From left to right – IAMAW District 140 General Chairperson Michel
Pelot proudly displays the Québec Machinists flag atop Mount
Kilimanjaro with Robert Piché.
Michel Pelot, Regional Assistant Director, IAMAW District 14
Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania – Michel Pelot looks at cloud cover much differently than he used to, but climbing the world’s fourth largest mountain tends to change your perspective on such things. In late September, Pelot joined other liked-minded adventurers in a seven-day climb of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania to raise funds for the Robert Piché Foundation. “I began training for this in January but even that didn’t prepare me for the strain this climb placed on my body,” said the IAMAW District 140 General Chairperson. “It’s really amazing to walk above the clouds but with 50 per cent less oxygen and your heart beating much faster than normal. We each drank four liters of water every day and we were physically monitored three times daily for blood pressure and lung capacity”
The climb is limited to five to six hours each day, which includes camping in tents under the stars and above the clouds where temperatures can dip down to minus 27 degrees.
“The last day of climb took seven hours to reach the summit at 19,341 feet where Robert Piché and I raised the IAM flag. Our stay there was a brief one, just 45 minutes in order to descend to our base camp during daylight hours”
The Robert Piché Foundation assists people with alcohol, drug and gambling dependencies. This climb raised more than $76,000 for the Foundation. “This was a once in a lifetime experience,” said a satisfied Pelot. “I’ll never look at clouds the same way again.”
Sunset at 15,000 feet on Mount Kilimanjaro
Base camp just under the summit of Kilimanjaro
After six hours of climbing Michel Pelot takes a breather with the summit of Kilimanjaro looming in the background.