7-Year-Old Girl Climbs Africa's Tallest Mountain In Honor Of Her Late Father

April 9, 2018

A seven-year-old girl from Austin, Texas is now the youngest girl to reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, hiking in memory of her late father.

girl scales mountain africa to honor dad
Credit: Hollie Kenney

Montannah Kenney climbed Africa's tallest mountain with her mother, Hollie Kenney, who is a former professional triathlete.

The mother-daughter duo climbed the 19,341-foot mountain in Tanzania to honor Montannah's father, who passed away in 2013.

"The higher I go, the closer I am to him in heaven," Montannah told the Austin American-Statesman.

girl scales mountain africa to honor dad
Credit: Hollie Kenney

The idea to take on Mount Kilimanjaro together began last year when Montannah overheard her mom asking friends if they would ever want to climb the mountain.

"She said to me, 'Mommy I want to do it too,'" Kenney told ABC News. "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."

Kenney and Montannah's training consisted of four-to-eight-hour hikes on weekends, and shorter hikes during the school week.

During the hikes they practiced spelling and math, listened to music and often invited friends to join them.

"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," Kenney said.

girl scales mountain africa to honor dad
Credit: Hollie Kenney

On March 16, 2018, Kenney and Montannah reached the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro after a six-day hike that was very "cold and wet."

"Everything was wet by summit day," Kenney said. "We were putting on wet clothes, wet boots, my hair was frozen, our [water containers] were frozen."

At least twice during the six-day climb, Montannah declared it her "best day ever," Kenney recalled.

Kenney said they spent another nearly two weeks in Africa after their climb, going on safaris and visiting a local beach.

"I'm her only parent and I'm an older parent and I want to build these awesome memories with my child. Our philosophy in life is to be somebody and to do things with our lives."

Click Here For The Most Popular On Sunny Skyz

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK!