On Friday we ran Peter Whittaker’s captioned gallery from his father-daughter climb on Mt. Kilimanjaro. For those who missed it, we’ve included the recap below, but we also cut together an incredible video of his experience narrated by his own reflections on the experience. For Father’s Day, we’re posting the full video that recaps what made the climbing trip with his daughter such a good one. —LYA Editor
For Peter Whittaker, who has climbed Mt. Rainier more than 240 times, none of those summits compared to introducing his 14-year-old daughter Gabriella to the experience of high elevation climbing on the Kilimanjaro Family Climb. Whittaker, owner of Whittaker Mountaineering and co-owner of RMI, America’s largest commercial guiding service, spearheaded the father-daughter climb as a way to create a shared high-altitude trekking experience on Africa’s highest peak and the most accessible of the world’s Seven Summits.
The team of father-daughter climbers tackled the Tanzanian peak, gradually working their way up the Machame route from the 5,900-foot gate to the Machame (9,800′), Shira (12,300′) and Barranco (13,030′) camps to acclimatize to the elevation over the course of three days. On day four, they surmounted the Barranco Wall, then continued to the Karanga (13,160′) and Barafu (15,200′) camps before all three father-daughter pairs, including former Backpacker editor-in-chief and current SVP of content at Active Interest Media, Jon Dorn, and his daughter, successfully reached the 19,348-foot Uhuru summit on the sixth day.
For Eddie Bauer guide Peter Whittaker, it was his 14th trip up Mt. Kilimanjaro, but the first spent guiding his daughter in the high-altitude realm. Yet the climb, which included cultural immersion and wildlife safaris in one of Africa’s poorest countries, was less about the summit and more about the experience. “Gabriella and I had two weeks completely off the grid with no phones, no Facebook and no email,” summarizes Whittaker. “It was absolutely the best two weeks I’ve spent with my daughter.”
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