Old Mutual Barefoot Kili Expedition Promo from D4 Productions on Vimeo.
Most say Africa’s tallest mountain is the easiest of the Seven Summits to climb. Most have never attempted the 19,341-foot volcano without the aid of footwear.
On Saturday, the 9-person Old Mutual Barefoot Kilimanjaro Team (also called Barefoot Impi) reached the peak without a single artificial sole stomping down on the mountain’s rough terrain.
The team spent months preparing for the ascent, toughing up the callouses on their feet on the streets of Cape Town and the trails of The Drakensberg, the highest mountain range in South Africa.
The work paid off. Other groups climbing ahead of the team were forced to turn around as the weather got nasty.
“On the way up we had a couple disheartening encounters with climbers that had failed to summit and were visibly delirious and vomiting,” writes adventurer Andrew King at the group’s official site.
But the team pressed on and soon arrived at Stella Point, where “the mystical feel of the swirling clouds only added to the almost spiritual experience of being on top of Africa.”
The barefoot climb raised money for The Children’s Hospital Trust, the only specialist hospital in South Africa dedicated to treating chronically ill children. You can donate to the cause through the Impi site.