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

January 27 - February 16, 2013

Where Lucille has been for the past 24 hours.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Team Alberta

Team Italiano

Team Nepal

Saturday, February 9, 2013


On Sunday we got up early and headed off on a real African safari!!! It was just like in the movies. We drove around with the top of the vehicle up viewing the animals through binoculars. Our guide was called Good Luck, and we were very lucky to have him as our guide. He not only drove all day, and found the animals but he but he was so good at explaining about all the different species.
It was a three hour drive to Ngorongoro crater, most of it on paved highway, and the rest was on a dirt road. On the way to the crater we stopped to view a small herd of giraffes, what majestic creatures. They stand about 5.5 meters high and the way they walk makes them appear regal. We also saw a few zebras at the same time.
When we arrived at the gates, it took about an hour to receive our permit and enter the gates. We then drove around the top of the crater before heading down to the bottom where all the animals can be found. It was here that we had some great views of so many animals. We saw elephants, baboons, wildebeest, gazelles, flamingos, buffalo, hippos, rhinos, many different birds and if course the lions. Mr. Good Luck just kept driving around on dirt trails finding all he animals for us. After almost 5 hours in the crater we were exhausted, so we drove out and headed back to the town Mto Wa Mbu. All the letters are pronounced and the words are linked together.
We spent the night in a lodge in town and had supper with Mr. Good Luck. We had such a great evening, visiting, eating and talking. We explained paragliding and we think we had him convinced to go tandem with Alan the next day!!!


Along the way to the safari this morning we saw small groups of women gathered together with empty buckets. They are waiting for the water trucks to come along so that they can fill their buckets and carry them back to their families. I have no idea how long they will wait for the water, nor how far they have walked. This is why the water project sponsored by Wings of Kilimanjaro is so important and it couldn't have happened without everyone coming together in support. Thank you to everyone who has donated and a special thank you to the Good Shepard school in Peace River and the Grade 3 class of Trochu Valley School!!! You're the best!!!

Water and school project

What an incredible day we just had. I will try my best to put it into words for you....but I think that the pictures will speak louder.
The day started off like every other day.....herding cats!!!! We were told to be ready by 0930, but as it turned out many people showed up without having signed up which meant a 3 hour delay trying to get three extra vehicles. Then because it was so late we stopped for food on the way. We were hoping to be at the Masai village by noon, but we only arrived at 1530. There was grumbling and people were tired when we arrived as we had spent 2 1/2 hours on a dirt road only accessible by 4x4.
On our arrival everyone was dressed, and the men and women were singing and dancing as they walked us into the ceremony. Speeches and more singing and dancing for the next hour.
Then all the women were asked to stand in a line in front of the women entertaining us. At the end they tied a large piece if cloth around our shoulders then they gave us a piece of jewelry. When it was my turn a woman took the bracelet off her own wrist and put it onto mine.
Then it was the men's turn, they all got a different piece of fabric and a necklace.
After this we all went to see the water pump. We were told that the women would walk 10k per day to get water. This water well is serving up to 2000 people from their community. The water is then pumped into a 10,000 liter storage tank, and solar pier is used to pump the water. Then a few meters away there are three stand pipes where the woman can just turn a knob and get the water they require. As a result the women have a lot more time to do other things now that they are not spending all their time walking for water.
We then had a meal all together and hen visited the site of the school that will be built before the three hour drive home. A long day, but so worth every minute. The ceremony was an emotional time for many of us, and we had an opportunity to see and touch these humans half way across the world from us, and know that we have the same needs....to feel accepted, to do what you can for your community and also to show appreciation to others.
Its wonderful when one group can make a such a difference in the lives of another group. I was the recipient of the thanks that goes out to all of you for your generous contributions to these worthwhile projects.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Fruit stand

Having fun walking around Arusha before heading out to the Masai village.

Plant with a Purpose

I missed this charity visit as I was still on the mountain, so I do not have any pictures to show yet but I do have a bit of information.
Not only do they plant trees, but they also have some small cooperatives. These small groups get together and make small loans to locals-usually women so that they can start a business. Once the original loan has been paid off they can reapply for another. The money that is loaned out comes from people-again mostly women who pool their own money together to loan out.
Not only are they helping each other to reach their goals but they have to put a lot of time and planning into the application to be accepted. These are all life skills that can only help them improve their situation. It is really exciting!!!
Today we are heading out to a Masai village and I will post once I am back,
Yesterday we headed off to the local flying hill. Getting 30 people there was quite the feat....but we managed.
On arrival at the bottom of the hill it was hit and dusty and there was a huge dust devil. The beginnings of a thermal but it is very turbulent close to the ground. It took almost an hour to walk to the top and on arrival we heard thunder and saw rain clouds heading our way. The people who flew early hand exciting (read scary!) flights.
I spent time chatting with the locals. One young woman and I got along and she told me that all the people living below the hill are Masai - warriors. The young men dress differently once they are initiated.
Although I didn't fly and walked down I had a lot if time to visit with the young woman and she told me stories about her life and her family.

Free day!!!

We have a big day planned for today. Move out to Arusha to another hotel, tour around a bit then go flying at a hill nearby.

Back in the hotel

We are all down and off the mountain, and like every other mountain that I've climbed there is a lot to say, but I need some time to digest it before I post anything. I promise to do it soon....but right now my emotions are too strong and it is too fresh, so I thank you for your patience with me.


Here is our summit photo.....it seems so long ago now! Summit day was cool and windy. The plan was to all be up there together for a WOK group photo, but we got too cold waiting for everyone. We were at the front of the group, and after waiting about an hour on launch for others to arrive we headed down to Stella point and waited there for another few hours before we headed down to the crater camp as there were still people missing and done were only just starting to head to the summit.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Mmmm, cold beer

I am enjoying a nice cold beer at the party after we came down on foot. Will post more in a few hours but for now just know tat everyone is safe and sound.


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Extreme Parawaiting

OK, so no sooner do I post my speculation, then I get a sat phone call from Lucille that pretty much confirms what I said. All but 8 have descended,about half the group has gone down half way and the rest all the way. They did get relief supplies via helicopter to the top of extra food and water so all is good there.

The eight pilots remaining are:

Lucille deBeaudrap
Marco Heltai
Alan Olivieri
Sano Babu Sunuwar
Jeff - I assume Jeffrey Brown
Arthur - I assume Arthur Fabert
Andrew Forbes
Pavel Alcocer

They are holding out for one last chance to fly early tomorrow morning...(tonight in Mountain timezone)

Lucille also wanted to sing the praises of Adrian and Paula McRae, who have been amazing in putting all of this together, and their response to the unexpected events.

She also tried to send out summit photos, but they have not arrived. Perhaps her data plan has hit the limit.....


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

WoK Lucille deBeaudrap
GPS location Date/Time:02/06/2013 14:28:47 NPT

Message:WoK Pilot Lucille deBeaudrap is OK

Click the link below to see where I am located.

If the above link does not work, try this link:

It is now apparent that the group did not fly from the top, they must have had another day of windy or cloudy conditions.  From this check-in message we can surmise that Lucille has remained high enough on the mountain to hang on to one last chance to fly.  It seems that most of the group has descended.  If I compare Mike Spencers track to Lucille's, and they normally would travel together, where Lucille stopped, Mike was about an hour ahead of her, and he continued down.  As I write this he is nearly at the bottom.

Marco's wife Sonia posted this to facebook (translated from italian)...

"to high camp were officially 8. tomorrow if the weather will allow him attempt the flight. wings Verona considering the adverse conditions will fly in tandem"

From this I am going to conclude that Lucille, Marco, and Alan are among 8 pilots who have remained high on the mountain for a chance to fly.  It's not over until they get to the bottom.  Alan has a Tandem glider and he will need a passenger to fly.  If his intended passenger descended on foot, then either Lucille or Marco will have to be his passenger.  Sonia says "wings Verona...will fly in tandem".  I interpret that as the Verona Pilots (Marco and Alan) will fly tandem, and Lucille will fly solo.

Just remember, I am getting all this from one check-in message, a track-log on a second spot, and a translated snippet of Italian.  I've been wrong before.

I now wish that I had accompanied Lucille on this trip, and voluteered to be the social media person on the ground to keep the rest of the world informed.  I have found the lack of updates from official Wings of Kilimanjaro sources dissappointing.  I think they could have used a few more non-participating volunteers to help with communications.


Tuesday, February 5, 2013


It has now gotten late enough in the day that everyone would be tucked in and waiting for more calm conditions in the morning.  Cross your fingers.

The image below is a screen shot from Google Earth showing the relative positioning of the 7 camps, the summit, and the designated landing zone.  The straight line distance from summit to LZ is just over 19km.


Some troubles on the mountain.

Well with a subject line like that I should first say that everyone is OK and for you not to worry.

Everyone is wondering, no doubt, about flight status and why it appears some have gone and others not. Well first of all, it was way too windy to fly, so the popular sport of Parawaiting has emerged, even at 19,500 feet. They plan to wait it out one more day for a potential to fly down.

However, there has been some kind of misunderstanding among the guides and porters and some tempers flared. I would be concerned too if I hadn't been paid yet for my work and your customer is about to fly the coup. In the local economy, there isn't the same level of trust and protection as elsewhere.

So, hired by the guiding company there are a number of guides and a large number of porters hired for this trip numbering close to 600 in total. Apparently the misunderstanding has escalated to the point where ten guides have withdrawn their services, and convinced 100 porters to follow their example. To make matters more challenging is that this group has descended a ways, and are blockading the passage of water up to the group, so where everyone should be drinking three litres a day, they have only had access to one litre this past day.

There has been a helicopter drop arranged to get them more water, but long story short, they will have to either fly off or start their descent in the next day, so the flight may not see safe wind conditions in time.

Lets hope that cooler heads prevail and this misunderstanding gets resolved. The participants also have to put their personal gear at risk when they fly off the mountain and are trusting that they will see it all again at the bottom.

Through all of this some participants have already started to descend, mostly those that were not feeling that great up at 20,000 feet. Our intrepid group of Lucille, Mike, Marco, Alan, and Bob are doing well and perfecting their Parawaiting form and technique.


Monday, February 4, 2013

Feb 5 voicemail


Click above to listen to Lucille's voicemail from Feb 4. The summary would be that she is at camp 7 on the glacier in the crater below the summit. They are waiting to assess the wind conditions in the morning and may need to wait another day. Cross your fingers for favorable conditions to fly. Ted

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

WoK Lucille deBeaudrap
GPS location Date/Time:02/04/2013 19:02:51 NPT

Message:WoK Pilot Lucille deBeaudrap is OK

Click the link below to see where I am located.

If the above link does not work, try this link:


Summit Day

Jumbo everyone. Five o'clock came fast this morning. My tent wasn't level so I spent all night rolling around, usually sleeping on the hard ground!!! No worries the night is over. We were told breakfast would be at 0600, and leaving at 0700. Breakfast doesn't seem to be ready however....so a seven o'clock departure seems unlikely.
The plan is to summit today, then sleep in the crater just below the summit. Tomorrow morning we will be getting up early again and doing a 200meter walk (horizontal) to the launch area and fingers crossed.....fly off to the warmth!!!
We are all very excited.

Sent from my iPhone4S

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

WoK Lucille deBeaudrap
GPS location Date/Time:02/04/2013 15:19:52 NPT

Message:WoK Pilot Lucille deBeaudrap is OK

Click the link below to see where I am located.

If the above link does not work, try this link:

WoK Lucille deBeaudrap

You have received this message because WoK Lucille deBeaudrap has added you to their SPOT contact list.

Every day is an Adventure. Share Yours.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Feb 3 - -Voicemail


Click above to listen to Lucille's voicemail from Feb 3.

The summary would be that she is at camp 6, 4,800 m. Tomorrow is summit day, and early on the next morning, weather

permitting, they will fly down. Correcting for the timezone difference, watch the spots Monday evening from as early as 8:00 PM Mountain time.


Feb 3

Just one more day to the summit, and then the next day, weather permitting, the flight down is planned.

Here are the usual spot and Google Earth captures of Lucille's activity overnight.  I am assuming she is saving whatever battery life remains in her iPhone for the summit or for just before her flight.  Stay tuned for more.



Saturday, February 2, 2013

Camp 5

We had a great day today. After breakfast we got together in groups and I was lucky enough to be in the group that was being serenaded up the hill. Someone brought his small guitar and was playing while he was walking. There is always a lot if singing and chatter. I thought that I would hate being part of a group so large, but it's actually a lot if fun!!!

Today after the steep hill there was a bit of down then up and down again. Four very slow hours with lots of stopping. Still have lots of people who are not feeling well. Marco and Alan, Mike, Bob and myself are all doing well. We often travel together in a group.

We are all getting excited. Two more days before the summit!!!! Yeah! This is a seven day trek to the summit to give everyone the best chance of making it up. Fingers crossed that we all make it.

This morning would have been a perfect day to launch and fly. What we need are light winds in the right direction....blowing up launch. We are hoping for some wind as we will have to run very hard and fast if there isn't any wind....difficult to do at 19,300 feet or 5900meters!!!!! Our landing zone is at 5000 feet or 1300meters and it is a huge field located 29.7 km away. We would have to try really hard to miss it.

The one thing that has us concerned is the cloud layer......we certainly don't want to be running into each other up there. It usually starts building at around 9am and within 30 minutes we are unable to see the landing zone because if the clouds.

My iPhone battery is getting low and my charging system isn't keeping up so I may not be able to get out another message and if not....keep your fingers crossed on Tuesday night at around 9pm!!!! Watch the SPOTS!!!!!

I will give more details about the charities once we land and I get to visit them....but it's not to late to donate if you wish. None of the money is going to the government....it is going directly to the charities....drilling water wells, building two schools and planting trees.

Bye from everyone here, and thanks for following!!!!
Marco, Alan, Bob, Mike and me....Lucille!!!

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

WoK Lucille deBeaudrap
GPS location Date/Time:02/02/2013 16:12:03 NPT

Message:WoK Pilot Lucille deBeaudrap is OK

Click the link below to see where I am located.

If the above link does not work, try this link:


Friday, February 1, 2013

Jambo from Kilimanjaro

The start of a new day. Just four more days till we fly down to th LZ pictured here.

February 1

Jumbo everyone.

Today we headed off after breakfast, around 0830 and headed up. We had the option of heading straight to Barranco camp, or detour to the tower which is what we did then climbed to the top of the tower. Fun. A bit if bouldering. Then we kept going up to arrow glacier. A long day but we are all feeling good!

Mike is just as crazy as ever...Marco and Alan are doing well, and so is Bob. We are taking lots of photos of the group....so big!!!

My young porters are very nice and working hard. We have also met many guides...all very nice. The food is not spectacular....but it is filling us up.

Mike told Marco that they were going to have a cricket match on the summit. Marco didn't understand so Mike said yes, they draw a big circle, and take the little crickets and put them on the outside and the race is to see who makes it to the middle first!!!!! Marco believed him. Several hours later Marco asked me what mike had said!!!!

Today, although we are above the tree line we did see some beautiful flowers, some green shrubs and a waterfall. So much to see here. There are many different routes up this volcano. I thought that it would be all dry and dusty but actually we have seen a lot of lush areas. We have had rain every day...yesterday only at night.

There are some big clouds building and Marco says if the rain comes then tonight we will go kayaking!!!

Mad Mike Kung had a few flights yesterday and another one today. There is a reason his name starts with Mad!!!

And finally, a shout out to the grade three class at Trochu Valley School and the grade six class at the Good Shepard in Peace River. Both these classrooms were special contributors to my fundraising and I am thinking of you every day.


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

WoK Lucille deBeaudrap
GPS location Date/Time:02/01/2013 21:49:09 NPT

Message:WoK Pilot Lucille deBeaudrap is OK

Click the link below to see where I am located.

If the above link does not work, try this link: