Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro to support Canadian charity

Lisa Goudy
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Moose Jaw's Rynette and Keith Guillaume were two of 22 Canadian climbers who successfully climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in support of the Canadian charity WaterCan.

Despite harsh weather conditions and other challenges, Moose Jaw’s Keith and Rynette Guillaume climbed Mount Kilimanjaro with a group in support of a charity.

“We blew around a little bit and froze (at the summit),” said Rynette.

“The sun came up and the wind picked up even more ... not a whole lot of time was spent at the top,” added Keith who said they were at the summit for 15 or 20 minutes. “Right from the get-go it was a fantastic experience.”

Mount Kilimanjaro is 19,341 feet above sea level. The couple, along with 21 others, went to Tanzania to make the Climb for Life in support of the Canadian charity WaterCan from Oct. 12 to Oct. 26. WaterCan is an organization devoted to fighting poverty by helping people gain access to clean water, basic sanitation and hygiene education.

The couple said the group raised $274,000, which was far higher than their original goal of $75,000. Keith and Rynette rose close to $18,000.

But the trip was not without difficulty. Rynette said on the third day, she had altitude sickness. She said she had taken an antibiotic, but she had a negative reaction to the antibiotic.

“It was a pretty scary experience to have happen on day three because the following day was the day we were taking all the tests to get the OK to proceed for summit day,” said Rynette. “I would’ve had to turn back and walk back (down) the three days without the group.”

Rynette said one climber was not allowed to proceed because the medical levels weren’t good enough. Other issues among other climbers included hypothermia, adjusting to the elevation, the temperature, mental exhaustion and hydration.

For more information, see an upcoming edition of the Times-Herald.

Organizations: WaterCan, Times-Herald

Geographic location: Mount Kilimanjaro, Mt. Kilimanjaro, Moose Jaw Tanzania

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