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Tahoe women complete Mount Kenya climb

December 1, 2013

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. (AP) — Two Lake Tahoe-area women have successfully completed a rain-soaked climb to the summit of a 16,000-foot mountain in Africa in the name of women, business and the environment.

Meghan Kelly and Jennifer Gurecki dubbed their expedition to Mount Kenya “Summit for Our Sisters.” Their hope was to inspire others to work to empower women while also bringing attention to climate change and promote the launch of their new ski and snowboard company in Stateline, Nev.

They were plagued by heavy rainfall most of the trek but were thrilled to zoom down Lewis Glacier on skis and boards after they reached the summit at Point Lenana on Nov. 8. Gurecki said it was a special moment because so much of the glacier has melted that there may be nothing left in the near future.

The pair raised money for Zawadisha, a nonprofit organization Gurecki founded with a mission to empower, entrust and expand opportunities for women and children.

“I think the fact that it was for a good cause really pushed us on,” Kelly told the Tahoe Daily Tribune (http://tinyurl.com/mz2dnzk).

The group’s Web site says the Truckee-based Zawadisha Fund strives to create opportunities for women through micro-lending, savings, preventative health care, and education.

“It wasn’t just the launch of a company,” Gurecki said. “It had a deeper purpose.”

Porters carried food but Kelly and Gurecki hauled most of their own supplies, skis, snowboards, crampons and safety gear through the steady Kenyan rains about 575 miles northeast of Nairobi.

“It’s just really difficult to go days without seeing the sun and hiking soaking wet,” Gurecki said.

Kelly said she didn’t want to leave the summit, where the weather finally broke.

“I definitely felt a sense of accomplishment,” she said. “I wanted to spend as much time as possible up there.”


Information from: Tahoe Daily Tribune, http://www.tahoedailytribune.com/

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