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“After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb”

– Nelson Mandela

 

Three South African explorers have set a mission to climb the summits of the 7 highest mountains on the 7 continents and paraglide off them.  No-one as yet has flown from the top of all seven summits and this will raise the bar in extreme adventure and exploration in 2010.  They will share their experience with Safari via photographs, video and blogs from the most remote and fragile corners of the earth.

As we speak our South African adventurers are sussing out possible landing spots at the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. The extinct volcano of Kilimanjaro is one of the world’s most recognisable peaks. It rises dramatically above the dusty East African plains with the impressive snow-capped summit awarding awe-inspiring views.

We’re going to give you a live blog-feed of their momentous climb, and paraglide off, the infamous Kilimanjaro. But before we do….take a moment to meet the crew:

“Wanted. Men for hazardous journey. Low wages. Bitter cold. Long hours of complete darkness. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in the event of success.”

– Ernest Shackleton’s 1907 ad in London’s Times, recruiting a crew to sail with him on his exploration to the South Pole.

Team leader Pierre started Paragliding in 1988 and represented South Africa in the world championships between 1991 – 1995, earning him his Springbok colours, and South African champion status. He has already summited and paraglided off Russia’s Mt Elbrus and Aconcagua in the Andes, and the first ever to fly up and over the 7000m peak. In 2008 he was nominated Solomon Adventurer of the Year and also represented South Africa in the Red Bull X Alps Challenge held in 2009.

 

A senior photo journalist for The Times, Marianne Schwankhart started climbing in 1995. She joined the Sunday Times in 2001 as a photographer. In 2004, she successfully climbed the east face of Chile’s Central Torres del Paine; the only woman to achieve this to date. In 2005 Marianne climbed Trango Tower in Pakistan; 900m of vertical rock at an altitude of 6 000m. That same year she climbed Cerro Torre in Patagonia, Argentina. In 2006 she filmed the award winning documentary No Need for Parking – An African Rock Adventure, a record of her epic climbs throughout Southern Africa. To date, she has summited Mt Elbrus (2010) and Aconcagua (2011) as part of the 7summits7flights project.

 

Filmmaker and cameraman, Guy Hubbard, is currently employed by UNICEF (The United Nations Children’s Fund) to produce documentaries and feature news stories but has also worked throughout Africa, from refugee camps in Somalia and Congo to the summit of Kilimanjaro, in India and the Antarctic. He has produced documentaries on the war in Eastern Congo, on the plight of the Baka pygmies in the rainforests of central Africa, on HIV and AIDS in Mumbai, and on the life of photographer, Peter Magubane. He has also produced feature news stories for CNN, Al Jazeera and the BBC. He loves travelling and loves the travel opportunities his job affords him. He is an experienced rock climber and has climbed extensively around South Africa, Mali, and Vietnam.

 

Over the past 8 years Kyle O’Donoghue has plied his trade as a freelance cameraman and director. His adventures have taken him down the last unpaddled tributary of the Amazon (Maranon Dreams 2004 SuperSport); in search of a lost underwater city in Zanzibar (PBS); and deep into the rain forests of Madagascar to film the elusive Aye Aye (PBS). Over the last 6 years he has also joined Polar Explorer, Robert Swan, in the Antarctic to document climate change on the Antarctic Peninsula filming in one of the harshest environments on earth. Kyle is an avid rock climber and has successfully climbed and filmed the first two mountains, Mt Elbrus and Aconcagua, of the 7summits7flights project.

For more info about the mission visit: http://blog.7summits7flights.co.za/

Kafunta Safaris
Africa Geographic Editorial

We're the Africa Geographic editorial team – a diverse set of editors, designers and social media natives, all united by our passion for this addictive continent.