My favorite Kilimanjaro story, one of my favorite all-time stories, is of the the British-held Italian prisoners of war (WW2) who secretly made climbing equipment, escaped from the POW camp in Kenya, climbed Kilimanjaro using the label from a bottle of Mt. Kilimanjaro beer as their only route map, then broke back into the POW camp to finish out the war. Their story is told in No Picnic On Mount Kenya by Felice Benuzzi. That, my friends, is some true human spirit. Absurd, glorious, etc. Their climb would have been much easier if only they had waited for all the glaciers to melt away, something our children’s war prisoners will have to look forward to:
Friday , October 13, 2006
NAIROBI, Kenya — Africa’s two highest mountains — Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya — will lose their ice cover within 25 to 50 years if deforestation and industrial pollution are not stopped, environmentalists warned Thursday.
Kilimanjaro has already lost 82 percent of its ice cover over 80 years, said Fredrick Njau of the Kenyan Green Belt Movement.
Mount Kenya, one of the few places near the equator with permanent glaciers, has lost 92 percent over the past 100 years.