Precision Ceramics Manager Reaches New Heights …
There’s nothing quite as daunting as climbing one of the world’s highest mountains as a test of one’s personal endurance but for Jasper Curry, Precision Ceramics’ latest management recruit, the challenge has already been successfully met.
Mount Kilimanjaro – with its three volcanic cones, Kibo, Mawenzi and Shira – is a dormant volcanic mountain in Tanzania. It is the highest mountain in Africa and the highest ‘walkable’ mountain in the world at 5,895 metres (19,341 feet) above sea level. The trek to the summit is a magnificent and spectacular undertaking and ranks amongst the greatest outdoor challenges on the planet.
Kilimanjaro has intrigued modern man for the past century. There’s no denying that the human spirit thrives on exploring and conquering the unknown. Although it was spoken of in the second century, Mount Kilimanjaro was only discovered by the western world in 1848 when the German missionary Johannes Rebmann came within sight of the mountain, explored the area and traversed the lower slopes. He submitted his findings to the Royal Geographical Society but his description of a snow-capped mountain in eastern equatorial Africa was doubted by these ‘experts’.
During the following years there were a number of unsuccessful attempts by various explorers to conquer the summit and it was only on the 6th October 1889 that Dr Hans Meyer, with Ludwig Purtscheller an experienced alpine mountaineer, managed to reach the summit successfully. The expedition consisted of many porters, guides and advisors. It took the intrepid Meyer almost six weeks to reach the summit, six times as long as it takes the average climber today. At the centenary of this climb in 1989 one of their Tanzanian guides was still enjoying life at the age of 118 years!
Jasper (right) took just seven days to complete the challenge starting on Thursday 10th July. Much of his time on the mountain was spent getting acclimatized to the high altitude. Many people who rush the ascent get altitude sickness.“
I chose the Machame route (37 miles total) because it is one of the most scenic with the climate varying from rain forests to glaciers. On this route all people must sleep in tents which was a little cold as it was well below freezing every night. I started the final ascent to the summit at 1.00 a.m. from Barafu camp (4,680 metres/15,360 feet) on the 15th July and reached Uhuru Peak (5,895 metres/19,340 feet) around 6:30 a.m. It was very cold (around -10°C) and my water bottles froze, fortunately not completely,” remarked Jasper, now safely back at ground level and sitting at his desk in Precision Ceramics’ UK Headquarters in Birmingham.
Jasper Curry graduated from the University of Florida in Gainesville with a BA in Economics and an MA in International Business in May this year. After 12 months in the UK, Jasper will join the Precision Ceramics’ US operation in Tampa, Florida.