Africa’s Mt. Kilimanjaro 3rd Successful Summit for Active Military Staff Sergeant Based in Alaska
Anchorage, Alaska - Bradford, Pennsylvania native and Alaska-based Staff Sergeant Trevor Jones, a member of the United States Army stationed at Ft. Richardson just north of Anchorage, has successfully summited Mt. Kilimanjaro….his 3rd of the seven summits of the world. In an effort to assist the Wounded Warrior Project and those he has, is, and will serve with in the United States Military, Staff Sergeant Jones is attempting to become the only active-duty soldier to summit the tallest peaks on all 7 continents of the world.
Unlike past summits, Staff Sergeant Jones was accompanied on Kilimanjaro by one of his best friends, former flight medic Sergeant Jacob Birkholz, who was severely wounded while deployed in Bagram, Afghanistan. It was incidences such as this, along with the forthcoming challenges and adjustments for soldiers like Sergeant Birkholz and their families and loved ones, that has ultimately fueled Jones’ passion for climbing, and his desire to do so in support of the Wounded Warrior Project. While on Kilimanjaro, the bilateral high frequency neurological hearing loss that resulted from Sergeant Birkholz’s injuries was a major obstacle he would need to overcome to be successful in his summit attempt.
Choosing the Western Breach, one of the more difficult routes to the summit, the two were able to successfully summit Kilimanjaro’s 19,341 foot peak at 11am on January 6th. A mere 70 hours after entering Macheme Gate, the park that greets Kilimanjaro’s challengers. According to park officials, less than 15 people per year climb via the difficult route the two had chosen. Given the impressive accomplishment, their guide was eager to show them off upon their return to civilization, referring to the two as ‘mountain goats’.
Typically, when a mountain climber sets his sights on a summit, it is only the one he or she has in mind. Jones and Birkholz took bit of a departure however, throwing in the 17,021 foot Pt. Nelion point of Mt. Kenya, a much more challenging climb involving technical rock climbing skills.
As Staff Sergeant Jones has successfully reached the heights of North America’s Mt McKinley, South America’s Aconcagua, and now Africa’s Mt. Kilimanjaro, he turns his sites towards his next foe; Europe’s 18,510 foot Mt. Elbrus.
The Wounded Warrior Project (www.woundedwarriorproject.org
For more information, please contact Staff Sergeant Trevor Jones directly at the contact information listed above, or visit his website at www.armymountaineering.org.
Posted: February 10, 2012