Our schedule in Tanzania to the top of Kilimanjaro

We are getting ready to leave.

First, the best link to follow us up the mountain, thanks to Liam McGuire is http://www.arcgis.com/apps/PublicInformation/index.html?appid=e3126e57c52742beb635da29589b6de2

Here is our itinerary while in Tanzania:

Day 1 | Mar. 31, 2017 TEAM ARRIVAL DAY Pickup at the airport and drive to hotel. Overnight at Springlands Hotel.

Day 2 | Apr. 1, 2017 (B)Rest/prep day, optional city tour included. Overnight at Springlands Hotel.

Day 3 | Apr. 2, 2017 (B,L,D)Start at the Machame Gate (1,490 m/4,890 ft) where the group will register and begin climbing to Machame Camp (2,980 m/9,780 ft). Hiking time: 7 hours Distance: About 18 km Rainforest Zone

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Day 4 | Apr. 3, 2017 (B,L,D)Machame Camp (2,980 m/9,780 ft) to Shira Camp (3,840 m/12,600 ft). Hiking time: 6 hours Distance: About 9 km Lower Alpine Moorland Zone

Day 5 | Apr. 4, 2017 (B,L,D)Shira Camp (3,840 m/12,600 ft). Full day acclimatization. Habitat: Moorland

Day 6 | Apr. 5, 2017 (B,L,D)Shira Camp (3,840 m/12,600 ft) to Lava Tower (4,630 m/15,190 ft) to Barranco Camp (3,950 m/12,960 ft) 15 km, 7 hours. Habitat: Semi-Desert

Day 7 | Apr. 6, 2017 (B,L,D)Barranco Camp (3,950 m/12,960 ft) to Karanga Valley Camp for acclimatization.


Day 8 | Apr. 7, 2017 (B,L,D)Karanga valley camp to Barafu Camp (4,550 m/14,930 ft).Hiking time: 7 hours Distance: About 13 km Habitat: Alpine desert

Day 9 | Apr. 8, 2017 (B,L,D)SUMMIT DAY! Barafu Camp (4,550 m/14,930 ft) to Uhuru Peak (5,895 m/19,340 ft) to Mweka (3,100 m/10,170 ft). Hiking time: 8 hours to reach Uhuru Peak, 7/8 hours to descend to Mweka Distance: About 7 km’s ascent, 23 km’s descent Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit

Day 10 | Apr. 9, 2017 (B,L)Final descent, Mweka camp (3,100 m/10,170 ft), Mweka Gate (1,980 m/6,500 ft). Hiking/Descend time: 3 hours Distance: Approx. 15 km Transfer to Springlands Hotel in Moshi town for a much deserved celebration. Overnight Springlands Hotel.

From here, some of the group will return home and some will stay a few more days to take part in a safari.

I can’t guarantee beautiful photos like the one in this blog, but I will do my best to take shots and blog whenever possible and feasible.

Now it’s time to put on the packs and get going!

Many hands on the way to Kilimanjaro

Tomorrow we leave for Kilimanjaro. There are 30 climbers in the group and up to 70 others who will be guiding us up the mountain starting on Sunday.

Start at the Machame Gate (1,490 m/4,890 ft) where the group will register and begin climbing to Machame Camp (2,980 m/9,780 ft). Hiking time: 7 hours Distance: About 18 km Rainforest Zone

As I climb up Kilimanjaro, I will be thinking of the team we have all left behind, all those who raised money for us, supported us, cheered us on and said ‘yes’ to the entire experience.

In particular, I will be thinking and giving thanks to my wonderful wife, Heather. Without her love and support this venture would never have happened. Apart from running a really successful fundraiser, she has been with me every step of the way, right from the moment we decided that to do this properly, I had to retire at Christmas so I could focus on training for the climb. She has been my wonderful emotional support every day since this venture started. Retirement was a really good idea!

I will be thinking of my family and all the work and support they have given me throughout the fall and winter, right up to today when my son Liam spent an hour working with me to set up the right ESRI Story Maps to allow for live tracking during our climb.

Liam’s new map that will show Tweets from the mountain along with waypoints recorded by my InReach GPS. Liam’s map is best found at this link: http://arcg.is/2oaUoYc

Then there are so many people who have sent notes of encouragement and who have helped sustain an incredible fundraising campaign that is almost at $10,000 at this point – twice the amount I was expecting to make. What an incredible community of support.

The best thing I can do now is climb well. For Heather, my family and all of you who have helped so much. I am humbled and blessed to have such a beautiful community of support.

Starting on the way to Kilimanjaro

In three days we leave for Mt. Kilimanjaro.  Our journey has been a long one. Not just the training, a major component of this venture has been the fundraising. Today, we have raised over $214,618.00 this year and are over the $1 million dollar mark since 2011.

one of our many group shots during the training hikes on Wolf Trail

We have had a wonderful experience so far. I have tried to record as much as possible through blogging, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube.  Here is the latest video outlining the training we have done over the past six months.

Our team leaders have been wonderful – Shawn Dawson, Kristi Johnston and Jason Colley have been with all of us all the way.  I write this so that all readers will know who are responsible for all our training and fundraising.

These wonderful people have been supported by Darren Prashad, our travel coordinator and Don Penney, our webmaster.  We will soon be joined by a whole host of other team supporters.  Shawn has told us that our team heading up the mountain will total more than 100 people.  I hope to introduce you to some of them before we climb.

Our climbing team includes: Byron Johnson, Harry Binks, Crystal Borutskie, Natalie Shea, MaryAnne Ivison, Gillian Barth, Allison Burton, Augustina Dean, Bob Connolly, Virginia Gluska, Jeremy Post, Emily Fisk, Jamie Straw, Karlie Reinberger, Juli Baird, Vicky Castledine, Amanda McCambley, Kevin Brockville, Patrick Fitzgerald, Leta Woodford- Pearson, Troy Pearson, Malcolm Preston, Mark Straw, Megan Benoit, Heather Benoit, Greta Dounev and Roberta Brown

30 people, all climbing together.

The challenge now will be to find good ways for you the reader to follow us in Africa.

Our Canadian-Kilimanjaro Journey.clipular
layers can be added to this ESRI map so students should be able to track us up the mountain

This is the map we hope to use to track our progress up the mountain.

To find us on the mountain, you can go to this address:  https://share.garmin.com/PaulMcGuire

you will get an image like this: 

The obvious difference will be that the map that will show up will be from Tanzania.

Finally, to follow us up the mountain and to access the 3D map about, you will have to go to our ESRI Story Map

This is only a screen shot of the last page on the ESRI Story Map, but WordPress.com does not support embedding, so you will just have to go to the site yourself here:  http://arcg.is/2hwfHR3

Lots more to write about as we get ready, but I need to pack!

 

23 Days Until Kilimanjaro!

Every week, I have been putting out an e-mail note to the wonderful group that is supporting me.  Here is the text of my latest note.
There are now 23 days until our group leaves for Africa!
some of the group on one of our training treks in the Gatineau
We have all our gear and the training continues to go well.  This past Sunday I climbed ten sets (31 floors) in a new time – 1 hour and 51 minutes.  This may not seem all that interesting, but for us this is huge.  The only way to prepare for this climb is to get in the best physical shape possible.  There is no way to prepare for the lack of oxygen at the higher altitudes, you just have to work on what you can control.
heart and respiration rates on the stairs
We all continue to fundraise, which to me is the truly unique feature of this experience.  We are now over $165,000 for this year and over one million raised since 2011.
Many of you have contributed to this total and I thank-you for being active participants in this wonderful venture.
Together, we have raised $8695.00 for Rec Link and the Sens Foundation.  Well over the new goal set at $8000.00,  thanks to some really generous recent donations.
All this money goes to kids, so if you haven’t donated yet please consider making a contribution on my fundraising page.  You will automatically receive a tax receipt from Canada Helps for 2017.
Recently, I have been working on learning Adobe Premier Pro and have a new video out that shows some of the training we have done this year.  I will keep working on my film-making skills over the next few weeks.  You can see our latest video, Trekking to Kilimanjaro here.
 
This video will be added to our ESRI Story Map that also contains a 3D map of Mt. Kilimanjaro which we hope to use to show our progress up the mountain.
layers can be added to this ESRI map so students should be able to track us up the mountain

This is what tracking looks like – here, a variety of hikes in the Gatineau


For teachers who are part of this list, I hope you will have a chance to follow us through the Story Map starting March 30th.  I will be posting photos, video, text and our route to the Story Map whenever possible.
Thanks to my technical assistant, Liam McGuire for helping to make this possible and interesting for your students.
The link to follow me live using the InReach tool is https://share.garmin.com/PaulMcGuire
Currently, the page looks like this.
When a student clicks on one of the waypoints on the map, they will receive information on elevation, latitude, longitude and bearing.
I am really looking forward to sharing all this with you.  This is a venture we all will take part in.
 

Dream Mountains gets ready for Mt. Kilimanjaro

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We leave for Mt. Kilimanjaro in 31 days.

This has been a very intense experience on many levels.  First, the physical training has been incredible.  Stair climbing, now as many as 4200 stairs over a two-hour period has been gruelling.

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Every second week we do a trek on the Wolf Trail – a good 2-hour hike up one of the ridges in the Gatineau near Ottawa.  Each of these treks is an opportunity to try out new equipment, new food types and most importantly, a chance to get to know the people you will be climbing with and depending on during the climb to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro – 5,888 metres (19,318 ft).

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Physical training aside, the next great challenge is raising money for the group we have been assigned to support throughout this entire journey.

For me, this is what makes the Dream Mountains experience unique.  It’s not about you and your own bucket list.  It’s more about the fundraising each of the group members is doing for a great collection of local and national charities.

Our current fundraising totals
Our current fundraising totals

I don’t think I would be doing this if it weren’t for the community connection that has been created between ourselves and the groups we are working to support.  What really would be the point?

For me, another important part of the preparation has been my attempts to explore various communication tools that will allow people to follow the climb while we are in Africa.  I have taken my inspiration for this part of the planning from Elia Saikaly who is a master at telling adventure stories using social media. There is no way I can do what he does during one of his expeditions, but I am doing what I can.

My main tool is one that Elia has used – the ESRI Story Map, a wonderful media tool that has allowed me to tell our story from our early training climbs right up to treks along Wolf Trail.  With incredible help from the ESRI team, I have been able to improve my story map and have learned how to add waypoints from my tracking tools – InReach and Suunto to the Wolf Trail base map.  I am really hoping that I will be able to add points during our climb to a 3D map of Kilimanjaro I have added to the story map.

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The money I am raising is going to Rec Link a group here in Ottawa that is doing so much to help the families and children I used to work with while I was principal at St. Anthony School.

 

our-canadian-kilimanjaro-journey-clipular It is such a privilege to be able to give back to a group that has done so my for our kids and I have the coordinator of Dream Mountains Shawn Dawson to thanks for this. Shawn is a truly selfless individual who has an incredible commitment to give back to the community while supporting over 20 novice climbers in our long journey to Kilimanjaro.  It is such a joy to work with someone who is so positive and supportive and is willing to give so much of himself for others – a very rare commodity in my experience.

Finally, none of this would be possible without the great group of family and friends who have supported my fundraising efforts. It has been truly humbling that so many people would donate so much to help me reach my funding goal.  At this point, I have raised more than $8000.00 for Rec Link and have received wonderful support from my wife and family – without them, this would never have happened.

 

I hope people follow us up the mountain.  I hope the technology works.  I hope we have all trained hard enough.  Whatever happens, this already has been a truly unique and wonderful experience and I am happy to part of this great group.

34 Days to Go!!

Now we are getting close!!

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This is the 3D map I will be using to track my progress on InReach – the map should get updated every day of the climb.
 
34 days until we depart for the climb and $820.00 away from making it to our goal of $8000.00 for Rec Link. That’s just $24.11 a day to make it! If you haven’t donated yet – please click below and make a contribution to help kids here in Ottawa.
 
Here is the link:  http://bit.ly/2bwIrnT
 
Here is the link to find me on the mountain using the INReach site – https://share.garmin.com/PaulMcGuire
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Either way, this will be as interactive as I can make it – if you follow the journey, please make sure you are a true partner in this venture by making a donation for kids in Ottawa.
 
Really looking forward to sharing this with you and at the same time making a significant contribution to a really effective agency here in Ottawa
 
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Great Projects call for Great Communities Blog Post # 10

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To make a big climb and a wonderful fundraising project work you need lots of help.  You also have to acknowledge the people who are making this happen – after a great night last night, I have lots to be thankful for.
Thanks to everyone who was able to come out to our fundraiser last night.  It was great to see so many good friends and I feel truly honoured to have your support.
Thanks to long distance travellers like Patti Walker (Oakville), Joe Ferracuti (Montreal) and Bob and Karen Kennedy (Brockville).
Thanks to all those who made this happen – Shawn Dawson – our fearless Dream Mountains leader, Jenny, the wonderful Fatboys manager, First Bass – the amazing band (who we want to hear again!), my wonderful family – Heather Swail – who worked so hard to make this happen, Liam McGuire, Mairi McGuire – our artist – Colleen McGuire and Claire Maultsaid.  Also, thanks to Dream Mountains members Virginia Gluska, Julie Baird and her husband who did so much to run the silent auction and 50/50 draw.  Also to Harry Binks, Augustina Dean and Byron Johnson who came out to our event.
What a community effort!!
We are now approaching the $7000.00 mark in our fundraising efforts for Rec Link and we will keep on going to see how we all can assist this great organization.  We will continue to take donations, so let’s see how much we can raise for Rec LINK!!
Many are asking how best to follow the climb so I am adding the sites I will be using here. If you know of anyone who wants to follow and is not getting these notes, please let me know and I will add them here.
The sites:
ESRI Story Map:  Our Canadian Kilimanjaro Journey http://arcg.is/2hwfHR3
Sutori Story Board: https://www.sutori.com/story/our-kilimanjaro-journey Our Kilimanjaro Journey
Kuula – a growing collection of 360-degree photos – many more to come!

My fundraising page:  http://bit.ly/2bKfFkk – all donations are tax deductible

Thanks again – this is a great venture and I am very happy to have all of you on board!!
Paul

Hello everyone!

Thanks to everyone who was able to come out to our fundraiser last night. It was great to see so many good friends and I feel truly honoured to have your support.

Thanks to long distance travellers like Patti Walker (Oakville), Joe Ferracuti (Montreal) and Bob and Karen Kennedy (Brockville).

Thanks to all those who made this happen – Shawn Dawson – our fearless Dream Mountains leader, Jenny, the wonderful Fatboys manager, First Bass – the amazing band (who we want to hear again!), my wonderful family – Heather Swail – who worked so hard to make this happen, Liam McGuire, Mairi McGuire – our artist – Colleen McGuire and Claire Maultsaid. Also, thanks to Dream Mountains members Virginia Gluska, Julie Baird and her husband who did so much to run the silent auction and 50/50 draw. Also to Harry Binks, Augustina Dean and Byron Johnson who came out to our event.

What a community effort!!

We are now approaching the $7000.00 mark in our fundraising efforts for Rec Link and we will keep on going to see how we all can assist this great organization. We will continue to take donations, so let’s see how much we can raise for Rec LINK!!

Many are asking how best to follow the climb so I am adding the sites I will be using here. If you know of anyone who wants to follow and is not getting these notes, please let me know and I will add them here.

The sites:

My Blog: https://paulmcguire1.com/

ESRI Story Map: Our Canadian Kilimanjaro Journey http://arcg.is/2hwfHR3

Sutori Story Board: https://www.sutori.com/story/our-kilimanjaro-journey Our Kilimanjaro Journey

Kuula – a growing collection of 360 degree photos – many more to come!

My fundraising page: http://bit.ly/2bKfFkk – all donations are tax deductible

Thanks again – this is a great venture and I am very happy to have all of you on board!!

Paul

https://kuula.co/share/7ft6s

You don’t climb without support Blog Post # 9

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As I get ready for our big fundraiser for the Sens Foundation next week and look beyond this to the Kilimanjaro climb, I decided to write those who are supporting this great effort.  To date, we have raised $4385.00 and over 70 people have signed up already for next week’s event.  Here is my note to them.
Hello everyone
You are receiving this e-mail either because you have donated to my Dream Mountains charity – the Sens Foundation or because I just want to keep you informed on our progress as we get ready for the Kilimanjaro climb at the end of March.
First, to all those who have contributed, I want to thank you so much for your support.  We now have raised $4385.00 and have sold 75  tickets for next week’s fundraiser/retirement party.
You can still get tickets by going to our ‘donate now’ page.  Everyone who donates $25.00 gets a ticket and a tax receipt from Canada Helps.  Here is the link
There is still time to donate, even if you can’t make it to the gala, we are aiming at reaching $6000.00 for Rec LINK (through the SENs Foundation) before the end of next week.
I have also been working hard on a few sites that I hope will help tell the story of the climb.
First, there is my blog that I am using more as a journal on preparations for Kilimanjaro.  It has a new look and a new title to better reflect the current purpose for the blog.
I also have two story maps, both have their strengths, and I am using both as a way to tell our story as it unfolds.  Both get updated weekly and they act as a running record of the Dream Mountain experience.
The first is Our Canadian Kilimanjaro Journey – a story map from ESRI
The new one is from Sutori, a great new tool.  This one is simply called Our Kilimanjaro Journey
This one includes an on-line forum so students (and adults!) can ask questions about the trip, training or anything else that people may be interested in.  This is very new to me, I hope this is one way to engage students.
I also have a site called Kuula where I will be putting photos from my 360 Theta camera. There is not much there now, but I will add more photos, especially as we climb Kilimanjaro. You can find this site here.
Thanks for sharing this journey with me.  I hope to see lots of you next week at our fundraiser – January 27th at Fatboys in the Market.
Paul

Writing Obama Blog Post # 8

“I won’t stop; in fact, I will be right there with you, as a citizen, for all my days that remain.”

—President Barack Obama, January 10, 2017

We need some hope.

Today, I found the link to President Obama’s new Twitter account and his foundation page. It starts with a really positive message.

When you go through the site, you are asked a few questions on what kind of positive initiative you would like to see happen. You are also asked to add an image and write about why it is important to you. I wrote this.

I think a good citizen is someone who contributes in a positive way to make things better for those in their community.  That community could be your neighbourhood, city, country or the entire world. We can all make a positive difference if we want to.

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I am part of a group that will be climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in March 2017.  I love this project because we get the adventure of a lifetime and at the same time, we raise money for a charity of our choice – mine is Rec LINK, a small organization that helps families in poor neighbourhoods access recreational services.

It would be great to do something like this in Guatemala or El Salvador – places more people need to explore and learn about.

That’s it – I got to write the President about Dream Mountains and its potential to continue to match adventure and social justice – something I really hope will happen in the future.

I am really glad he asked.

Apps and sites for digital story-telling – the mountains are calling!! Blog Post # 7

I am on the search for great story-telling tools!

Sometimes you need to spend a whole day to find just the right tool.  I think I found it – Kuula – a great interactive tool, which unfortunately will not embed to a WordPress blog!

 

https://kuula.co/share/7ft6s – link to the interactive version.

This find is the result of a day-long search to find apps that will allow me to easily share interactive photos from my upcoming climb to Mt. Kilimanjaro.

It is great that we are all raising money for different charities – mine is the Sens Foundation and specifically, Rec LINK, an organization that does terrific work in our community, linking families up to recreational opportunities for their kids.

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From their website, they outline their mission for their community:

1 in 5 children in Ottawa lives in poverty and many more face barriers that make participation in after-school sports, recreational or social programs difficult. Rec Link aims to help children and youth participate in social recreation activities during the critical afterschool hours by working to effect change on three levels: system, community, and individual.

 I understand the importance of this work.  For over two years, I worked in the community they support.  Kids in our neighbourhood simply do not get the opportunities to play sports and take part in enriching activities due to the lack of resources available to families.

So, while it is important to raise money for Rec LINK, I also need to tell the story of the journey to the top of Kilimanjaro.  I am doing this for the kids I used to work with and for all those wonderful people who are supporting me.  To date, 82 people have contributed $4082.00 to Rec LINK – my goal is $6000.00 and I am going to make it.

Now, back to story-telling.  I continue to look for ways to tell the story. Kuula is really important because it is really difficult to share 360 photos. These photos are really important as you can manipulate the picture so you can get a 360 degree perspective on what is going on in the photo.  The photos are taken using the Ricoh Theta S – a wonderful camera that takes 360 photos and videos.  I have the photos worked out now but still learning how to do interesting 360 videos.

The jewel in the story-telling crown is certainly ESRI Story Maps.

The story map is supposed to embed to web pages, but it won’t work here which is a problem.  The opening page looks like this

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The actual story map will scroll down as you add to your story.  You can embed maps, photos and of course 360 interactive photos and videos!

I hope to use this tool as a way to share the actual climb with students back in Ottawa.  With the aid of an InReach Satellite Communicator  I will actually track our progress up the mountain.  To do it on a 3D map would be the best – however, I don’t know how to do this yet.

3D Imagery from the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro
3D Imagery from the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro

Another story-telling tool I am experimenting with is Sutori.  This tool has lots of interesting features that are not included in ESRI Story Maps and it might be a better way to interact with students.  Sutori allows you to add collaborators to write with you.  It has functions that allow you to add forums for questions and music. Like ESRI, you can’t embed the story to your website which is certainly more engaging.  You also can’t embed photos which is a problem.

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screen shot of the Sutori Page

 

I will keep searching for good ways to bring this story to life. I can’t imagine doing this without sharing as much as I can.

If you have good ideas on tools I should be using, I would love to hear what you know!