By David Jenkins
The opportunity to climb the “Roof of Africa” doesn’t happen very often.
For Christy Jones of Murphy, she had heard about Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, but only dreamed about it.
Christy and her husband Jeff, Chase Oaks Church pastor, had visited Africa several times on human aid and service projects but never before had the opportunity to take the time for a mountainous adventure.
Mount Kilimanjaro is a dormant volcanic mountain. is the highest mountain in Africa, and is made up of three volcanic cones, “Kibo”, “Mawenzi”, and “Shira.”
It is approximately 16,001 feet from its base to 19,341 feet above sea level.
When Christy found out that her sister, Corrie Crane of Beaver Creek, Colo., was going to be in Africa at the exact same time as she was doing mission work, she was excited.
The opportunity to spend time with Crane, an adventurist who climbed the Himalayas, Machu Pichu and many others proved an irresistible challenge.
She would have never climbed, however, if it weren’t for the support from her husband and desire to summit the mountain in Tanzania.
While Christy’s sister knew 18 months before that she was going to climb the mountain, Christy didn’t decide until about four to five months before the planned mission trip.
The Murphy mom of two sons, ages 19 and 22, said there were other reasons she decided to climb the mountain at this point in her life. One involved a milestone 50th birthday last spring, the other was to honor her father-in-law “Papa” Larry, who was diagnosed with ALS in December 2014.
“I’d say we are very close, even more as I’ve had the privilege of helping them the past two months since Mimi (mother-in-law) broke her ankle and can’t drive for three months,” Christy said.
In preparation for the climb, Christy trained at Breckinridge Park at 20 to 30 feet. She also utilized a couple of personal trainers, about three hours total, though she said several months more of training would have definitely benefitted her.
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