At 5,895m (19,341 feet), Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and fourth highest of the Seven Summits.

Located in Tanzania, close to the border of Kenya, Kilimanjaro a dormant stratovolcano, composed of three distinct volcanic cones: Kibo (5,895m), Mawensi (5,149m) and Shira (3,962m). Uhuru Peak, which means “freedom” in Swahili, is the highest summit on Kibo’s crater rim.

The mountain was first climbed in 1889 by Hans Meyer from Germany and today, there are six official routes to Uhuru Peak.

Kilimanjaro is widely regarded as easiest of the Seven Summits, but the reputation and easy access are deceptive and a lot of climbers head to Kilimanjaro with insufficient preparation. According to data from the Kilimanjaro National park, only 30% of permit holders on Kilimanjaro actually summit the mountain.

2013 Speaking Recap

Last year gave me dozens of opportunities to relive my journey to the top of the world through motivational presentations at schools, universities / business schools and companies primarily across Europe and the Middle East, including at great companies such as Accenture, HP, McKinsey & Company, Danone and Dubizzle.

I spoke to audiences of various sizes, ages and cultural backgrounds about how many of the challenges we face on high altitude expeditions are very similar to the challenges that we encounter in our daily private and professional lives and therefore, how many of the ways in we address those challenges on the mountains are also relevant at sea-level.



As a businessman and mountaineer, I use the journey to address various topics relevant to businesses from encouraging ambition and setting goals for sales teams, to improving teamwork within and across departments as well as addressing topics such as dealing with constantly changing operating environments.

My most memorable experience from the past year was one young lady who came up to me post-presentation explaining that she suffered from ADD and has struggled to focus for periods longer than a few minutes for most of her life, however, my story had kept her engaged for almost two hours.

It gave me an amazing feeling…almost like the one I felt standing on top of the world ;-)


First Anniversary of My Seven Summits

Today’s the first anniversary of my Seven Summits – climbing the highest mountains of every continent as the first person from my native Finland.

The “Seven Summits” –term was coined by Richard Bass, an American climber, who became the first to climb the mountains in 1985.

  • Africa: Mount Kilimanjaro (5895m) in Tanzania
  • Antarctica: Vinson Massif (4897m)
  • Asia: Mount Everest (8850m) in Nepal
  • Australia: Mount Kosciuszko (2228m) in Australia
  • Europe: Mount Elbrus (5642m) in Russia
  • North America: Denali (6194m) in USA
  • South Africa: Cerro Aconcagua (6962m) in Argentina

A year later, legendary Italian mountaineer, Reinhold Messner, also climbed the Seven Summits, but instead of climbing Mount Kosciuszco in mainland Australia, he felt that the highest mountain for Australian continent should be Carstensz Pyramid (4884m), which stands in the middle of the jungle on the island of Papua in Indonesia.

There mountaineering community remains split regarding which one is the correct mountain for Australia, so both views are accepted and referred to as the Bass and Messner Seven Summits Lists.

To date, roughly 350 people globally have climbed the Seven Summits. I’m one of around 100 people that have climbed both Bass and Messner Seven Summits Lists, so there’s no room for dispute ;-)

My Seven Summits project was an amazing experience. It started ten years ago in Africa, although at that time I viewed climbing Kilimanjaro simply as a mountain climb, not the start of a big project. Over the years, my climbs took me around the world to interesting places and finally on June 22nd, 2012 I completed the project by summiting Denali in
Alaska, USA.

It was an amazing feeling to complete a project that required years of focus and dedication, but also led to a feeling of what’s next and a desire for another big project. I’ll tell you more about what that ill be later!

Arsenal’s Mountain Man

Check out the latest edition of the Official Arsenal Magazine for a “Summit Special” – a story regarding my relationship with Arsenal and the journey of two Arsenal flags on my Seven Summits project.











One of the flags accompanied me to the summit of Vinson Massif on Antarctica, the highest, driest, windiest and coldest continent on earth, as well as to the summit of Cerro Aconcagua, the highest mountain in South America. The other followed me to the top of the world, the summit of Mount Everest in Nepal, as well as to the summit of Denali / Mount McKinley, the highest mountain in North America.

The flags will be auctioned for the Arsenal Foundation at the Charity Ball towards the end of the season. If you’re interested in bidding for these unique items, please contact the Editor of the magazine at


Snowman and the Seven Giants

The leading Finnish outdoor magazine, Retki, which basically means “trip” or “journey” recently published a story regarding my Seven Summits journey titled “Snowman and the Seven Giants” in the theme of snow white and the seven dwarfs.











I’m obviously not much of a snow white, but the article is great and if you’re a Finnish speaker and haven’t had a chance to pick up the magazine, then you can see the article here.

Carbon Offset Completed!

I just finished offsetting the last of my Seven Summits project’s travel related carbon dioxide emissions.








My First Finnish Seven Summits project took me to all seven continents over a period of several years, although the last five mountains were climbed during a period of just 13 months.

The project was a great experience and I would recommend everyone to take advantage of the numerous beautiful places on this planet. However, I would also encourage everyone to also be considerate to the negative aspects of travel and in particular the carbon dioxide emissions.

In order to continue exploring the world with a clear conscience, I wanted to offset the carbon dioxide emissions related to my travel and would encourage others to do the same, so that we can continue to admire the natural beauty around us.

In order to complete my project, I had to take 46 flights and cover approximately 137,453 miles in a combination of planes and helicopters. I’ve now offset the emissions related to these flights by making a donation to Foundation, which will invest the money in projects creating 26.51 tonnes of carbon offsets.



Buying the carbon offsets is easy as there are a lot of companies offering the service to both companies and individuals. Figuring out your carbon dioxide emissions is a bit trickier, but fortunately most carbon offset companies provide calculators enabling individuals to calculate their carbon dioxide emissions for example related to driving, flying, living etc.


Outdoor Achievement of the Year in Finland

My First Finnish Seven Summits project was recognised tonight as the Outdoor Achievement of the Year in Finland.






The selection decision was announced at the Helsinki Adventure Night event in central Helsinki, which is quickly becoming the must-attend event of the Finnish outdoor scene.






The award was a great honour and recognition both for Finnish mountaineering as a sport as well as my project, which has taken my full focus for the last 12 months, so it was a great feeling to be recognised!




Day 7: Back to civilization

Waking up after a successful summit day feels awesome and as we trekked down, my mind wondered about whether I should try to climb another mountain?

Our descent from Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate was about 15 km’s and took around three hours.

At the Mweka Gate, we finished the registration formalities (signing ourselves out of the national park) and received our certificates for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

Then it was just another three hours on a muddy track through a forest to Mweka Village, where a 4×4 was waiting for us to take us to the next adventure …  a week long safari as well as a climb of Ol Doinyo Lengai, a 2980m high active volcano, which means “the mountain of god” in Maasai language.

After thanking our team of guides, a cook and porters, taking some photos with them and of course, giving some well deserved tips, we were off to a hotel in Moshi, to enjoy a hot shower and a bed!

Day 6: Summit!

We woke up at midnight, ate some cookies and drank some tea, before switching on our headlamps and starting the slow trek towards the summit, just 1345m above us.

There was an unusual amount of snow and ice on the mountain, so we would have benefitted from crampons, but instead, we had to take our time climbing up and trying to avoid slipping.

Our trek took us past Stella Point at 5685m altitude, where we rested for a short while, before pushing ahead to the summit, which was now almost at an arm’s reach.

We arrived at Uhuru Peak, the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, at 5895m altitude around 0745.

Uhuru means “freedom” in Swahili, which is how you feel admiring the beautiful views from the highest point on the continent.

After catching our breath, we took some summit pictures and shortly after, started our descent.

We almost gave our guides a heart attack when we decided to leverage the large amount of snow and slide down the mountain from Stella Point.

Once our guides saw the fun Delanii and I were having, they followed and soon there was a queue of about 30-40 climbers sliding down the path we were creating – especially given our tired legs, it was the most fun 500m slide I’ve ever had.

The slide down meant that we reached Barafu Camp pretty quickly. After packing up and eating a bit, we continued our descent to the Mweka Camp at 3100m altitude, which we reached in about three hours.

Day 5: Last camp before summit push

We woke up to loud chatter from a nearby tent belonging to a group of young American climbers. One of them was suffering from snow-blindness, a seemingly unnecessary problem that could have been avoided simply by wearing sunglasses, and had to be escorted down.

Since leaving Shira Camp, our route has basically been following the circumference of Mount Kilimanjaro, without really getting us closer to the summit.

In light of this, we were happy to be heading towards the Barafu Camp at 4550m altitude.

Barafu means “ice” in Swahili, which is a pretty appropriate name for the exposed camp on a narrow ridge with seemingly ever-present gales.

We reached the camp in just about three hours and after an early dinner, we had a hard time falling asleep, knowing that we would be heading to the summit tonight!

Day 4: Stunning lunch at Karranga Camp

Even before taking our first step on the mountain, we had decided to play it safe and take an extra day to get up the mountain.

A lot of people try to rush up Kilimanjaro in just four days – leading not only to a failure rate of 70% according to the Kilimanjaro National Park, but also surprisingly many cases of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) and even deaths.

In light of the decision to take an extra day on the ascent, we enjoyed a relatively short trekking day, first scrambling up the Barranco Wall to about 4280m altitude, and then descending to the Karranga Camp, at 3900m, for the first lunch of the new year.