Team Poa Kacheezi wraps up

Hi everyone,

Here are a few photos from our last 2 days on the mountain. We wrapped up with a nice celebration dinner here in Arusha, and folks headed out to Safari, Zanzibar and home yesterday morning.

My thanks to another great team of people for all of their hard work and camaraderie!

The next team is arriving tonight.

Eric Murphy

Posted in Dispatches

Team Ellen summits Kilimanjaro for Skin Cancer Take a Hike skin cancer prevention fundraising climb! Congratulations all!


Hi, this is Team Ellen in Millennium Camp, Day 6. We will do one more cybercast tomorrow, perhaps by email.

I know Tom, our fearless Leader, gave a short cybercast this morning from 19,341 feet, where he said “everyone was feeling great” which is pretty much not at all true! It was the hardest thing, unanimously, it was the hardest thing all of us, any of us have done. But we all made it, a hundred percent success. So, it was a great trip!

It was climbing all night long. Our water bottles froze; it was sub-zero, or sub-thirty two degrees. We were so high, we felt like we could touch one of the million stars out. And then when the moon came out, we felt like we were higher up than the moon. The glacier is incredible and deserves to be protected. That high, we all felt a little bit dazed and confused. And then we made, basically we skied down a mountain of, it was like, it felt like sand where the shells were actually crystal rock. It was beautiful! And now we made it, after a thirteen hour day, into Millennium Camp.

Thank you everyone! First, thanks to the American Academy of Dermatology for taking this to a higher level and making Skin Cancer Take a Hike the first of an annual event for skin cancer prevention and nowhere was that more important than at high altitude. The goal is to get out there, enjoy your life, but protect yourself, prevent skin cancers, and live it up.

And lastly, a shout out to my kids: you are my treasures Sasha, Ezra, Julian, and Jonah! And to my husband, I love you more than ever! Thank you so much for letting me come do this wonderful, wonderful trip!

At the AAD, Nancy Ali made this really work well for us and we thank you!

And lastly, to the corporate sponsors we didn’t mention yet, including DUSA, StriVectin, Allergan, and the others we have already mentioned, thank you very much! We are working with some albinos in Tanzania and these companies will make a humongous difference for them. So sun protection in Tanzania is just as important as anywhere and it’s something that we’re going to work on.

Thanks so much and tune in tomorrow! Bye.

Posted in Dispatches | Tagged

Audio Post by Team Ellen: cuts out shortly after start, replaced by subsequent audio post.

Posted in Dispatches | Tagged

Congratulations to Team Ellen for Skin Cancer Take a Hike skin cancer prevention fundraiser climb summit of Kilimanjaro!


Hi, this is Tom Chambers calling from Team Skin Cancer Take a Hike.

We are currently on our way down from a successful summit. We all… (transmission cuts out). 7:30 this morning, made great time, awesome time from High Camp. Everyone’s…(transmission cuts out) really high spirits.

We’ll check in tomorrow, and if not, we’ll check back in, in town. Again, no news is good news. Thanks again for following along with our cybercasts!

Posted in Dispatches | Tagged

Team Ellen have reached High Camp feeling grateful for all the support as they head to rest a few hours before beginning their summit push


This is Day 5. Hello from Skin Cancer Take a Hike Team Ellen’s fifth and shortest cybercast.

Today we hiked six hours from Karanga Camp at 13,900 feet to Kosovo Camp at 15,900 feet, where we have the entire camp to ourselves overlooking three other volcanoes.

It’s been another great day and we all are doing well now, despite some major yet safe altitude suffering amongst several Team Members. We have two MDs, and three Wilderness First Responders, and one EMT, so all are safe and all is well, and all are managed, albeit the tough going. The sun intensity is so high it is overpowering our continuous sunscreen reapplication. We have lots of pink spaces, especially noses.

Today we rest, pack, and start our summit trek at midnight, wearing all our layers of clothing and using only our small headlights to see. We will have ten guides to eleven hikers. Today is the eve of our longest day. First, we do seven to eight hours up to the summit for twenty minutes. We stay up there for only twenty minutes, then two hours of descent down, where we’ll rest, and then we take another three hours of descent. That will make a total of 14,782 meters of elevation change in one very challenging day.

I’m especially emotional today and profoundly grateful to the hundreds of people who made this chance of a lifetime happen for our entire Team: our skin cancer patients, our loyal corporate sponsors, our wonderful media friends, and the beloved Teams at Marmur Medical to whom I send my sincerest appreciation, and to Previse, and Outdoor Products.

I will be the last to shout out to my precious kids and husband, but tonight’s shouts out go to Mara Capps and Craig Mochson:

Craig Mochson would like to give a special shout out “to Mom, Dad, Da, and Peter with a special ‘happy birthday’ wish to Talia Roe Fishman. To June, I love you. And most especially I am sending love to Stephanie Coo, who will continue to give me strength all the way to the summit.”

Mara Capps would like to give a shout out “to cousin Kim, one of the strongest women I know. I’m here for you babe! And to my Papi, I finally get to put you to rest at the top of Mount Kili. You made it Dad, you made it! Also, I just want to thank every one of my friends and family for always telling me that I can do anything I put my mind to. I love you all and what do you know?! You’re right!”

Bye bye from Kosovo Camp. Thanks for your support and please check in with us at the next cybercast. If we can do one tomorrow, we will. Otherwise, no news is good news and we’ll get you in two days. Bye bye.

Posted in Dispatches | Tagged

Poa Kichizi Kama Ndizi climbs to the top of Kilimanjaro!


Hey everyone, it’s Poa Kichizi Kama Ndizi here on Kilimanjaro. It’s the 22nd of July and we are all happily ensconced in our last Camp on the mountain, Millennium Camp at 12,200 feet.

We had a big summit climb last night; eight out of ten of our climbers were able to make it to the top! And today we descended down to Millennium at 12,2 and we’ve been resting. We just had a nice dinner and we are going to bed because we are tuckered out.

Tomorrow will be our last day on the mountain. We’ll head down to the Mweke Gate at about 6,000 feet. We’ve got to drop about 6,200 on our descent through the moorlands and the heather zone, and on down through the beautiful forest zone.

We’ll give you one more shout out from Arusha. Everyone sends their best home.


Posted in Dispatches | Tagged

Team Ellen ascended the Barranco Wall then celebrated with singing and dancing together at Karanga Camp


Welcome to Skin Cancer Take a Hike’s fourth cybercast for Team Ellen. This is our longest cybercast! Day 4, Aloha from Karanga Camp at 13,200 feet, which this camp means Peanut Camp, named after the food hikers carried here before they attempted the summit.

Team Ellen, all eleven skin cancer prevention champions are feeling great! Today we left Barranco Camp and ascended the formidable Barranco Wall. At the top of the Barranco Wall, at 13,800 feet we traversed the southern ice fields gleaming in the sun glistening above us. Tom our Leader and Jonas our Tanzanian Leader said the glaciers are disappearing. The mountain was covered eighteen years ago, a hundred percent covered, and are expected to have a hundred percent glacial loss by 2020. Today was our shortest, most technical day requiring skills, scrambling the Barranco Wall, and then using poles on up and down ascents and wet, slippery descents over scree, which is very small glacial rock. Yes, half of us fell but only our egos were bruised.

Most of the day was through the cool mists of clouds, but sun protection was critical. Tori loved the Previse Super Chill Sunsheer because it cools and protects. Ellen shared the amazing Skinceuticals Eye Sunscreen which will be even more essential at the summit. We even shout out to other teams that they had sunburns on their necks and other forgotten places.

At the top of our last exhausting slow, dusty, rocky ascent at high sun, our amazing Team of sixty porters and crew sang incredible “congratulations” with infectious smiles that made us dance with them for hours. We are all an amazing Team now, and Team Ellen feels very protected, very safe, and super excited as we approach summit day tomorrow night. We are truly at the base of the crown of Mount Kilimanjaro, known as Stella Point.

Today’s highlights:

#1. The value of the Kilimanjaro chant, pole pole (slow and steady) hit home. We have achieved greater success by slow systematic climbing compared to the failure of the infamous “dash and crash”.

#2. Our guides remarked that Team Ellen is incredibly cohesive. No one races ahead, no one falls behind. This makes us stronger and makes their job easier. Hakuna matata together, all will be okay together, super duper.

#3. At this point, halfway through the trip, we’ve learned to care for ourselves in harsh, high altitudes, at varied terrains, harsh sun intensity, high stress, long, uncomfortable days, and with each other. Our Team is only getting closer and integrating with the greater Team of seventy-two people. We couldn’t do this without our reliable, excellent gear by Outdoor Products, like our packs, and poles, and water bottles, and water bladders. Our hard-shelled jackets from Marmot are warm and bright orange which is the color of the SPOT Skin Cancer’s Campaign for the American Academy of Dermatology.

Tonight’s Team Ellen shout outs are from Amanda and Linda:

Amanda Jacklin says: “To Mom, Dad, and Aunt Shay. I’m having a wonderful, meaningful climb. Team Ellen and I are doing great. Special shout out to Rachel, who has been super supportive of this trek. To Jared, I am thinking of you every day and I know you are watching over me.”

Linda Pack: “To Steven and Daniel, I’ve got the music in me on Kili, thank you! And to my entire wonderful family, friends, and loved ones who have supported me on this climb, I’m truly having the adventure of a lifetime. And I’ve got you on my wrist and in my heart.”

Lastly, tonight we will use the star chart from Marcelo at Marmur Medical because these stars this high are brilliant. And today we will finish linking hundreds of orange ribbons from our skin cancer survivors for our skin cancer prevention and healing energy ceremony at the summit on July 24th. Thanks again everyone and skin cancer: Take a Hike! Bye bye.

Posted in Dispatches | Tagged