Fred introduced Kristin as a well behaved and punctual physiotherapist, a graduate of Wilfred Laurier post secondary High School and McMaster University and a proud climber who, 20 years after her accident, has achieved the summit of Kilimanjaro.

Kristin said that Outward Bound Canada was planning a climb and a place had been taken by her employer to be given to the person who submitted a video application that spoke to the challenge.  She showed the video she submitted which reported on the very serious accident she and her friend had suffered when another car T-boned them.  Her prognosis at the time was that recovery was doubtful and that she was probably looking at life in a wheelchair.  Instead she is married and the proud mother of two daughters.  She wanted to do the trip for herself - to establish that she could - and to be an inspiration for her daughters.

She had to raise $5,000.00 for the Outward Bound and train for the physical requirements, most specifically, for being at high altitudes.  Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa.  The base camp they started from is at 5,900 ft. and the Huronia airport is at 700.  It is in a national park - the mountain, not the airport - and they had to register with the rangers. 

Their group of 20 had a support team of porters, cooks and guides of over 40.  Kristen wondered at first if this was representative of a spoiled group of westerners taking advantage but came to realize that it was a major source of employment for the area. Leaving the base camp and climbing over 3,000 feet they started to leave the rain forest.  The second day gained another 3,000 plus feet and the vegetation got thinner and the temperature dropped.  By day 3 they were in an alpine desert with moonlike terrain and lava rock formations.  On occasion they suffered heavy rain and hail.  Some started to feel the effects of mountain sickness.

Day 4 saw a major challenge and a long climb up a steep wall face that ended with them at the top but not very much higher but they were at 13,325 ft.  Because they didn't gain a lot of altitude it gave them a bit of a chance to acclimate themselves and to see the unique plants that grow only on these slopes.  Day 5 took them another 2,700 fit up and to the place they would use as the jumping off point for the summit.  As temperatures at the top were minus 15 to minus 20 they had to dress carefully - layers - and store snacks and cameras and water in a way that they wouldn't freeze but still be accessible.

To reach the top at sunrise they had to start at 11:00 pm the night before so day 6 started with a long climb in the dark, using head lights and following in the footsteps of the person before them.  One climber suffered hypothermia and nausea but with help was able to recover enough to carry on.  By 6 am they were at the top, above the clouds and witness to the sunrise.  They were tired and most didn't feel to well but they had all made it.  What took them 7 hours to climb took them 2 hours to retrace - mostly by sliding down a dirt trail.  They had gone up another 3,400 ft. and then dropped 6,800 so they were happy to be back where there was a bit more oxygen.

Kristen felt she had met her goals, raising the money and making the climb and that she had met the challenges that were presented and worked with the other members of the group as a team.