4 of 7
Mt. Kilimanjaro - 19,340 ft. (5,895m)

January 27 - February 16, 2013

Where Lucille has been for the past 24 hours.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Check-in/OK message from WoK Lucille deBeaudrap SPOT Personal Tracker

WoK Lucille deBeaudrap
GPS location Date/Time:01/31/2013 15:13:40 NPT

Message:WoK Pilot Lucille deBeaudrap is OK

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The group has advanced to nearly 4200m at the Moir camp.

Here is the full Itinerary if they stay on Schedule.

January 29 – Machame Gate, 1790m. Walk to Machame Camp, 3010m

January 30 – Walk to New Shira Camp, 3845m. Those of us feeling fit will walk around the Shira Plateau and summit the Shira Cathedral in the afternoon and then walk back to the New Shira in time for dinner.

January 31 – Walk along the edge of the Shira Plateau and setup at Moir Camp, 4175m.

February 1 – Walk South East for Lava Tower 4640m and stop here for lunch. Those people feeling fit and not too affected by the altitude will then climb another vertical 190m to Arrow Glacier, 4830m (and just higher than Mt Blanc!). Here we are at the foot of the Western Breach Route to the summit. We will then head back down to Barranco Camp, 3960m, joining the other lazy buggers who went straight downhill from Lava Tower. This walk takes us through what our team christened the Garden of Eden (Original huh?) and is one of the coolest days on the walk! Spectacular!

February 2 – Begin to turn East and climb the steep gorge out of Barranco and cross over into the Karanga Valley making camp at Karanga, 4035m.

February 3 – The climb begins to start heading North east and skyward, passing through Barrafu Camp at 4640m and setting up at high camp above Barrafu at around 4900m. 1 more day to go!

February 4 – Summit Day! Monday 4th of February 2013 is the day that the biggest group ever to summit Kilimanjaro begins to head North West to Stella Point, 5730m and continues onto Uhuru, 5895m for the biggest group photo (maybe ever??) on any one of the 7 summits! From Uhuru, we will walk down the crater to find a got dinner and tents ready for sleeping at Crater Camp, also at 5730m. Those feeling fit will explore the many glaciers at Kilimanjaro and also walk to the Reusch Crater, Kilimanjaro’s still active volcano shute.

February 5 – Something about getting off the mountain in a hurry.. James Bond Style!


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Check-in/OK message from WoK Lucille deBeaudrap SPOT Personal Tracker

WoK Lucille deBeaudrap
GPS location Date/Time:01/30/2013 19:38:29 NPT

Message:WoK Pilot Lucille deBeaudrap is OK

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Today the group moved up another 850m to the 3,850m mark.  Lucille phoned, and indicated that the last two days have been rainy, and it was raining when she went to bed.  It is the end of the short rainy season there, and they hope for improving conditions going forward.


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

January 29

Well after one day on the mountain it appears that the group has made it to Machame camp at 3,000m.  The spots have not sent out many messages, perhaps they had some trouble figuring out where in the world Waldo is, and had to work extra hard to find themselves.  They may have also been placed a little too deep in the backpacks.  Anyways, although Lucille's spot only sent one track message, I actually have visibility to five spots.  Lucilles, her two friends from Italy Marco and Alan, and her two friends from Alberta Mike and Bob.  Today, Alan's spot got the most detail through.

Here is what it looks like in Google Earth showing their position on the mountain.

Still a little ways to go.  No voice messages today.


Monday, January 28, 2013

This is a photo with Babu Sherpa. He flew tandem off the summit of Everest in 2011!!! I had the pleasure of sitting next to him at lunch yesterday. We had a bit if a chat about Nepal.

Day one!!!

Getting ready to go


A paraglider is actually a wing. It is made a special rip stop nylon type fabric. There is a top and a bottom. There are rows of lines - strings that keep the shape of the airfoil when we are flying. The lines all come together and attach to the harness that we sit in.
There are many many different gliders. First of all there are many different companies that make paragliders. Each company makes different classes of gliders from a beginner glider to an advanced and competition glider. The difference is like the difference between a station wagon and a sports car. A station wagon or beginner glider is generally easier to launch, goes slower and is vertually indestructible....meaning that it can only be flown when the wind is not too strong and that it can recover from any collapses without pilot input. There are usually about four levels. I fly a glider somewhere in the middle. Along with the different types of gliders they also come in 3-4 different sizes. Most companies also make a tandem glider, a larger glider that can take two people at the same time.
Then there is the harness, the part that we sit in and it is attached to the paraglider in such a way that we are suspended underneath it. There are many different types of harnesses that also come in different sizes. We all fly with a reserve parachute, that we can deploy if we have problems with our paraglider. We attach all our instruments to the harness or to ourselves. Pilots will fly with a varying amount of electronic devices.
First almost all pilots fly with some type a variometer. This device tells us our altitude but more importantly it tells us when we are going up and how quickly as well as telling us when we are going down and again how quickly that is happening. We get a visual as well as an audible signal that tells us this information. Most of us also fly with a GPS which we use to tell us our ground speed and our location, and more importantly so that we can tell our retrieve driver where to pick us up, this is done with a ham radio. Some also carry a SPOT so that we can not only be tracked but if we go down and we are unable to use our radio, then we can send a help message out.
The whole purpose of paragliding is free fight. We can walk or hike to a launch site, open it up and run off the hill until we are flying. We have two brake lines which is what we use to turn, by slowing down one side and moving our weight by leaning over we turn. The magic happens when we can stay in lifting or rising air by turning, thus going up. The challenge is to stay in this rising air, gain elevation then to fly to the next thermal or rising air and turn in that one and to keep on going. The current paragliding record is over 500 km!!! Amazing.
When I was a new paraglider pilot many years ago a female paraglider pilot came to South Africa and set the new open distance record. At that time it was well over 300km!!!!
This in a nutshell is paragliding....the technical part at least. The feeling is difficult to describe. The poem by Rene that I posted a few days ago will give you a bit of an idea. I will try to explain over the next few days.

Team Italiano

Alan Olivieri, Marco Heltai with pseudo Italians me and Mike!!!

Team Alberta

Mike Spencer, Lucille deBeaudrap and Bob Gardner.

We flew!!!!

Today we had a great flight from a small local hill.
Let me try to explain what happened today as it is typical....here...in Canada.....in Italy....etc. we got up had breakfast and a press conference. Then we hear some rumblings....some of the pilots were going to fly...whisperings...are you going, is there room, where are we going, what are the conditions like, do we have to hike, what is launch like? Well the problem is that there were more paraglider pilots than there were seats in the vehicles. Waiting and milling around....chatting for over an hour. Then someone made the decision. Two taxis and two 4x4's to get us into Urushu. The taxis arrived and then we decided to eat. Trying to round up 35 people to all go to the same restaurant....order, eat then pay!!! It's like herding cats!!!
Then we all load up into 5 land rovers and head off to launch, but not until we had a 45 minute stop at the grocery store. Our drivers didn't know the way so we stopped to call the others who were ahead of us. Another 30 minute delay. Finally we got to the hill about an hour before dark....with about a 1000' hill to climb to get to launch. There was only one person whining and she stayed behind while the rest if us headed up, anxious for a flight.
We got up and the wind was strong. I was thinking of heading down, but after about 20 minutes it backed off a bit, so I set up and launched. There were about 20 pilots in the air....all having a great time. I had about 15 minutes in some magic air.....so worth having spent almost all day for it.
The locals at a nearby village came out and hiked up with us, watched us fly and greeted us at the landing zone. We collected some money to give them which was very appreciated.
In about 5 hours I will be getting up and getting ready to leave by 7am. I have a SIM card so I am hoping that I will be able to blog while in the mountain....at least part way up. Yeah!!!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Day 0

Tomorrow is the day that we start our big adventure and the excitement is building. Everyone has arrived and preparations are ongoing for tomorrow morning.
I wanted to show a picture of my room....ultimate luxury compared to what I'm used to. You'll notice that there is mosquito net around the bed which is there for more than just looks. Some Mosquitos here carry the organism that causes malaria in animals and humans. This can be quite nasty with mild to moderate symptoms but about 2% of people that are infected.  This doesn't sound like a lot but over 216 million people are infected annually and up to 1.2 million will die....most are children. The best treatment is prevention...so long pants and sleeves, mosquito repellant and then we are also taking pills daily.

Day -1!!

We are two days from setting off....so that's why I called today -1!!!
We arrived at the airport and were treated by Adrian...he and his sister are the ones who started all of  this. Great to finally meet him in person.
On the drive in from the airport to the hotel he filled me in on some of the details about the project. The charities that have been selected, we selected because of their low overhead. Actually all the money is going to great projects that will be long lasting. Many millions of dollars has been poured into Africa over the years and there is very little left to show for all that money.
We are partnering up with the government, once the two schools are built then they will be turned over to the government to supply the teachers etc. the water wells and the trees will be lasting, and will still be here in 50 years. Visiting the charities will occur after the flight and I think will be the highlight if the trip.
We also had a two hour pilot briefing meeting while a bit long gave us a venue to meet each other and to start to connect. We discussed about the climb, the physicians talked about how to stay healthy and we hit some insight about how we are going to get a village up the mountain. We are 100 pilots with 6 Porters each. Four are group porters that will carry up tents, water and food along with a toilet. We each have two porters, one for our paraglider and one for our personal gear. With camera crew etc we are over 750 people going up!!! A village!!!
We just had a great supper and now we are watching Babu Sherpa give a presentation of him climbing to the summit of Everest then paragliding off. Exciting!!!
Now it's off to bed!!


We have arrived!!!!

On our way

We are currently in transit, with a short layover in Ethiopia. This is our first time in Africa and what we noticed coming into land in Ethiopia is the landscape. Everything is brown.....we have seen only a few trees and very little great in the form of plant life. We saw one water source, small and brown without any green around it.
The other thing we noticed was the lack of roads. No roads leading to the city, and once we were flying over the city the roads just ended.
We have another two hour flight and then we will have arrived at our destination, Kilimanjaro airport.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Last day in Italy

This is my last day in Italy, and I have received some questions about my week here, so here is a bit more information about what I have noticed here.
First of all, the biggest thing that I have to get used to is to remember to ask for 'no gas' when I order water. It's just not the same when it's carbonated! It almost has a bitter flavor.
Secondly coffee is served in small cup and usually drunk while standing up at the counter. Certainly no Starbucks venti size here....nor any double double!!!
As for both snow and green grass at the same time....in the valley here there is grass year round....flowers are growing, but it is still winter. The grape vines in the vineyards are bare, all the leaves are off the trees, and they did have a bit of snow a few days ago, but it has melted. We are at the base of the mountain so when we go high enough up the mountain there is snow.
As for the pasta, most of it is fresh, not dried like it is back home. Everything tastes better because many of the fruits and vegetables are grown locally, left to ripen before being harvested and only has to travel a short distance from producer to consumer.
And a greeting for a friend is ciao and it means both hello and goodbye. It is usually repeated many times.....ciaoCiaoCiao, Ciao!
So Ciao and arrivederci!!! A domani (tomorrow)!!!

Check-in/OK message from WoK Lucille deBeaudrap SPOT Personal Tracker

WoK Lucille deBeaudrap
GPS location Date/Time:01/25/2013 17:21:12 NPT

Message:WoK Pilot Lucille deBeaudrap is OK

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WoK Lucille deBeaudrap

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Visiting friends

Tonight was special. We went to visit Walter in his home and shared a delightful meal with them. Walter was on Manaslu this summer as part of the Italian team that shared out base camp. Although I am about to start a new expedition, and all my energy is focused on it, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to relive a bit of a past expedition.
We looked at pictures and videos, told stories and just shared the experience we had......together but separately this spring.
Supper was unbelievable....an assortment of munchies, olives pickled onions on the table. The appetizer was two large blows of Russian salad, deviled eggs along with cheese and salami. The first course was two large spinach cannelloni, then a huge salmon filet with roasted potatoes....then out comes a roast. Just when I thought I was going to burst a delicious salad. Then we needed desert....one not three!!! Fruit salad, then strudel and then a large bowl of pastries. Unbelievable!!! I may not have to eat for a week!!! :-)))
It was not possible to fly today so I packed and organized and relaxed. A great day!!!

More training flights.

This is a video Marco put together from our flight yesterday. All the video is from his GoPro because I was having technical difficulties with mine.....er...the operator of said GoPros!!! He had a GoPro mounted on the end of a stick and had it facing him for most of the flight, but he did drop it under him for an interesting view.

I think I have it all figured out now as I may not have another opportunity for any more test flights before heading to Tanzania. The batteries are charged, correct memory cards are inserted, lanyards are attached so I don't lose them and the charging cords and solar charging panel are packed. I think I'm ready!!!

My plan is to mount one on my helmet looking forward, mount one on the back of my harness looking behind me. This will give an interesting view of the mountain as I'm flying away, as well has having frontal views of the pilots behind me. The third I will place on my ankle looking back at me and my wing. I am not sure if I will fly with the one attached to the pop bottle.....it is designed to fly behind me to catch a view of me and where I am going. Yesterday I hung it too low and it did a bit of bouncing while I was running to take off, and there wasn't a view of me. If I hang it too high, there is the possibility that it could get caught in my paraglider lines, which wouldn't be very good. If I get to fly tomorrow then I will try it out again.

Enjoy the video!!!

Click here

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Training flight

The plan for today was to get up early, hike up to the refuge and launch from there but Mother Nature had another plan for us. The wind was in the wrong direction for that launch so we went to a different spot....one that did not require any hiking :-(
Actually today was a typical Canadian paragliding day where the biggest adventure was getting to the launch....driving through deep snow...almost getting stuck was way more exciting than the flight....almost.
Today I put on two GoPros, one on my leg looking up at me and one attached to a plastic bottle flying below and behind me. Well...I forgot to put a memory card into the one on my foot, and the one flying behind me I put in a memory card that is too slow....so the video is choppy. But the flight was great! Four crazy Italians and me...thank goodness for the little bit of Italian that I learned prior to getting here.
Below us a picture of the GoPros that I plan to fly with tomorrow. One on my ankle, one on my helmet, one on my harness looking backwards and one flying behind me. They are charging right now, and they all have the appropriate memory cards in them. I'm prepared....now we just need the right wind conditions to fly!!!!

Training.....Italian style

This morning we got up early....hoping to go paragliding, not only for the enjoyment of the flight but also to try out the placement of our GoPros. The wind was much too strong so we made a little stop here!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Why I love paragliding

My friend from Italy, Rene, wrote a poem in Italian about paragliding. I wasn't able to read it so I put it through google translate....not expecting much, and this is what came out.
For those of you who paraglide I'm sure you can feel it in your whole body, and for those who don't, this should give you a little taste of why we like it so much.

A step ... a breath
and I'm in the wind,
around me, the silence
and under ...

nature flowing.

I look up
open, as if to envelop
elegant and beautiful,
I admire with joy
she is ... my sail.

My arms open to the sky
and that feeling of peace,
all under my feet
master of myself.

A music without notes
only that of the wind,
I'm happy because today ...
I kissed the clouds,
I ... son of the wind.

More training....or am I just having fun??

Well, maybe a little of both. Last night I was told that Alan another WOK participant was going to pick me up at 0900 and that we were going up to the refuge...a hut on the top of Monte Baldo. Alan doesn't speak much English and although I can say yes, no, please and thank you in Italiano....it doesn't go very far in getting details about what is going to happen.
This morning we drove up a road for about 20 minutes then we stopped and met up with his friend who had a snow machine on a trailer. I went ahead and headed up the path, thankfully a few people with snow shoes were ahead of me breaking trail, otherwise I would have been half way to my knees!
Alan and his friend were going up to the refuge to help out the elderly couple that live there. The refuge is a hut where this couple serves food and drinks, and I think people can also stay there. Alan and a few others go up there to clear the snow, bring them what they need from town and bring down their garbage.
I hiked up for about 90 minutes, all the while it was snowing. It was getting deeper and deeper almost up to my knees, and I was wishing for my skis or even snow shoes, when the boys showed up on mono ski machines. I got on and got a ride for that last little bit to the refuge.
As we were warming up in the refuge and I'm trying to have a bit of conversation, a couple shows up. As it turns out they are also headed to Kilimanjaro, just a few days after us! They were very excited when they found out that we have a whole group that plans to paraglide off the summit.
So in the end I had a lovely hike, ate some fantastic spaghetti in the refuge, met some nice people oh and enjoyed some snow and sunshine. A perfect training day!!!

Check-in/OK message from WoK Lucille deBeaudrap SPOT Personal Tracker

WoK Lucille deBeaudrap
GPS location Date/Time:01/22/2013 19:52:10 NPT

Message:WoK Pilot Lucille deBeaudrap is OK

Click the link below to see where I am located.

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WoK Lucille deBeaudrap

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Every day is an Adventure. Share Yours.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Getting ready

This is just some of the electronics that we will be taking with us. We will each be carrying a SPOT, so that we can send an OK message once we have landed. This is an easy way for the organizers to keep track of us. If we remember to send it in all of our excitement!!!
Some if us will also have it on the tracking mode. I will be doing this both on the way up and for the flight down.
I will also fly with three GoPro video cameras. I haven't quite decided how I'm going to mount them yet, but that is in part what the flights on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday are for.


Despite being in Italy and having lots of fun, my training continues. Today I walk up the hillside for 4 hours before I turned around and headed back down. I had a light pack on so I was moving quite quickly. On the way down I lost the trail and ended up taking the extra long way back. Extra training!!!!
It has been rainy and foggy for the last two days, but I managed to sneak in a short paragliding flight on Saturday. Wednesday, and Friday look good for flying. We might also get a short flight in Saturday morning before heading to Milan to catch out flight to Tanzania.
This picture was taken today during my walk. Beautiful here!!!

Check-in/OK message from WoK Lucille deBeaudrap SPOT Personal Tracker

WoK Lucille deBeaudrap
GPS location Date/Time:01/22/2013 02:51:11 NPT

Message:WoK Lucille deBeaudrap OK

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WoK Lucille deBeaudrap

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Monday, January 14, 2013

Training continues

This is the best part of an ICU night shift....the run home!!!!

This looks like a picture of the Glenora stairs but what it actually is is 202 quad burning, calf aching, lungs ready to explode steps of fun!!!
Today I decided that I should run the stairs as fast as I could so that I wouldn't be in pain for as long.....what actually happened is that the pain was intensified!!! :-)))). I think that I will slow down a bit so that I can actually breath!

Just two weeks before we start the climb and I am getting excited. Tomorrow I will pack. Stay tuned.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Thanks to everyone who came to the Wine & Cheese fund raiser last night. We were a small but mighty group. The original goal of $5000 has now been surpassed and it is thanks to the generosity of you......so thank you everyone.

We also did the draw for the iPad mini and the winner is James Dadensky. Congratulations!!!! Your mini is on its way!!!

Although the original goal of $5000 has been surpassed, there is still a lot of need in Africa. There is still time to donate....time to provide necessary clean drinking water, planting of trees and building schools. All of this happening through your generosity.

I will be updating the blog more regularly, so keep checking for the latest updates. The climb will start on January 27th and we plan to fly off the mountain...007 style on Feb 5th!!! After the flight I will be visiting the charities and posting pictures which will be the best part of this entire adventure.

Donations can be made at www.wingsofkilimanjaro.com

Monday, January 7, 2013


Amazing....what an awesome group of family and friends you all are.
Over the past few days the donations have been pouring in and I am now at 80% of my goal of $5000!!!! Lets not stop here....even if my personal goal has been reached, there are still many people in Tanzania that need your help. No donation is too small. It only takes $1 to plant two trees which will assist in the soil conservation. $25 to provide clean water for two people. Many have to walk up to six hours a day to find water, and it's usually not clean.
The list of needs in Tanzania is long, and you can help with a donation. Every penny of your donation goes directly to the three charities - one foundation - plant with a purpose - world serve.
After the expedition I will go and visit the charities and bring you back pictures and videos so that you will be able to see all the good work that is being done because of your generosity.
Thank you to everyone who has given, and there is still time for those who are wanting to contribute to this wonderful cause.