Athlete Makes Summit - NBC 7 San Diego

Athlete Makes Summit

A North County woman makes history on the "roof of Africa."



    Athlete Makes Summit

    An update from around the world - a North County woman makes history on Africa's tallest peak.

    Standing 19,340' above sea level, Mount Kilimanjaro is the largest free standing mountain in the world. It's also 11,000' higher than 28-year old Erica Davis has ever been. Which is why she's been training for the past three months, through snow, across rocks and up steep southern California hills.

    "I will be the first female paraplegic to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro," said Davis before the trip to Africa.

    Davis, paralyzed four years ago as the results of a 1 in 5 million condition that caused hemorraging in her spinal cord.

    Paraplegic Athlete Trains for Kilimanjaro Climb

    [DGO] Paraplegic Athlete Trains for Kilimanjaro Climb
    To reach the top, she'll have to rely on team, specially built chair and fierce inner strength.
    (Published Thursday, Jan. 21, 2010)

    Clearly it didn't slow her down.

    But, to reach the so-called roof of Africa she'll need a custom built wheel chair complete with gear shifts, mountain bike tires in back and larger ones in front.

    The key however is her seven- person team  which uses leashes that extend from the chair or poles that slide in for handles - to pull or, at times, carry her up the mountain.

    Late Sunday, Davis completed the climb. Her teammate Derek posted the following message on the team's blog:

    "We are headed down right now because we summited early Sunday evening instead of Monday morning. We are almost at Barufu Camp, which is about 15,200 ft and we are heading down to Millennium Camp which is right around 13,000 ft. Everything seems to be going well, we are adjusting to the descent. I’ve been helping Erica and helping her to the top of Mt Killimanjaro was a challenge as it is now helping her down - Its moment to moment and it is quite an interesting task for sure!!

    Everything seems to be going well so far, Erica and Tara did a great job and really put forth their best effort to surmount the challenges they both face to tackle this mountain. On our way down now, Erica has a bit of a headache and so does Tara - but hopefully those will be going away as we drop in altitude.

    We want to thank our sponsors and we are grateful for any donations - We are doing this for Challenged Athletes Foundation. Thank you All!"

    You can follow the team via Twitter as they continue the descent down the mountain.