Double amputee climbs Mt. Kilimanjaro

Double amputee, Mandy Horvath, has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa and the highest single free-standing mountain in the world. The total elevation to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro is 19,341 feet.

She summited Mt. Kilimanjaro in June, making her the first double amputee woman to achieve the incredible feat.

The 28-year-old lives in Colorado Springs and is no stranger to climbing. She has also summited the Manitou Incline and Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain in Colorado.

The idea to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro first happened when Horvath was in the hospital. She saw a video of a quadruple amputee, Kyle Maynard, who summited the dormant volcano in Tanzania and was inspired by his journey.

Now, she’s inspiring others.

Horvath says, “What I took from this ascent of Mt. Kilimanjaro is to take things a little bit slower. I think it’s a monumental feat, not only for myself personally but for women around the world.”

She adds, “A lot of the time we get wrapped up in this westernized culture and the pressures therein and it’s not always necessary. And getting involved in the outdoors. It’s incredibly important if we want the future generations to see this wildlife.”

Horvath lost her legs in 2014, after getting hit by a train when she was just 21-years-old.

She says climbing helped save her: “I’m free from the weight of other people’s opinions whenever I’m out climbing and out in the woods. I’ve always been highly involved and active in the outdoors, so prior to amputation and getting out on the Manitou Incline back in 2018, and doing Pikes Peak, it gave me my life back.”

She adds that the climb to the top of Kilimanjaro was arduous but worth it. Throughout the journey, the bilateral amputee went through four climatic regions: the rainforest, the grasslands, the alpine desert, and glacial. On summit day alone, it took over 18 hours of climbing and crawling to the top.

The inspiring woman now has several tattoos signifying her ascent to the top of Kilimanjaro, and her journey doesn’t end there. She’s now on her way to South America to climb natural pyramids.