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Old age is a joy. How to conquer Kilimanjaro at 80?
Mount Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain in Africa and the tallest free-standing mountain in the world, its summit is 5895 meters above sea level. Every year about 30 thousand people try to climb the mountain, but not all reach the peak. Fred Distelhorst, Angela Vorobyova and Werner Berger are undoubtedly the exception to the rule. They are over 80, but they were able to conquer the highest point in Africa - Peak Uhuru.
Climbing Kilimanjaro is a challenging goal, especially considering the extreme altitude of the mountain. The overall success rate is around 50% for all visitors. The main reason for climbers' failure is acute mountain sickness, which can occur if the body does not adapt quickly enough to the increasing altitude.
Fred Distelhorst, 88 : I was surprised, but climbing Kilimanjaro was not difficult.
The chief guide of Peak Planet (the agency that organizes climbing the mountain) admitted that they did not immediately decide to take Fred into the group of climbers.
From a comment on Facebook : When we saw Fred, we were a little afraid. Kilimanjaro is a big challenge. Many people along the way wondered if he could get to the end. Other clients and guides also talked about it, some with excitement, others with doubt.
The 88-year-old retired used to work as a dentist. Fred himself commented on his ascent as follows: I think I am in pretty good shape, even though I am a small elderly person.
The video can be viewed on the Peak Planet YouTube channel.
Distelhorst climbed the mountain with his 22-year-old granddaughter Ellen Edgerton . As Ellen said on her Instagram, initially she and her grandfather had a goal for which they decided to climb the mountain - to help an orphanage in Kenya. Ellen was a volunteer in Tanzania, traveling to Kenya to help local hospitals and an orphanage. It was after a trip to Kenya that she wrote a letter to her grandfather with a proposal to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. Distelhorst's granddaughter created the GoFundMe page to spread awareness of the problems in Kenya and ask for support for building homes for children. Thus began the story of 88-year-old Fred Distelhorst's ascent of Kilimanjaro, which took six days.
One night I thought: I can't believe we're really going through this, but let's do our best to climb, - says Fred's granddaughter Ellen.
Distelhorst and Ellen were accompanied by nine climbers and four guides ... The guides checked Distelhorst's health status twice a day - they measured pulse and oxygen saturation, as well as temperature and blood pressure.
Alcoholic drinks are not allowed uphill, so when Distelhorst climbed to the top, he wasl empty can of Coors beer and took a commemorative photo. One of the guides later recalled the joy he felt accompanying the oldest man in the world to climb Kilimanjaro:
When he arrived at the summit, the news spread throughout the mountain. All the guides and attendants took pride in the fact that Dr. Fred came up here at 88 years old. It was an honor and pleasure for me to climb the mountain with him.
Angela Vorobyova, 90 years old : Traveling is the best thing in life
Angela Viktorovna Vorobyova is a 90-year-old pensioner from Ulan-Ude. At the age of 86, a woman, along with her daughter, conquered Kilimanjaro. In her youth, she was often sick, so she began to move a lot and do exercises. As a result, Angela Viktorovna was able to improve her health, and an active lifestyle became a habit.
As Angela Viktorovna admitted, she always dreamed of traveling. However, she managed to fulfill her dream after retirement. The pensioner has already visited countries such as South Africa, Tunisia, Korea, Botswana, Chile, Mongolia and China. The pensioner also plans to conquer the Andes.
A woman saves a lot, tries not to buy anything expensive in order to save up for travel. She travels every two years with her daughter. For two years Angela Viktorovna has been postponing her pension in order to collect enough money for the trip. The pensioner is sure that travel is the best thing in life.
Werner Berger, 80 years old : I love to travel and inspire other people to live freely
Werner Berger is 80 years old, but in July 2017 he was able to conquer Kilimanjaro for the 7th time. Many asked Wenger why he needed it. As it turns out, Werner wanted to celebrate his birthday at the top of the mountain.
I wanted to celebrate his birthday at the top of Kilimanjaro on July 16th and, most importantly, I wanted to inspire people of all ages to live with great purpose and passion.>
Werner has conquered more than one peak in his life ... He holds the Guinness Book of Records. Werner Berger is the oldest man on earth who managed to climb the seven highest mountains on each of the seven continents of the world, including Everest, Elbrus, Aconcagua.
Fred Distelhorst, Angela Vorobyova and Werner Berger on his by example, they have proved that age is not the main thing when you have a hobby, a goal and a desire to achieve it.