Mount Kilimanjaro Alumni Trip Reaches Africa's Top

Posted by: Aparna Rajagopal-Durbin on May 20, 2010


Tolerance for Adversity and Uncertainty? That's the first leadership skill the alumni who signed up for April's Mount Kilimanjaro climb had to extricate from their memory banks. Unfortunately, the infamous Icelandic volcanic cloud thwarted most of the group from making it to Arusha for the trip's start. But ultimately, NOLS' small group made Kilimanjaro's 19,341' summit on April 27!

This marks NOLS' first alumni trip to the top of Africa, but the school also has deep roots in Kenya and Tanzania. Although it's been some years since we had an operations base in east Africa, thousands of grads look back on NOLS Kenya with fond memories. In fact, NOLS Kenya introduced many now prominent NOLSies to the school.

It was in Kenya that our Executive Director, John Gans, first got his feet wet at NOLS. "My first experience with NOLS was as a semester student at NOLS Kenya in 1979," John wrote in the Leader. "The course, the people, my instructors and the wilderness changed my life. I vividly recall the sounds, smells, tastes and sights of that experience. I have developed friendships spanning decades and grown immeasurably from contacts with Kenyan staff and alumni."

Stay tuned to the NOLS alumni website for updates on African and other future trips.

Aparna is a NOLS instructor and has been the PR and Marketing Intern, PR specialist, and the Diversity & Inclusion manager at NOLS. She is a founding partner of The Avarna Group (