A 7-year old girl from Texas made history after becoming the youngest girl ever to reach the top of Mount Kilimanjaro and all in honor her late dad, according to ABC News Thursday.
Montannah Kenney of Austin, TX, alongside her mother Hollie Kenney (a professional triathelete) in six days climbed up 19,341 feet to the top of the African mountain during her Spring Break. The two reached the top on March 16, just two months shy of her eighth birthday.
“The higher I go, the closer I am to him in heaven,” Montannah told the Austin360, who’s father died just after her third birthday.
“When we talked about the mountain being above the clouds, she [Montannah] immediately associated that with heaven and it resonated with her,” Kenney [Montannah’s mom] explained. “She loved that idea of being closer to her dad and asked me if she was going to be able to see him.”
#FAHAMU Binti Montannah Kenney mwenye umri wa miaka 7 kutoka Marekani, avunja rekodi ya kuwa mtu mwenye umri mdogo zaidi duniani kupanda mlima mrefu zaidi Afrika (Ml. Kilimanjaro) na kufika kilele cha Uhuru ili kumuenzi marehemu baba yake. pic.twitter.com/pqf5X9tT9W
— East Africa TV (@eastafricatv) April 6, 2018
The idea to take on the huge task started a year ago after Montannah overheard her mom asking some friends if they had any interest in climbing the famous mountain.
“She said to me, ‘Mommy I want to do it too,'” Kenney shared. “I didn’t discount what she said but I knew she didn’t know the magnitude so we started researching it and looking at videos.”
“I was very real with her, explaining that people can get very sick, that we’d have to train very hard and it wouldn’t be an easy task,” Montannah’s mom added. “When she decided to do this, I knew what kind of training she needed to do and I didn’t want to rob her of her childhood over that month and a half.”
To get ready for the monumental climb the two trained taking in four-to-eight-hour hikes on the weekends with a few smaller hikes during the week after school.