Ain’t no mountain high enough for advisors climbing Kilimanjaro for charity

By Jim MacDonald | January 3, 2003 | Last updated on January 3, 2003
2 min read

(January 3, 2003) It’s not the altitude, it’s the attitude.

Several financial advisors from Canada will put their best feet forward — over and over again — to scale one of the world’s great mountains, and also to help grant the wishes of seriously ill children.

Twenty-two financial advisors with the Investment Planning Counsel of Canada set off for Africa today to hike Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest solitary mountain in the world. The advisors are using the hike to try to raise $200,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Canada. The foundation helps fulfill the special wishes of children and teenagers who have a life-threatening illness.

Steve Meehan, chief executive of parent firm IPC Financial Network, is one of the climbers on the guided trek. The Make-A-Wish Foundation is IPC’s charity of choice and two years ago, a group of IPC advisors from B.C. hiked Kilimanjaro as a charity fundraiser.

Related News Stories

  • Dundee Wealth bids for IPC Financial
  • “It’s not considered a technical climb but by no means is it an easy hike,” said IPC associate Cheryl Varden of Halifax, a hiker and one of the organizers of the trip.

    At 5,895 metres (19,340 feet), Kilimanjaro is the highest peak in Africa, located in northern Tanzania. Kilimanjaro is made up of three extinct volcanoes, and rises from a flat savannah just south of the equator. The Swahili name for the peak — “Kilima Njaro” — means “shining mountain.”

    From savannah to summit, trekkers can encounter conditions ranging from equatorial heat to the famous “snows of Kilimanjaro,” chronicled by Ernest Hemingway. Trekkers begin the climb in tropical forests, then pass through open moorland before ascending to the rocky, snow-covered summit.

    “One of the things that we have to overcome is altitude sickness. We have to acclimatize to the altitude,” noted Varden.

    The adventurous advisors hail from the Atlantic provinces, Ontario and B.C. All of them are amateur climbers and paid their own way to Africa.

    The hike is scheduled to begin on January 6 with the goal of reaching the summit on January 12. The advisors will hike for four to six hours each day.

    Varden told that her mantra while hiking will be “slowly, slowly.” Indeed, Kilimanjaro guides encourage hikers to walk slowly because the climb can seem deceptively straightforward.

    “With a strong mindset, hopefully we’ll all get to the top,” said Varden. “For me, the pleasure in all of this was raising the money.”

    • • •

    You can follow the progress of the hikers, and make a donation, by visiting the Web site of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Canada and clicking on the 2003 Kilimanjaro Climb icon.

    • • •

    Filed by Jim MacDonald,,


    Jim MacDonald