Showing posts from May, 2012

Gilbert Woman to Hike Kilimanjaro to Raise Money for Charity

Great article in the Arizona Republic today about Laura Barnes and her upcoming Kilimanjaro climb. In Swahili, hakuna matata translates to "no worries."

Laura Barnes of Gilbert uses these words immortalized by the Disney movie "The Lion King" to assuage the fears of her 11-year-old son Henry about her upcoming charity trek of Mt. Kilimanjaro in the African country of Tanzania.

"Kilimanjaro? Hakuna matata," Barnes says jauntily to Henry, who's troubled that the name of the mountain starts with the consonant "kil." 

Hakuna matata was far from what Barnes' parents felt 40 years ago when their daughter was diagnosed with a hole in her heart.

Barnes was 4 then and living in the village of Hartford in northwest England.

"I cannot even begin to imagine the fear and the terror they were going through," she said. "But they didn't show it to me."

When she turned 10, Barnes had open-heart surgery at Royal Liverpool Child…

Things You Might Not Know About Mt. Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro is probably one of the most famous mountains in the world – it’s the highest walkable peak anywhere on the planet and thousands of people head here each year to climb it.

That’s all well and good, but if you’ll be climbing Kilimanjaro as part of your gap year, you should know a bit more than that – to get you started, here are a few things you might not know about the Tanzanian mountain.
The First Successful Ascent While climbing Kilimanjaro may still be an impressive feat, it’s nothing compared to what the first mountaineers went through to tackle the summit.
In October 1889, Hans Meyer, Ludwig Purtscheller and Yoanas Kinyala Lauwo became the first people to officially reach the rim of the Kibo crater and were the first ones to ascend Uhuru Peak – the highest point – on Purtscheller’s 40th birthday.
This was actually Meyer’s third attempt at scaling the mountain and the expedition party – which also included nine porters, a guide, a cook and two local head…

Meeting A Survivor On Everest

A friend sent me this article, and I thought it would be a great one to share.  'Meeting A Survivor On Everest' is written by Richard Wiese from the Huffington Post.

You would think that after trekking for almost a month in the high Himalaya, it would be the mountains that I would remember most, but when I look back on that expedition in 2007, it's not the sea of snow-capped peaks or even the massive beauty of Everest itself that comes to mind. I think of the face of a young girl -- blonde, big-eyed, no more than 10 -- her features illuminated by the light from a teahouse fire. She walked into a ramshackled hut on the roof of the world, played a few rounds of poker and left to join her party camped nearby. I never saw her again.

It was early April and I had already been on the Nepal side of Everest for two weeks. There were at least 40 of us in our party though I never really got a firm head count. The consisted of climbers, researchers, physicians and John Caud…

5 Things They Don't Tell You About Kilimanjaro by Ben Colclough

Last year, an estimated 25,000 people set out to climb Mt Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain. In so doing, they ate approximately 110,000 snickers bars, drank 70,000 litres of tea, expelled 75 cubic metres of intestinal gas and used 962 kilometres of toilet paper. More significant for the rest of us, they also produced some 25,000 personal accounts of the climb, tales of altitude, aptitude and attitude that have been written up, blogged about or televised more times than Britney Spears' waist line.

With all this exposure, you'd be forgiven for thinking that a trek up Kili (as it's affectionately known by morons) would yield little in the way of surprises, every trivial twist and turn having been cogitated ad (altitudinal) nauseam in the pages of some glossy travel mag. Certainly this was my feeling as I embarked on the climb last month: there was nothing that could catch me unawares, right?

Well, it turns out I was wrong. And here in testament to th…

73-year-old Japanese woman scales Mount Everest

KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) – A 73-year-old Japanese woman climbed to Mount Everest's peak Saturday, smashing her own record to again become the oldest woman to scale the world's highest mountain.
Tamae Watanabe reached Everest's 8,850-meter-high (29,035-foot-high) summit from the northern side of the mountain in Tibet on Saturday morning with four other team members, said Ang Tshering of the China Tibet Mountaineering Association in Nepal.
Watanabe had climbed Everest in 2002 at the age of 63 to become the oldest woman to scale the mountain. She had retained the title until she topped herself a decade later.
Tshering said Watanabe and the other team members are in good condition and are on their way back to the base of the mountain.
Watanabe and her team left the last high altitude camp located at 8,300 meters (27,225 feet) Friday night and climbed all night before reaching the summit Saturday morning.
Weather conditions have improved on the mountains this week.
Teams …

18 Year Old Leanna Shuttleworth Summits Everest

Congratulations Leanna!

It’s been confirmed that British 18-year-old Leanna Shuttleworth has summited Everest, becoming the youngest British woman to have done so. Leanna  was also planning to attempt a summit on Lhotse within 24 hours, however with very windy conditions on Everest and Lhotse we are unsure if she still intends to make an attempt.

For more information about the Summit Murder Mystery series, CLICK HERE

Article source: Trek and Mountain Magazine

The Allen Letter Reviews Murder on Aconcagua

Great new review from the Allen Letter!  For those of you that aren't familiar with the Allen Letter, it is a Professional Journal for the Manufactured Housing Industry.  Their newsletter publishes monthly, and inside May's edition is a great review for Murder on Aconcagua.

"Does the name Charles (Chuck) Irion ring a mental bell with you? By now, it should!  Why?  He's the veteran LLCommunity owner who has fashioned a second career for himself as an author in general, a mystery writer in particular.  I've reviewed several of Chuck's books in past issues of the Allen Letter professional journal.  This time around, I've got a 'winner' for you.  His Murder on Aconcagua, 'A Summit Murder Mystery' is well done, but most important, is his first real 'page-turner'.  I read it during my flight to Las Vegas (MHCongress) a few weeks ago, and 'time just flew by', as I got to know his characters, learned more about mountain climbing, a…

Dozens kidnapped by rebels in Peru

According to the Associated Press article dated Sunday, April 15th, in Lima, Peru thirty-six kidnapped construction workers walked out of Peru's jungle to freedom after being released by Shining Path rebels who abducted them five days earlier from a town near the nation's main natural-gas fields, officials said.

President Ollanta Humala told Peruvian radio station RPP that the guerrillas freed the captives because troops and police from a force of 1,500 men were closing in.

Reports such as this one aren't having an effect on Charles Irion.  Currently training and preparing for his climb of Machu Picchu he's looking forward to his visit to Peru.  Irion is heading to Peru in June to climb Machu Picchu as research for his upcoming book Murder on Machu Picchu. 

For more information about Charles Irion, please visit
For more information about the Summit Murder Mystery series, please visit