In early January we brought you the story of an Onalaska
man getting ready to summit Mount Kilimanjaro.
?Did he make it to the top?
Jennifer Livingston brings us this in search of update.
For months, 67-year-old Harvey Bertrand imagined what
it would feel like to get to the top of Mount kilimanjaro.
He'd pushed himself through hours and hours of training
in the bitter cold of this Wisconsin winter - so he'd
Why do you want to do it? People ask that.
I'm not sure.
Mountain climbing...you want to get up there.
You want to get to the top.
And frankly there's a lot of pride.
But also, it's camaraderie.
He left in late January on a trek that took him from
La Crosse to Tanzania, to tackle the Mighty Mount
The mountain is the highest peak in Africa at 19,
341 feet above sea level.
It's a walk up.
If it weren't for the elevation gain it would be just
a walk in the park.
Except for a couple of places it's really just a hike.
But the 'little' trek Harvey was taking was where
the real challenge came into play.
There are six established routes to climb Mount Kilimanjaro
The Umbwe Route is widely regarded as the most difficult
of all....it's the shortest, but the steepest way
Very few people attempt this way.
And when they do - 6-7 days is recommended.
Harvey's group attempted it in 5.
The first two days went according to plan.
:30 Perfect! how things were going I was a hero.
Well not a hero but laughs.
I felt good.
So the first two days it was just glorious.
Not exactly a 'walk in the park'.
Well I was upright.
But Harvey was determined.
Unfortunately so was the intestinal infection he developed.
But then...the 3rd day.
I came down with some pretty serious disentary.
So that's when things kind of started falling apart.
Then the 4th day, one one of the doctors kept feeling
around…and he said Harvey - your lungs are filling
up with water.
And with that - Harvey's adventure was over having
never made it to the top.
This picture was taken right before he started to
decend - holding the Lupus flag he brought to support
So I started decending and it took 11 hours to get
9500 feet down.
Initially I was really distraught about not making
it…but after I have really accepted life and try to
make the best of it.
I'm not sure what I would have done differently.
And I have a passion to summit.
So I'm still working on it.
I'm not sure I'll get there and I'm not sure I want
The say it's more about the journey than the destination.
It was an amazing experience and you forget the pain.
It seems Harvey's journey may not be over yet.
In Onalaska…Jennifer Livingston…news 8.
Harvey says the silver lining of coming down the mountain
early was being able to spend time with members of
some of the native tribes.