Jan 03, 2013

Summit on the Summit Kicks Off Mt. Kilimanjaro Expedition

Expedition to Mt. Kilimanjaro is an effort to drive awareness and change to the global clean water crisis

Summit on the Summit Water.org Mount Kilimanjaro Global Water Crisis

Summit on the Summit today officially kicked off its expedition to Mt. Kilimanjaro in an effort to drive awareness and change to the global clean water crisis. Cultural influencers Justin Chatwin, Mark Foster, Beau Garrett, Chase Jarvis and Bryn Mooser join Grammy-nominated singer and philanthropist Kenna on the second ascent of Africa's tallest peak. Summit’s grueling seven-day, 50-mile climb up Kilimanjaro is designed to draw attention to the impact of waterborne illness and disease, educate the public about the solutions and resources available and generate a call to action to supporters to help eradicate the problem.

With support from its corporate partners, which include HP, Intel, Procter & Gamble, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Eddie Bauer, the climbers boarded a KLM plane bound for Tanzania today. Eddie Bauer First Ascent Guide Melissa Arnot, the only woman to summit Mt. Everest four times, Water.org Director of Strategic Initiatives Chevenee Reavis and Dr. Greg Allgood, director of Procter & Gamble's Children's Safe Drinking Water program, will lead the team of clean water advocates and educators on the climb to 19,341 ft above sea level. Other educator climbers include Wello Water’s Cynthia Koenig and H20 For Life’s Steve Hall.

A host of celebrity activists committed to improving access to clean water, including actresses Olivia Wilde and Dianna Agron, will be on the ground supporting and cheering on the climbers via social media. Summit’s "Social Media Envoy" will offer insights, advice and encouragement to the climbers along their journey and also will take an active role in educating the public and engaging an army of clean water advocates.

Supporters back at home are encouraged to experience the thrill of the climb by visiting www.summitonthesummit.com. Users will be encouraged to join the online "Summit Seeker" community, a first-of-its-kind, interactive social gaming platform. Summit Seeker allows supporters to follow the climbers on their ascent of Kilimanjaro, viewing the climbers' tweets, pictures, status updates and other original content from the mountain in real time. Users are rewarded for their participation in everything from signing a personal water conservation pledge to following along in their own virtual climb, with prizes ranging from laptop computers to airline tickets.

"The global water crisis touches everyone, and Summit's primary mission is to educate the climbers and general public to give them the resources and forum to engage with and inspire others," Kenna said. "The gaming and social media platforms are our connection to supporters as we scale the mountain and what will sustain the life of the initiative long after the climb is complete. We are building an army for the cause. Waterborne disease is preventable in the same way Kilimanjaro is climbable — we just need the allies to affect change."