Troy Paff’s cinematography for Tusker TV’s Kilimanjaro series is often spectacular showing the raw beauty of Kilimanjaro, but among his opening frames is a subtle shot of a pool of water reflecting passing trekkers. It captures the natural setting, but also hints at the psychological heights where these climbers are heading. Climbing Kilimanjaro can be a reflective, empowering experience.
WATCH: Kilimanjaro – Empowering
National Geographic narrator Will Lyman also sets the stage juxtaposing the sights, “there is one guarantee when climbing Kilimanjaro with Tusker Trail – the range of natural beauty seen nowhere else on the planet,” with the personal aspects of trail camaraderie among trekkers and guides pulling in the same upward direction.
Health and Safety
A Tusker guide talks into a walkie-talkie and a helicopter descends to take someone down. The elusive snow-capped summit looms in the background as the chopper now ascends. There is no guarantee that everyone will make it to the top, but Tusker’s reputation for health and safety is a guarantee set in Kilimanjaro’s hardened volcanic stone. “You climb with the confidence of camping and hiking with the best guides and the best gear on the mountain,” Lyman assures.
To the Beat
For those heading to the top, composer Richard Martinez’ music score hastens the group up the mountain. It’s followed by a pensive shot at twilight of leader Eddie Frank staring down onto Africa’s sprawling savannas and valleys from near the summit as the tents have been pitched and the day winds down.
“To many Tusker climbers rising to the top of Kilimanjaro is a life changing experience; you descend transformed,” Lyman says. The proof comes with the following visuals as climbers descend exclaiming they are feeling good because they accomplished what they had set out to do.
Strike up the Band
Now in the forest descending through the mist, they have achieved their goal and are almost home. Music filters through the forest as they approach the trucks. The local police brass band plays and salutes Tusker’s triumphants. Eddie embraces several climbers and they dance basking in the mist and their accomplishment. They have achieved a life goal, but that’s not the end of it. The power of the mountain casts a long shadow.
“Imbued that you can accomplish almost anything, it’s a feeling that you carry for the rest of your life,” Lyman concludes as Eddie walks in the forest reflecting on the many climbers who have been to the top with him and the few that haven’t, but are empowered to try again.