*Ethan Treanor (SFS ’12) was always an athlete in high school, but after finishing his senior year, he brought his physical training to the next level. After intense Stairmaster workouts, he was in the best shape of his life and ready to climb his way to the top of a mountain that stands over 19,000 feet – Kilimanjaro. The focused and adventurous Treanor has goals beyond Kilimanjaro: First he wants to summit the highest peaks on every continent, and then he wants to make it to the moon.*

**What made you decide to start training for Mt. Kilimanjaro?**

I was actually talking to my dad about this recently because we did it together.

He did a list with my brother. My brother’s was “30 by 30,” and his was “60 by 60,” I think. The things they want to do before they reach that age. And on my dad’s was Kilimanjaro. And it was kind of one of the things I wanted to do as well. Just because I have a dream that [is] probably not going to happen just because it’s so tough – but to climb the seven tallest peaks on each continent. So Kilimanjaro is the first at 19,343 feet. So yeah, it’s something I really wanted to do. So, after I graduated from high school, my dad and I went in July of that summer.

**What did your training for the climb consist of?**

Well, I already did a lot of training for soccer, so I was in good shape anyway. But after soccer season ended I started just really doing Stairmaster all the time, constantly. And then when it got too easy – when I was basically sprinting up it – I put a weight vest on and did it more. Because basically, when you get there – it’s just, Kilimanjaro is not technical. It’s really just getting used to the altitude, because that’s the main thing that affects people. It’s really not too difficult hiking-wise.

**What was the hardest part of the hike?**

For me personally, the hardest part was probably the cold. When we got to the summit, there is snow up there. And you have to do the last part of it at night, just because it gets too difficult in the daytime with the heat even though it’s so high up. You hike from 11:30 p.m. till sunrise at like 7:30 a.m., to go from 15,000 feet to 19,000 to the summit. And it’s 10 degrees Fahrenheit or less the entire way, so it was really cold.

When we got to the top I had to try to put on sunscreen for the way down because there is no cloud cover. And I couldn’t because all the sunscreen was frozen in the tubes. So it was super cold. That was probably the hardest part. The altitude didn’t affect me too much. It affected other people a lot though. We had one porter in our group who, at the top of the mountain, his brain started to swell. And kind of made him [go] berserk. And he tried to run off the side of a mountain. Two of the porters had to kind of restrain him to keep him from doing that. [The altitude is] definitely a factor.

**How long did the hike take?**

It’s about five-and-a-half days up and one-and-a-half down.

**Did you ever think about turning around while on the hike?**

No, that wasn’t ever really an issue for me. We were on the Machame Route, which is probably the hardest one of the – I think there are four. Still for me it was just something I wanted to do so much, so no turning around.

**Are you involved in the Outdoor Education program at Georgetown? What are you involved in here?**

I’m not involved with Outdoor Ed. Although at some point I really want to be because some of the really cool trips they do and everything. Other than that, I got really involved with boxing last year and joined the club on campus and did that for a while this year. Unfortunately I’m getting slammed with all my work sophomore year. It’s just ridiculous so I had to quit doing it for a while. I’m just looking for an internship.

**Who exactly did you climb up the mountain with? Was it through a specific group? A specific company?**

It was through a British outfitter called Abercrombie and Kent. Going up the mountain I was prepared for very, low-quality tents, food and everything. But they were surprisingly well outfitted. So that was nice. That made it easier. There was a group of about nine of us, I think.

**OK, although Mt. Kilimanjaro is not still active, did the fact that it used to be active ever make you nervous while climbing it? Did that ever go through your head really?**

I mean, they talked about it. They talked about geology and the ecology of the region, but it was not really ever a factor. The thing that has gotten people on Mt. Kilimanjaro is landslides and avalanches.

**What did you do for entertainment for the climb? **

Yeah, we had an iPod. Red Hot Chili Peppers got me through, and I brought some really way too heavy books like “Grapes of Wrath” to read.

**What was the scariest moment of the climb?**

Honestly, feeling like my dad wasn’t going to be able to do it with me. Because there were times when he was really hurting because he didn’t have as much time to prepare as I did because of work. He was over 60 when he did it. So, I was really worried at some points. Especially the last day right before we did the climb. I knew that his legs were hurting him so much and that the altitude was affecting him. But he pushed through and he did it, which was awesome.

**What did you do when you were done with the hike?**

Slept. No, first I showered twice, and then I slept.

**Could you not have showered the whole entire time? You must have smelled so bad.**

Actually fantastic. I smelled amazing. All my gear smelled horrible. The showers were nice.

*- Interviewed by Kate Kauffman*

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