Written by Rachel Torgerson, editorial intern
Melissa Arnot is a professional mountain climber, gracing the peaks of the most prestigious mountains (nabbing the women’s world record for her Everest ascent) and for two years in a row, she’s led celeb do-gooders up the slopes of Kilimanjaro with Summit on the Summit to raise awareness (and funds, naturally) for the Matt Damon-founded charity, Water.org, and the clean water crisis.
“There are more people in the world who can access a mobile phone than a toilet, says Chevenee Reavis, fellow Kili-climber and Director of Strategic Initiatives for Water.org. “It’s really an incredibly large challenge, but one that we actually have solutions for. We know how to deliver safe water and sanitation—it’s about raising awareness and beginning a movement around the cause.”
Among the celebs to face the climb this year were Justin Chatwin (War of the Worlds) and Beau Garrett (Tron: Legacy). “This group had never camped, never been without shower water. Then you add the altitude—19,340 feet is higher than anyone had been. At the end, everyone summited Kilimanjaro; a testament to the passion these people have for educating themselves and other people,” says Arnot.
Want to scale the slopes, too? We asked Arnot how to train and what to expect on the mountainside.