Two years ago we were part of something pretty special. We helped athlete Dan Berlin become the first blind person to run the Inca Trail in a single day. Dan suffers from cone-rod dystrophy, but that hasn’t stopped him becoming a world-famous long-distance runner. He and his team (Team See Possibilities, which includes Dan, Charles Scott, Alison Qualter Berna and Brad Graff) have overcome some of the harshest climates and toughest climbs on the planet.
And this year it was time for another. Climbing Africa’s tallest mountain, Mt Kilimanjaro, “in the dark.” While guiding Dan at night, the team used headlamps that could see no more than 10 feet around them. They were forced to use their other senses to experience the mountain in an entirely new way.
Mount Kilimanjaro stands over 19,300 feet above sea level. At that altitude, the human body undergoes a great deal of stress, which usually means headaches, nausea, exhaustion, extreme cold and difficulty getting enough oxygen. The speed of this attempt made it an even tougher challenge. The team suffered, but with help from one another and their Intrepid mountain guide Justaz Mollel, they were able to reach the summit in the shortest amount of time allowed by the Intrepid Travel safety guidelines. They were rewarded at the top with a stunning sunrise.
Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at their climb.
Feature image c/o Lucy Piper