Two Tahoe women Climbing And Skiing Mt. Kenya To Empower Women In Africa
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Meghan Kelly and Jennifer Gurecki dubbed their expedition to Mount Kenya "Summit for Our Sisters." Their hope was to inspire others to work to empower women while also bringing attention to climate change and promote the launch of their new ski and snowboard company in Stateline, Nev.
They were plagued by heavy rainfall most of the trek but were thrilled to zoom down Lewis Glacier on skis and boards after they reached the summit at Point Lenana on Nov. 8. Gurecki said it was a special moment because so much of the glacier has melted that there may be nothing left in the near future.
The pair raised money for Zawadisha, a nonprofit organization Gurecki founded with a mission to empower, entrust and expand opportunities for women and children.
"I think the fact that it was for a good cause really pushed us on," Kelly told the Tahoe Daily Tribune (http://tinyurl.com/mz2dnzk).
The group's Web site says the Truckee-based Zawadisha Fund strives to create opportunities for women through micro-lending, savings, preventative health care, and education.
"It wasn't just the launch of a company," Gurecki said. "It had a deeper purpose."
Porters carried food but Kelly and Gurecki hauled most of their own supplies, skis, snowboards, crampons and safety gear through the steady Kenyan rains about 575 miles northeast of Nairobi.
"It's just really difficult to go days without seeing the sun and hiking soaking wet," Gurecki said.
Kelly said she didn't want to leave the summit, where the weather finally broke.
"I definitely felt a sense of accomplishment," she said. "I wanted to spend as much time as possible up there."
Information from event website: http://www.stayclassy.org/events/summit-for-our-sisters/e26973
We summited Mt. Kenya--more than 16,000 feet--because we are done with women being 70 percent. Now through December 3rd, help us raise a dollar for every foot we climbed. Donate today to to outfit women with the access to capital they need to be self-sufficient, successful, and to climb out of the 70 percent.
Climb with Zawadisha in Summit for Our Sisters. This is isn't charity, it's change.
Mount Kenya, Africa’s second highest mountain after Kilimanjaro, rises above the country’s highlands at a demanding 16,355 feet. Due to climate change, only a handful of mountain enthusiasts have accomplished this trek on Lewis Glacier. Studies show the snow and ice on the volcanic peak of Mount Kenya are melting away so fast scientists estimate they will disappear in the next two or three decades.
The women Zawadisha works with in Kenya are incredibly impacted by climate change. Many of them are farmers and other sell food staples at the local market. Drought, caused by climate change, leads to less productive crops, decreasing daily incomes and increasing food costs. While we sit and contemplate the effects of climate change, these women are living it day in and day out.
Zawadisha has been providing small business loans, education, preventative healthcare, and savings to women in Kenya for two years. Funds raised through this expedition will continue to support these women and increase our capacity to actively develop strategies that will help our members adapt to climate change.
We ask you to climb with us, to donate today, and to share your committment to empowering women and ending poverty with others.
Information from: Tahoe Daily Tribune, http://www.tahoedailytribune.com/
Read more here: http://www.modbee.com/2013/12/01/3063622/tahoe-women-complete-mount-keny...
From Oct 9, 2013:
Summit For Our Sisters: Climbing And Skiing Mt. Kenya To Empower Women In Africa
At 5199 meters (17,057 ft) in height, Mt. Kenya is the second highest peak in Africa behind Kilimanjaro and a challenging climb in its own right. Like Kili, the mountain has the rare distinction of having snow on its slopes on a continent that rarely sees ice or snow occurring in the wild. And also like Kili, those snows are rapidly disappearing and could be completely gone within the next few decades. In November, Mt. Kenya will be the location of an expedition that is designed to draw attention to the changing climate that is forcing its glaciers into retreat. That expedition has a second objective however, which could have even longer lasting effects on the nation of Kenya and the people that live there.
In just a few weeks time, Jennifer Gurecki and Meghan Kelly will set out to scale the mountain and ski across its largest snowfield, the Lewis Glacier which is located at 5000 meters (16,400 ft). Jennifer and Meghan, who are sponsored by a new ski and snowboard company for women called Coalition Snow, hope to use their adventure to draw attention to global climate change ant its effects on Mt. Kenya. But they'll also be raising money to support Zawadisha, a non-profit organization that is helping women in Africa to receive micro-loans that will enable them pursue their own business dreams. The organization also teaches self-defense classes, provides education on how the women can manage their money and introduces them to preventative healthcare that could help lead to longer lives.
The expedition is set to get underway in the first two weeks of November. Other than receiving a press release on its objectives however, I don't know much beyond that. The Coalition Snow Facebook page should have more information in the days ahead, but at this point there isn't much there and I'm not even sure how anyone would contribute to the cause. Presumably once the ladies launch their climb and ski expedition, they'll post some updates on their adventure to that page.
While this isn't some massive, extreme expedition like some that we've seen lately, it should still prove to be quite the adventure for Jennifer and Meghan. I happen to like both causes that they are championing as well, as obviously we should all be aware of the changes that are taking place in the environment around us and raising money to help women in Africa is a great cause as well.