Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is no easy task – now imagine doing it with 30 pounds of gear on your back. Between carrying the weight, withstanding unpredictable weather patterns, enduring extreme altitude, setting up and breaking down camps along the route and lifting the spirits of trekkers throughout – put it all together and you are now describing a Kilimanjaro porter. Not only do they do it all, they make it look easy!

To illustrate just how challenging a porter’s job truly is, staffers from Thomson’s U.S. office volunteered to climb up and down steep stadium steps in the cold, windy winter weather with 30-pound weights in their backpacks. We call this the “30-Pound Porter Challenge.” Watch below:

As you can see, after just a few short minutes, Clark, Megan and Carolyn were all winded as they expressed just how heavy this weight actually felt on their backs. Carolyn exclaimed, “I thought 30 pounds was going to be a lot lighter than this, but I’m already feeling it and I’m just standing still.”

All of our staff has collectively gained an even deeper respect for these superheroes on the mountain. Without Kilimanjaro’s porters, reaching the Roof of Africa would be nearly impossible!