Author Archive for: ‘Jake Norton’


To the west of Langtang, across the…

To the west of Langtang, across the Trisuli River and in the shadow of the Ganesh Himalaya, lies one of the more beautiful villages I’ve visited in Nepal. Lying in a quiet valley flanked by towering pines and vivid rhododendrons, Gre is a tiny hamlet of a few hundred souls. It’s land bears the quintessential contours of centuries of terracing: the only real means of farming in a world of extreme vertical relief. While it’s rich in nature, it remains impoverished in many ways. The cataclysmic 2015 earthquake dealt a harrowing blow to the village, leveling nearly every house and raining landslides all around. Two years later, only a couple homes have been rebuilt; unlike the valley of Langtang or the near-but-far villages of Gatlang, Gre enjoys little tourist activity and the critical dollars and visibility they bring. We spent a few days there this week, visiting old friends and making new ones, and laying plans to bring change to the village and its people. | In this photo, the children of friends Kancha, Minjou, Dindou, and Nima Tamang sit on the floor of Kancha’s house as we share stories of 1992, laugh, and play. #liveyouradventure @wendebvalentine #pixel #googlepixel

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Sometimes a little comfort food from home,…

Sometimes a little comfort food from home, cooked over an open hearth, is just what the doctor ordered for a 7 and 9 year old who rallied through a long-but-beautiful day. Lila and Ryrie logged about 4,500 vertical feet today, through rhododendron forests blooming red, past skittish ghoral scampering up cliffs, and through Tamang and Sherpa villages clinging to impossibly steep hillsides. A little Annie’s was a welcome treat and reward upon reaching Sherpagaon, our home for the night. #liveyouradventure #tamangheritagetrail

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Another shot of an absolutely beautiful sunrise…

Another shot of an absolutely beautiful sunrise near the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro one week ago. While not the world’s most technically difficult climb, summit day on Kilimanjaro entails 4,000 vertical feet of climbing to the 19,340 foot summit… certainly nothing to be scoffed at. We had 100% success on the climb this year, and also raised a lot of money to support education in Tanzania. If you’d still like to make a contribution and help support @africaschoolassistanceproject, please see the link in my profile.#liveyouradventure @kristenrcavallo @cplating @_mattcavallo #bestmountainartists #everydayafrica #Tanzania

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A few days ago, as my team…

A few days ago, as my team prepared for the long summit day on Kilimanjaro, I shared with them a favorite quote from legendary climber and explorer Sir Francis Younghusband. Those who know me know that the summit is, for me, not a big motivator in any climb; it’s part and parcel of the whole, a goal to set the stage for the journey, but not an end in itself – just one point in time. That said, summits do have their draw, their allure, and – fittingly – their rewards. Fortunately, #Kilimanjaro tends to reward effort generously with radiant color across panoramic vistas, and she came through once again for my team this week, giving a “choice gift” for those who struggled mightily, fought hard, and reached the top: “To those who have struggled with them, the mountains reveal beauties that they will not disclose to those who make no effort. That is the reward the mountains give to effort. And it is because they have so much to give and give it so lavishly to those who will wrestle with them that men love the mountains and go back to them again and again. The mountains reserve their choice gifts for those who stand upon their summits.” @kristenrcavallo @cplating @_mattcavallo #liveyouradventure

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Our team enjoyed another great day today….

Our team enjoyed another great day today. Starting from Mawenzi Tarn, we trekked West across the “Lunar Plateau” and into the magical rock formations to School Hut which, at 15,400 feet, is our home for the next 8 hours. Here we’ll rest, hydrate, pretend to sleep (but mostly rest), and then, at about 12:30am, we’ll begin the long hike to the summit of #Kilimanjaro! It’s about 8 hours from here to the top, and watching this team for the past 5 days, I have no doubt we’ll all stand together on the Roof of Africa! I’ll send updates when possible to Facebook, Twitter, my inReach Mapshare, and here if possible. If you can, please help us reach our goal of $19,340 ($1/foot) for @africaschoolassistanceproject and their community-changing work in rural Tanzania; visit the link in my profile to make a donation today. #liveyouradventure @kristenrcavallo @cplating @_mattcavallo #pixel #shotbypixel #googlepixel

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Early morning sunrise over Mawenzi Tarn with…

Early morning sunrise over Mawenzi Tarn with Mount Mawenzi rising behind. Not a bad way to start the day! Our team is doing great, with an acclimatization day today at this camp, then to high camp tomorrow, and summit in Friday morning. All is great! #liveyouradventure @kristenrcavallo @cplating @_mattcavallo #pixel #shotbypixel

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As we hiked today to Mawenzi Tarn…

As we hiked today to Mawenzi Tarn Camp on #Kilimanjaro, I spoke with our Chagga lead guide, Thomas, about #Tanzania, politics, economics, and the challenges of breaking through the cycle of poverty here. Not surprisingly, he said emphatically that the only solution for the long term is education. Without accessible education for all – boys and girls, rich and poor – a society becomes mired in economic disparity, privilege and poverty, haves, have nots, and division. Thomas spoke of his own 6 year old daughter and the struggles he would face financially to send her to secondary school; he added, smiling, that he could at least manage it, while so many here cannot. That is precisely why the work of @africaschoolassistanceproject is so essential, and why we’re climbing and raising funds to support them. As cade in point for their success if The Kupanda Project. The current average completion rate for rural girls in secondary school is 4%. (Yes, 4%.) In Kupanda, the first class of Form IV girls had an 83% pass rate! That was enough to garner a visit from Tanzanian Vice President Hassan, and a mention by President Magufuli in his Independence Day address to the nation, and more than enough proof that ASAP is making a real and profound impact on the future of Tanzania. Please join all of us in supporting this amazing organization through the link in my profile. #liveyouradventure

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A beautiful today along the meandering trail…

A beautiful today along the meandering trail from Simba to Kikelewa Camp. With far less traffic than the more popular Machame and Marangu routes on #Kilimanjaro, Rongai has diverse and stunning terrain and the constant, watchful eye of Kili and its serrated neighbor, Mawenzi. It’s a route that never gets old, always inspires, and, with the amazing Chagga team we have, there’s tons of laughter and interaction to make the experience even richer. Our team is doing great, adapting to life at altitude, and spirits are high, especially knowing all the generosity coming from so many in support of @africaschoolassistanceproject. If you still want to make a donation and help us reach our goal of $19,340, you can do so through the link in my profile. On to Mawenzi Tarn tomorrow, one of the most beautiful camps on the mountain! #liveyouradventure @kristenrcavallo @cplating @_mattcavallo

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A new friend from yesterday’s brief safari…

A new friend from yesterday’s brief safari in Arusha National Park. You see a lot of giraffe in this part of Africa, happily nibbling on branches high off the ground, their massive e size making them seem impervious to all threats. But, looks can be deceiving: the giraffe was added to the list of vulnerable species by IUCN last year. Decades of significant habitat loss coupled with poaching has reduced their numbers by some 30%. This one seemed unperturbed, however, living in a protected space here in Tanzania. May his life be a long one. #liveyouradventure @kristenrcavallo @_mattcavallo @cplating

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With a fresh coat of snow, Kilimanjaro…

With a fresh coat of snow, Kilimanjaro decided to show herself finally this afternoon, towering above the steamy lowlands of Moshi. It’s always a bit daunting when my Kili teams catch their first glimpse of the mountain rising some 16,000 feet above us. But, the team here is doing great, relaxed and packed after a fun safari today, and we’re off to the Rongai Gate tomorrow morning to begin moving upward, raising money every step of the way for the community-changing work of @africaschoolassistanceproject. We’re closing in on 50% of our $19,340 goal, and a huge asante sana (thank you very much) to all those who have given generously thus far. For those of you who still want to contribute to critical education in Tanzania, please follow the link in my profile to give now. #liveyouradventure #educationiskey @kristenrcavallo @cplating @_mattcavallo

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