7-Year-Old Breaks Records Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro In Honor Of Her Late Dad

by Thea Glassman
Image via Hollie Kenney

This 7-year-old is the youngest person to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro

Mt. Kilimanjaro has officially met its match. Seven-year-old Montannah Kenney is the youngest person to climb Africa’s tallest mountain, which is the equivalent of a six day hike. If that’s not incredible enough, she also completed this crazy impressive feat in honor of her late dad.

Kenney was determined to become the youngest person to tackle Mt. Kilimanjaro — and she didn’t have a lot of time. The record was held by an 8-year-old, which meant that the young adventurer would have to get the climb done right before her next birthday. Kenney and her mom Hollie put a ton of work into making that happen. That meant between four-eight hour hikes on weekends and quicker hikes during the school week.

Image via Hollie Keeney

“We spent a lot of time doing our research and working with doctors that specialized in altitude,” Hollie told Scary Mommy. “I am an endurance athlete and we’ve been around sport her entire life. This is second nature to us, and we were so happy to be able to share this amazing adventure together.”

There was an added significance to this huge undertaking. Kenney wanted to have a moment with her dad, who passed away one week after her third birthday.

“When we talked about the mountain being above the clouds, she immediately associated that with heaven and it resonated with her,” Hollie told ABC News. “She loved that idea of being closer to her dad and asked me if she was going to be able to see him.”

When they finally reached the top of the summit, Montannah “really was looking” for her dad up there.

Their whole journey looked pretty, pretty incredible.

Image via Hollie Kenney

Image via Hollie Kenney

Image via Hollie Kenney

Montannah wasn’t the only one who came away with a life-changing experience. Her mom said she learned some very important lessons as well.

“As a parent what I learned most from this is, I would absolutely do everything in a parent’s power to allow a child to live up to a dream that would be empowering to them,” she said. “Our philosophy in life is to be somebody and do amazing things. We may not climb a mountain again, but we won’t stop here.”