HALF MOON BAY, Calif., July 6, 2012 — The landscapes and environment that make up the mountain regions many of us climb, hike, and ski are often some of the most important reasons we’re drawn to them.
When they’re in danger, how many of us think about giving back?
Started in 2010 by attorney and TV host Ginna Kelly, Climb for Conservation is a non-profit organization focused on climbing mountains around the world to raise awareness and funds for land, water, and wildlife conservation.
A group of eco-conscious women will join Climb for Conservation’s first project climb of Mount Kilimanjaro in November 2012. The highest peak on the African continent and largest free-standing mountain in the world has long been called “the shining mountain,” due to the ice fields on its peak. Some scientists say that the glacial ice on the summit is melting, and the group has made that one of the points of focus for the climb.
The group of 13 “green girls” include Climb for Conservation’s founder, Ginna Kelly; actress and author Mariel Hemingway (as Ernest Hemingway’s granddaughter, she has a unique interest in seeing the “snows of Kilimanjaro”); research scientist for the National Snow and Ice Data Center Julienne Stroeve; and race car driver Leilani Munter. More may join the list before the climb begins.
Outside Television plans to accompany the group and film short pieces throughout the Kilimanjaro climb. Additionally, a feature documentary is in the works, co-produced by Ginna Kelly and Chip Comins, founder and CEO of American Renewable Energy Day (AREDAY).
While the intended focus of the climb is to raise awareness about climate, conservation, and species extinction, one of the beneficiaries of funds raised by climbers is the Mkomazi Rhino Sanctuary in Tanzania, where African black rhinos are protected from poaching. “They’re not furry and cute, so nobody talks about how endangered rhinos are. We want to collaborate with the sanctuary so that we can make as strong an effort toward a solution as possible,” said Comins.
It’s important to note that not only are the women climbing Kilimanjaro paying their own expenses, but also are pledging to raise $10,000 each for the Mkomazi Rhino Sanctuary and Climb for Conservation’s future projects for critical conservation causes.
“We’re planning to climb Machu Picchu in 2013, and have other projects in the works,” said Kelly. “Anyone can participate, even if they want to cast a spotlight on a conservation issue in their local area. It’s not about hardcore mountain climbing; even trekking, hiking and skiing are mountain activities that Climb for Conservation covers.”
Anyone can get involved in projects run by the non-partisan organization. For more information, check out the Climb for Conservation website.
Jill K. Robinson is an award-winning journalist and adventure seeker. Follow her adventures on dangerjillrobinson.com and Twitter @dangerjr. Jill is an avid kayaker and owner of Half Moon Bay Kayak Company.