“Being barefoot is not regarded as an act, but as a statement”-Barefoot Impi
On January 23rd a team of motivated individuals will embark on a journey to climb and summit Kilimanjaro barefoot in entirety and thus being the world’s 1st barefoot expedition summit of the mountain. Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest free standing mountain in the world, summiting the mountain barefoot will make quite the statement.
The Barefoot Impi is a group of adventure activists who make their impact on the world not by holding signs, preaching, or organizing mass protests, rather by being barefoot. They claim their inspiration comes from “the sixties, the counterculture of the hippies leveraged bare feet as a sign of rebellion and probably to induce a return to an age of innocence, peace, and Mother Nature. But then later, athletes Zola Budd of South Africa and Abebe Bikila of Ethiopia drew the world’s attention to the spectacle of barefoot sport. Today we have the likes of North Pole swimmer Lewis Pugh, and barefoot polar circle half-marathon runner Wim Hof, exposing their feet and bodies to the most incredible temperatures – and living to tell the tale. The time of barefoot endurance, it seems, has arrived. Or are we simply going full circle and once again returning to our natural state?”
Through a variety of difficult specially designed challenges the Barefoot Impi sets out to raise awareness and funds in support of the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital.
The team has endured months of preparation involving barefoot hiking, running and virtually living without shoes in order to give the climber’s feet the best possible chance against the elements on the mountain.
Visit barefootimpi.org to follow the expedition and find out how you can contribute to getting more children out of hospital, and running around outdoors where they belong.
Here’s their route they plan to take.
The Rongai route ascends Kilimanjaro from the north-eastern side of the mountain, along the border between Tanzania and Kenya. This route retains a sense of unspoiled wilderness and offers a different perspective on Kilimanjaro by approaching it from the north.
Photos courtesy of Barefoot Impi.