Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, East Africa, is the highest mountain in the continent and the highest single free-standing mountain in the world.
With its three volcanic cones, its summit is 5,895 meters (19,341 ft) above the sea level and about 4,900 meters (16,100 ft) high from its plateau base.
The first recorded time in which someone ever reached the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro was back in 1889.
This mighty mountain is an attraction to many adventure lovers and challenge seekers around the world, but very few actually make it due to geologic and climate obstacles.
Joe Hage, Bassam Sfeir, Tarek Faddoul, and the brothers Rcheid and Saleh El-Khazen are not among those who couldn’t make it.
These Lebanese adventurers reached the Uhuru peak, the highest point of Kibo, which is the summit of the Mount’s three volcanic cones.
If this isn’t impressive enough, El-Khazen brothers along with their mentor and teammates proudly raised the Lebanese flag when they arrived at the top.
The brothers posted pictures and videos on their Instagrams, accompanied by the following caption: “By far, one of the most challenging experiences of my life. After one week of climbing and camping, we summited Moun Kilimanjaro, at 5,895.”
The post continues: “We faced tough conditions but nothing stopped our team, headed by our mentor who we couldn’t have made it without. Thank you for behind a leader and motivator, and for guiding us to make it to the Uhuru peak, known as the world’s highest free-standing mountain.”
“… We managed to make it to the peak before sunrise despite the difficulties and that’s all due to our strong mindset,” their post elaborated. “February 28th, 2020, is a day to remember. Cheers to many tough and fulfilling experiences. Pictures don’t give the entire experience full justice.”
El-Khazen brothers were accompanied by their mentor Bassam Sfeir and their teammates. Sfeir is an instructor at StrongFirst school in Beirut, Lebanon; he is also a private coach and a mountaineer, as his Instagram says.
The teammates consist of Tarek Faddoul and Joe Hage. The latter held the Lebanese flag, proud both of it and of himself.
Joe Hage posted the picture with the following caption: “… it was an extremely windy night and a temperature of -15°C; we stayed for 45 minutes to watch the most beautiful sunrise. I faced light AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) symptoms but was stubborn to reach. We were even the strongest team on the mountain all week.”
“We were the first to reach all camps up to the summit. We even managed to merge the last 2 days to descend from Uhuru peak all the way down to Mweka Gate (the exit point); that’s around 30km in extreme altitude and weather conditions,” Hage explained, adding: “We did it in 6 days instead of 7. Nothing is impossible…”
We are extremely proud of these Lebanese heroes who overcame all obstacles and difficulties and made it to the top! They were the best at it, too. If this isn’t the Lebanese spirit, then I don’t know what is!
Climbing one of the tallest mountains in the world isn’t an easy decision nor an easy journey. It takes physical and mental strength and endurance, but like every though path in life, the results are worth it.
Many people agree that reaching the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro is a life-changing experience.
The climate of Kilimanjaro is influenced by its height, which means strong winds, snow, and rain, especially around March when the average temperature in the summit area is about -7°C, reaching sometimes -27°C at nighttime.
These five brave, fearless, and stubborn Lebanese guys overcame it all, and they didn’t give up until they reached their fiercely challenging goal.
Although undoubtedly they must’ve been very proud of themselves and each other, they didn’t forget their country and carried the Lebanese flag with them all the way to Africa’s highest point. These guys rock!