KILIMANJARO – THE HIGHEST SOLITARY PEAK
Kilimanjaro’s contrasts are immediate and startling. The camera puts us at the base of the mountain in a fern-filled rain forest shrouded in early morning mist pierced by fluted bird call. The camera then zooms to Mt. Kilimanjaro’s summit with an aerial shot of a fortress-like wall of snow and ice. Will Lyman’s dulcet voice-over poetically juxtaposes the worlds of forest mist and summit frost as only he can. “With all the wonder of a lost world, in the billowing mists of an ancient rainforest, Kilimanjaro rises like a dark island in a sea of clouds, its snow summit shimmering in the harsh equatorial light.”
Cool and Confident
A large transport bounces through the jungle as the guitar music revs up. Eddie Frank walks along the road to greet his fellow adventurers,”Hey boys and girls, how’s it going. This is the point of no return, where we go straight up the mountain.” A nervous laugh from an unseen Tusker client greets his invitation to begin the climb, but Eddie’s calmness and confidence is reassuring. He demonstrates how to properly use trekking poles when the group assembles at the national park trail head and Lyman’s voice-over lets us know Eddie is no novice. “This is Eddie Frank, born and raised in Africa. He is the founder of Tusker Trail and when leading his maiden four month expedition across Africa in 1977 climbed Kilimanjaro for the first time.”
Seeking the Solitary Peak Together
A tight shot of boots, poles moving over volcanic scree as the group slowly ascends. The trail is varied, parts cut out of volcanic slope other sections over treeless moonscape, but it is always upward. Around summit basecamp, Eddie stands before his trekkers giving them the final pep talk for the final summit assault. ”You guys are all looking especially good; we are here to help you get to the summit happily and healthfully.” The group appears ready.
Finally they make the summit. Despite being wrapped in parkas and facial bandanas the joyful warmth of accomplishment is palpable. Francois Langlois, a Tusker veteran who has Everest under his belt, summarizes what it means to summit Kilimanjaro. “This permits individuals who make the summit of Kilimanjaro realize that they have the strength to go after other dreams they may have.”
Kilimanjaro’s Bearable Lightness of Being
The energy of Tusker’s crew flows throughout the video as they dance and sing their way up the mountain. Their contagious vibe lightens everybody’s load. Being in world class nature with your new friends pursuing a shared ancient goal of being on top can bring us all together. This is the video’s unstated, but implied message.
Eddie has the upbeat fade out. “Good morning Eddie,” a Tusker client says.
“On Kilimanjaro every morning is a good morning,” Eddie responds with a smile.