Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality Logo

Climbers set two records hihest number of climbers who are blind and youngest climber too at the top

Jul 10, 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                               Phone: 602-331-7977 Friday July 10, 2009                                                                                       Email:



Largest Group of Blind Climbers and Youngest Blind Climber Summit Mt. Kilimanjaro


After a year of intense training, Team Kili, a group of blind climbers along with sighted guides from Phoenix-based non-profit, Foundation for Blind Children, reached the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa on Monday, June 29, 2009.


The entire team of 25 hikers started the trek up Mt. Kilimanjaro on Tuesday, June 22, 2009. Team Kili was guided by Expedition Leader and Foundation for Blind Children board member, Kevin Cherilla, from KC Summits, and consisted of 8 blind climbers and 17 sighted guides.


News of the summit traveled fast, everyone on Mt. Kilimanjaro knew of the summit right away because of the unique circumstances of the team; it is unusual for an entire group to make it to the top, unusual for children make it to the top and unusual for blind climbers make it to the top. Reaching the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro at 19,340 ft. is an incredible feat in itself, but climbing blind is an entirely different story. Team Kili broke three world records by reaching the summit, Largest Group of Blind Climbers to Summit Mt. Kilimanjaro (8), First Blinded U.S. Veteran to Summit Mt. Kilimanjaro, Thomas L. Hicks, Youngest Blind Climber to Summit Mt. Kilimanjaro, Max Ashton (13), son of Foundation for Blind Children CEO, Marc Ashton.


Nickson Moshi, of Masai Giraffe Safaris, has guided over 200 groups to the top of Kilimanjaro, “This is very rare to have such a large group all summit, but to summit together with two children and 8 blind climbers.  Truly remarkable.”


Full details about the entire climb can be read in the blog featured on


A great source of inspiration and support, FBC continues to bring hope to the children and families that they touch every day and to the community as well. For more information on Foundation for Blind Children, visit or call (602) 331-7977.

Marc Ashton

Chief Executive Officer

Foundation for Blind Children

Creating opportunity for anyone with vision loss to achieve.

602-678-5801 direct

623-680-9988 cell  Call anytime.