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 Kilimanjaro: Roof of Africa Trek Team


David Breashears is the world's leading adventure filmmaker. As co-producer, co-director and expedition leader of the landmark large-format film Everest, Breashears captured some of the most breathtaking images ever seen on a movie screen, taking the audience on a triumphant journey to the top of the world. As Everest gained unprecedented media coverage, Breashears became internationally renowned for his accomplishments and for elevating large-format filmmaking to a new level of cinematic power and storytelling. The movie-watching world is waiting to see where Breashears turns his lens next. With Kilimanjaro, Breashears returns to the high-altitude environment where he feels most at ease and to a subject exceptionally suited to his filmmaking talents.

The Trek Team of Kilimanjaro: To the Roof of Africa
In choosing the trek team, Breashears sought engaging individuals with wide-ranging interests, ages and backgrounds. The goal was to appeal to a broader audience by presenting the wonders of Kilimanjaro as seen through the eyes of a 13-year-old African boy, a 64-year-old English woman or one of the four other distinctive perspectives represented on the team, allowing audience members to easily imagine themselves joining this small band of amateur adventurers.

Heidi Albertsen

A native of Denmark, Heidi, 23, is a successful model and an accomplished painter. She grew up taking camping trips to the Alps with her family and developed an abiding fascination for mountains and adventure. Throughout the expedition, her extroverted nature inspired her comrades. No matter how thin the air grew or how high the team ascended, Heidi's energy never flagged as she sketched, painted, wrote and photographed her way to the top.

Roger Bilham

Born in England, Roger, 55, is now based at the University of Boulder in Colorado. A leading authority on earthquakes, volcanoes and tectonic plate movement, he has been studying the movement of East Africa's Great Rift Valley for years. His work takes him around the globe studying shifts and strains in the earth's crust, monitoring and collecting data with the goal of better predicting areas most at risk for seismic catastrophe. A born teacher and communicator, the professor inspired and taught the two youngest members of the team with his boundless enthusiasm for the science of mountains.

Hans 'Hansiî Mmari

Hansi, 13, lives with his family just outside the town of Arusha, where he can see Kilimanjaro from his own backyard. He excels in math, plays soccer, is accomplished on the computer and speaks English as fluently as Swahili. His father's experiences climbing Kilimanjaro fired Hansi's imagination. Throughout the journey he displayed remarkable tenacity and willingness to learn, taking a keen interest in the science of the volcano and the IMAX camera.

Audrey Salkeld

Audrey, 64, is an award-winning author and historian, who writes largely on the subject of mountaineering. She has been researcher/consultant on many films, including Breashears' large format film Everest. Audrey is at work on the National Geographic Society book about Kilimanjaro and co-authored Last Climb: The Legendary Everest Expeditions of George Mallory with David Breashears. Audrey lives in Cumbria, England, with her husband and has three grown sons. Although she's spent her career traveling to the mountains of the world, she had never been to Africa or climbed a peak as high as Kilimanjaro.

Nicole Wineland-Thomson

Nicole, 12, lives with her family in Massachusetts. She loves to ride horses, hike and tackle the walls at an indoor climbing gym. She is also a seasoned world traveler, thanks to her parents' safari business. Nicole's most vivid memories center on East Africa, where she has often gone on safari with her parents. After she saw the ice-capped summit of Kilimanjaro for the first time and heard her father's tales of ascending to its peak in 1979, Nicole vowed to climb it herself. There aren't many girls of 12 who have climbed to the Roof of Africa, and none have overnighted in the crater at 18,700 feet. Nicole proved to be the delight of the entire team, and her fresh observations enliven the film.

Jacob Kyungai

Leading the trek team is Jacob, 50, a Chagga mountain guide who has climbed Kilimanjaro over 250 times. With a lifelong connection to the mountain, he has always lived at its base in Machame village. On his small farm he raises cows and chickens and grows coffee and corn in the fertile volcanic soil. The heavy rains and thick mists that nourish the rainforest help irrigate his crops. Jacob helped design and construct some of the mountain routes and, during the Kilimanjaro team's ascent, shared his knowledge of flora and fauna in the various climate zones.

Kilimanjaro: To the Roof of Africa
David Breashears' Latest Large-Format Film Adventure

Scheduled for Release March 2002

HOUSTON (Nov. 16, 2001) ''Pole! Pole!' chant the Chagga guides during treks up Mount Kilimanjaro. Meaning 'Slowly! Slowly!î in Swahili, this phrase is a mantra the guides use to remind trekkers to tread cautiously as they ascend the great mountain.

Every year 15,000 people attempt to reach the summit of Kilimanjaro, and almost half fail. Located 3 miles south of the equator in Tanzania, Kilimanjaro is the largest freestanding mountain in the world at 19,340 feet, so it's no wonder why explorers travel here to scale Africa's 'Mountain of Greatness.'

Join a team of trekkers as they travel to the roof of Africa in the new large-format film Kilimanjaro: To the Roof of Africa. Photographed in the world's largest and most evocative motion picture format, this film allows audiences to experience up close the immense distances, the countless challenges and the profound mysteries of Mount Kilimanjaro.

There are many routes leading up the mountain, ranging in level of skill from basic trekking, walking or hiking, to professional mountaineering, which occurs on steeper trails and requires rope and hardware. Although Kilimanjaro is not a challenge for seasoned mountaineers, the more than 55-mile climb is a test of endurance and the ability to adjust to the mountain's drastic climate changes is critical.

In the film the trekkers travel along the Machame Route, deemed the most beautiful trail on the mountain. During their 11-day journey, the trekkers experience the conditions of five climactic zones ranging from equatorial to arctic. Once the Machame Route ends, they continue their trek to the summit on the challenging Arrow Glacier Route.

No matter which path visitors choose to ascend, they must first obtain a permit, pay fees and hire a guide. Kilimanjaro climbers are not allowed on the mountain without a guide. Although supplies can be rented on site, it is best to bring along the most standard equipment, such as sleeping bags and cooking gear.

While the mountain is open to visitors year round, the best months to climb are January, February, August and September during the drier seasons when the skies are fairly clear. January and February are warmer, while August and September are cooler. Kilimanjaro's heaviest rainy season occurs from March through June. During this time the summit is often covered with clouds; snow falls in the higher altitude and rain at lower altitudes. A shorter rainy season occurs October through December that typically brings afternoon thunderstorms. Evenings and mornings are generally clear.

The large-format film Kilimanjaro: To the Roof of Africa is an adventure of the human spirit that follows the journey of five trekkers led by a local Chagga guide up the mountain. The film is scheduled for a March 2002 release, in tandem with a National Geographic Society book, Kilimanjaro: Journey to the Roof of Africa, authored by trekker Audrey Salkeld.

Kilimanjaro: To the Roof of Africa is a David Breashears film produced by Kilimanjaro Inc., in collaboration with the Houston Museum of Natural Science; the Denver Museum of Nature & Science; Museum of Science, Boston; and Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo. The Houston Museum of Natural Science is the executive producer and worldwide distributor of Kilimanjaro: To the Roof of Africa.

Continued- Kilimanjaro Imax Part Two