world.
The Heroes Project and Ultimate Kilimanjaro® led Julian to Uhuru Point, the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. The expedition, called Operation Kilimanjaro 2015, put the team at the top of Kilimanjaro on Veteran’s Day, November 11th. It was our honor to host Julian on Mount Kilimanjaro and take part in his achievement.
Brooke Baldwin of CNN interviewed Julian live from the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.
In 2009, Ultimate Kilimanjaro® participated in the making of the award winning documentary starring Kristen Kenny. During her stay in Africa she contracted malaria but was saved by a $7 hospital stay. She realized the need for malaria medicine for locals, who often do not have access to it and cannot pay for it. Kristen started Malaika for Life, a nonprofit organization that has since treated over 40,000 people for malaria.
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Asha Leo is a British fashion model and television presenter. She began her career at age 13 by winning the Face of Sugar Magazine model competition. She subsequently signed with Select Model Management in London. By age 21, she moved to Nevs Model Management where she became an in-demand commercial fashion model working in Milan, Hamburg, New York, Miami, Seattle, Dubai, and Amsterdam. Throughout her career, Asha landed campaigns with Charles Worthington, Fat Face, Hot Diamonds, Head & Shoulders, Marks & Spencer, Nivea, Pretty Polly, Ri2k, Sears, Seventy, Sonnetti Jeans, Sony Mobile, T Mobile, The Body Shop, and Triumph. She has also graced the cover of several magazines including Stuff Magazine, Health & Fitness, Weddings, Arabella, Weddings, and Destination Weddings. Due to her Indian heritage, in 2004, Asha was chosen to be in the Kingfisher Calendar.
Upon graduating university, asha moved to New York to pursue modeling and television presenting. She has presented the 12 part series ‘Ibiza Exposed’ for Granada TV as well as hosted has hosted ‘Casino TV’ in Asia and ‘Cheats & Chat’ in the UK.
She is currently represented by Nevs Model Management in London, Ford Models in New York, Mega Models in Miami, Heffner Model Management in Seattle, Modelwerk in Hamburg, MC2 Models in Tel Aviv. She is represented by Innovative Artists in New York for Presenting and Acting.
What happens when a fashion model climbs a mountain? Not surprisingly, she faces the same challenges as everyone else. And no, being a model does not mean the rigors of trekking outdoors will cause her to break. Ultimate Kilimanjaro client, Jocelyn Luko-Sandstrom, climbed to the top of Kilimanjaro with a group of Hong Kong celebrities and models. She talks about her experience on Mount Kilimanjaro in the Hong Kong Economic Journal. Jocelyn is also featured in the new Adventures to the Edge documentary series.
What’s it like climbing Kilimanjaro? In this episode of Million Ways to Live, author and documentary filmmaker, Luke Sniewski, along with professional mountain guide, Eli Mamuya, show what it takes to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.
Luke: What you see behind me is the world’s tallest freestanding mountain. Mount Kilimanjaro is the pride of Tanzania and represents the social, economic and agricultural foundation of this region. Today on Million Ways to Live, we meet someone whose job is leading people as they achieve their lifelong dream of reaching the roof of Africa.
Eli: My name is Elibahati and I’ve been on top of Kilimanjaro over 100 times. The word Kilimanjaro is the first part Kilima means mountain. Njaro means God. For those who are living on the wind side of the mountain. This mountain helps us. As a source of rain, the people who are living around here. The eggplant, bananas, coffee, corn, beans. It helps alot with agricultural especially.
Luke: Eli has wanted to be a guide since early childhood. Growing up only one kilometer from the national park entrance, he spent his childhood talking to travelers. And the soft skills he learned made him the guide he is today.
Eli: I do enjoy working with people. The way I do inspire my clients to reach the top, I do encourage them to eat as much as they can, drink well, an stay positive.
Luke: Less than 50% of those that attempt to summit Kilimanjaro succeed, mostly due to the harsh cold weather conditions of summit day or because of succumbing to intense altitude sickness. Eli and his team manage the challenging task by conducting health checks twice daily and making sure everyone is eating and drinking plenty of water. Their best strategy for client success, however, is setting a slow and steady hiking pace.
Eli: I said, “Pole, pole.” “Pole, pole” meaning “slow pace, no rush.” And we even sometimes advise clients to stay longer days on the mountain because that helps with acclimatization. You get used to altitude, so they can’t affect you even getting to the very top.
Luke: We’re nearing the end of day four and all of us are feeling the altitude a little bit. We’ve got light to moderate headaches but we’re doing the best we can. We’re moving. We’re doing burpees and exercising at 4,200 meters. I don’t know if that strategy will pay off but we’ll see when we get to the top, if we get to the top. But our spirits are high. The porters are singing and dancing. And we’re getting good meals and we’re just going to keep it going.
Porters signing: Jambo, bwana! Habari gani! Mzuri sana!
Eli: “Hakuna matata” – basically this word is from Kenya – Kenyan Swahili – meaning “No worries.” While you are in Kilimanjaro we like to tell the clients “Hakuna matata” so you don’t have to worry. You are with the guides taking care of you. So hakuna matata.
Luke: Mount Kilimanjaro is symbolic for a life well lived. Throughout life there are peaks and valleys that are fun, challenging and stressful all at the same time. But regardless of what happens you need to keep moving forward one pole pole step at a time. And just like Kilimanjaro there are guides like Eli who want nothing more than to help you reach your goals.
Easily the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life by far. Eli, thank you so much for motivating, inspiring.
Eli: When will you come back again? Will you come back?
Luke: When my son is old enough to do it. Are you going to guide my son?
Ultimate Kilimanjaro had the pleasure of working with a documentary filmmaker who told the story of two friends, one Tanzanian and one American, who traveled to Tanzania to experience the ancient culture, the present-day poverty, and the eternal spirituality of his motherland. They also climbed Mount Kilimanjaro along the way.
The film, Kwanini: A Tanzania Journey, has won many awards and acknowledgements at film festivals, but your help is needed. There is currently a campaign to bring the movie to widespread theatrical distribution. Please help us support making this a reality.
Please take a moment, visit the website and watch the video for details.