Despite a nasty snowstorm that slowed their progress, the Summit on the Summit team made it to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro on Tuesday (January 12), completing a six-day, 50-mile trek aimed at raising awareness about clean water.
“Even with as many grandiose illusions that I have had, this has gone beyond my wildest dreams and expectations,” said trip leader Kenna in a statement about the ascent to the peak of the tallest mountain in Africa, on which he was joined by a crew that included actors Emile Hirsch, Jessica Biel and Isabel Lucas, musicians Lupe Fiasco and Santigold, and a group of eminent scientists and activists. “The influencers, educators, staff, crew, and publicists have literally braved this on behalf of the world and, in a personally meaningful way, on behalf of my father.”
The journey will be chronicled in a 90-minute documentary slated to air on March 14 at 9 p.m. on MTV.
Kenna, who unsuccessfully attempted to reach the 19,340-foot peak of the mountain five years ago, was overjoyed that every one of the trekkers on the trip made the difficult ascent, which was chronicled with video, tweets and photos on the Summit on the Summit Web site. The climb is intended to raise awareness about bringing desperately needed clean water to developing nations around the globe.
The final climb was arduous and left the participants exhausted, but thrilled about their achievement. “The last 48 hours have been the most intense and physically grueling experience of my life. miraculously we all made it to the top together,” said Hirsch. “To have such a complete success for such a worthwhile cause — the global clean water crisis — more than reaching the summit is what is really satisfying.”
After telling MTV News on Monday that he had struggled at times with keeping himself fueled up with enough food and water on the trip, Lupe Fiasco added, “The thrill of conquering your fears especially in such a physically and mentally taxing environment can’t really be done justice in words.”
The push to the top took seven hours. Despite battling weather conditions that included high winds, snow, sleet, rain and hail — as well as fatigue, altitude sickness, dizziness and headaches over the course of the nearly week-long climb — the team reached the peak on Tuesday night without incident; climbers striving for the peak have a success rate around 75 percent. With little time to celebrate, the group began a six-hour descent soon after summiting, walking their way down to 12,000 feet, where they will set up camp for their final night on the mountain.
“I also can’t be more thankful for all the people that followed us, donated and have fought the global clean water crisis with us,” added Kenna.
Check back with MTV News for more updates from Kenna and his team, and tune in to “Summit on the Summit” on March 14 at 9 p.m. on MTV.