There are many reasons people are drawn to the sport of mountain climbing. For Nisus sales representative Scott Posocco, it is the quest to learn what he is capable of when pushed to his physical and mental limits.
“Climbing with a group teaches teamwork, patience, sacrifice, humility and great camaraderie. Everyone is equal; it’s one unit,” he said. “These are great life and business lessons.”
In August, Posocco and three friends climbed to the peak of the tallest mountain in Africa: Mount Kilimanjaro (19,341 feet). The adventure involved extensive planning, overseas traveling, camping, climbing and faith in one another.
The idea to climb Kilimanjaro was formulated when the friends were on an Iceland expedition in September 2017. It was decided the group’s next adventure would be Kilimanjaro, the mountain made famous in the Ernest Hemingway novel “The Snows of Kilimanjaro.” By May, plans were in place to make the Kilimanjaro trip that August.
In preparation for the trip, the group secured the necessary permits (Kilimanjaro is a national park in the country of Tanzania) and Posocco made certain he had the proper vaccinations and medications, and he learned about potential medical problems. Posocco said he exercises regularly, but that he “added a little more mountain hiking, yoga and practiced breathing for the altitude.”
Posocco and his group, led by a guide, were able to make the trek in six days (from starting point to summit). Along the way, Posocco was awed by the beauty of the journey, which began in the rain forest and ended in snow fields. “The summit is right on the edge of the volcanic crater — it’s big!” he recalled.
On the day of the final ascent, the group left camp at 11:30 p.m., to summit at 6 a.m. This final leg was challenging, Posocco recalled. “It pushes you to the edge. You are above 15,500 feet and it was very steep and cold. It becomes a physical and extremely mental game. At 18,000 feet you have 50% of the oxygen that you had at sea-level.”
Despite these and other obstacles, the group persevered and successfully climbed to Kilimanjaro’s peak. “Giving up and going down would have been very easy. Reaching the summit and watching the sunrise was elating and extremely satisfying,” he said. “Working and sharing the experience with others was even better.”