Posted by: Laura Hartstone | 24 January, 2011

Day 14 – It’s Kili Time!

Machame Gate - Kilimanjaro

Emotional? Yes. Tears? Several. Fears? Lots. Anxiety? Everywhere. Kilimanjaro? Waiting.

At 8am the team was ready to go, boots strapped on, bags sorted, gear checked and on the bus. The ride towards Kilimanjaro offered glimpses of what was to come. At first only the base was visible, then Mawenzi (the peak off to the side) and once the bus had neared the base, the entire mountain was in view.

Stomachs rolled into knots. Legs were already shaking. And the team gathered at the gate to have their final pow-wow.

3P Pow Wow

Kelly was unable to sleep last night but lied awake thinking of all the unique contributions each and every person on this team has brought to the group. She read them aloud to give everyone a quick boost and focus on their strengths.

Chris – Our Powerhouse (she will carry things in her pack for us)

Val – Our Endurance (we can follow her steps)

Laura – Our Melody (she will give us melody when it feels too quiet or drag)

Louise – Our Courage (she helps us overcome our fears)

Holly – Our Encouragement (she always supports those who feel down)

Charlotte – Our Perseverance (she has dealt with so many things and taught us how to carry on)

Tara – Our Humor (she is always good for a laugh)

Sarah – Our Emotion (she won’t let you cry by yourself, she’ll cry with you)

And….our bookends…

Kaitlyn – Our Hope (She is our youngest and our hope that all generations will keep caring and giving as she has)

Lynne – Our Inspiration (To know that at any age we can still make a difference in someone’s life)

And the team then told Kelly her strength…

Kelly – Our Compassion (Always thinking of how others feel)

With that, the team strapped their packs to the backs and hit the trail. The trek will take 6 nights and 7 days – so stay posted as they climb their final peak!

First steps on Kili!

View photos of Mount Meru!

Posted by Laura Hartstone



  1. The making of a memory of a lifetime! Would love to know what’s going on in your minds as you hit THE trail. Looking forward to the next post!

  2. God’s speed, prayers, and love are going out to all of you as you start this momentous climb. What you have done already is totally unbelievable and this next step will put your efforts to infinity and beyond. Hope you have your light swords with you. I love my sister, Lynne, so much. Come home to us safe, well, and gratified.

  3. Hey sarah!! @ zebbs w/ ud having lunch & a drink reading the teams stories! We miss you so much, your doing an amazing job! UD is so proud!!

  4. We are with you in spirit!!! Sending lots of positive thoughts for a safe and successful journey!

  5. Wow, have a great trip ladies!!! Chris, you have always been a “powerhouse” in our lives! Sending love, strength and determination across the world

  6. I am sure you will be one anothers strength on this last lap.I didn’t realize this trek was so long.Stay centered,and I will keep praying for you all.Keep us posted.Kaitlyn, I did not realize that your the youngster of the group,but I bet you have longest legs of the group Love ya,Nana

  7. chris its finally here! all your hard work and preparations.. your life list must be pretty short by now.. all the girls in our daily thoughts and prayers a side note its the bears ond steelers in the superbowl. you more mom

  8. Bag it ladies!

  9. go!! Go!!! GOOOOO!!!!

  10. the powerhouse of the group has the skinniest legs….love you kid sister….kick some ass on kili…..and wear your blesssings well…cant wait to have you back hokme…love and light to all of you girls…hel

  11. Laura, thank you for your post. I stayed away from the site today and am I glad I am home. You have once again made my heart and tear ducts overflow. I believe in and feel the love, the emotion, the bond and ambition. So so POWERFUL!
    It is so cold today that our yoga studio would not warm up. Moved to a second story that has light bubbles on the roof all swirled in snow. (A bit symbolic.) Mindy had us perfect our mountain poses: Palms up, look to the sky, palms to heart and a full breath. Repeat. Namaste from Kennebunk, Me. Kaitlyn, should not be many geckos bugging you on Kilimanjaro!! See you in 8 days. XXOOMOM

  12. Sarah, with emotion comes love and with this love you and all the other wonderful ladies are and will accomplish all that you set out to do for others and nature. I am so very proud of you! I know that your Babci is very proud of you too! God speed to all.

  13. Kelly, I’m very nervous and sad you couldn’t sleep, yet it doesn’t surprise me that you used what was probably a painful and frustrating time, to something so caring and positive. We love you so much for that. What an amazing bond you and all your teammates must have formed over this wonderful experience. Sending safe thoughts your way, and I hope you sleep tonight! love, Mom

  14. Sarah, wish that I could be a small speck on your shoulder just to have a chance to understand what you and your team are about to accomplish. Just remember to have a “reasonable amount of disrespect for what seems like the impossible”and you’ll achieve all that you’ve set your mind to!!! God’s speed and all of my love 🙂


  15. Go get that mountain! Kelly, hope you sleep tonight. I really enjoyed the list of strengths of your team and think they were right on about you! Stay healthy!


  16. It is mind-boggling all that yal’l are accomplishing! We who are living vicariously through you can only fantasize and await your personal retelling! Thank goodness for the wonderful posts which sustain all of us!!!!!!! AND THE PICTURES!!!!! Love you, love you, love you!!!!!!

  17. Forever my inspiration!!! With lots of love and Excitement I miss you and can’t wait to cheer for you face to face! You ladies are inspiring hearts and minds all over the world. Keep it up.
    -Always Inspired,
    Heidi Lynne

  18. Kelly, Who would have thought that the little girl who sat in the front of my class so many years ago would end up being my inspiration. You are a rock and I am hoping the very best for you as you undergo this tremendous challenge!
    All my respect and encouragement,

  19. Kelly, just a quick line to let you know we are thinking of you. Aunt Doris and Uncle Larry.

  20. Hang on in there Tara and girls !!!! Only ONE more mountain to climb!!! We admire the inner strength in all you girls…you are amazing !!! Take care and hear from you soon love mum and dad xxx

  21. The heart and soulful comments the 3 Peaks 2011 team, their friends, families and supporters have shared on this blog over the month have been truly inspirational! Team 2011, your group dynamic sounds full of good energy, positivity and strength! No doubt you will all summit Kili and complete the challenge. You each are amazing human beings and feel so proud of each of you as you start up your final peak, the highest mountain in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro! Go team go! There is an African proverb when the sky is darkest you can truly see the stars, as you hike summit night to the Uhuru Peak, and it’s dark, cold, and I have to admit (a bit miserable), look up to those stars and know the sun will rise soon and you will see the light, arrive at Stella Point, then the summit and your dream realized.

    Please know that Team IB-lieve in Boston Massachusetts and beyond are routing for each of you and know that your dream is about to come true, when you stand a top the highest free standing mountain on the continent of Africa! Kwa Pamoja (all together) Everyone is routing for you.

  22. Sarah, I am overwhelmed with pride and tears….You are my hero….Safe journey. When you reach the top…reach out and touch the face of God. He will be smiling on you.
    Blessings to all of the women, your guides and the many who are with you on this journey.
    Love you, Momma

  23. With a list of attributes like that, your team can accomplish anything! Good luck, ladies, on your Kili climb. Wow, wow, wow, wow, WOW! P.S. Lynne, you are your family’s Inspiration, too. 🙂


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