Mount Kilimanjaro last erupted thousands of years ago.

Michael Melford/National Geographic RF/Getty Images (Mt. Kilimanjaro); Courtesy of Hollie Kenney


Go For It!

A new school year means working toward new goals. This kid mountain climber shares some secrets to success!

As You Read: In the article, identify Montannah's goal. Then look for at least three steps she took to reach it.

Jim McMahon/Mapman®

In eastern Africa, a volcano rises more than 19,000 feet into the sky. It’s Mount Kilimanjaro (kil-uh-muhn-JAHR-oh), one of the world’s tallest mountains. Every year, thousands of people try to climb to the top. Fewer than half succeed.

Montannah Kenney of Texas beat the odds. She climbed the mountain with her mom last year, when she was just 7! She was one of the youngest climbers ever to reach the peak.

“It felt great to reach my goal,” Montannah says.

In Africa, a volcano rises high into the sky. It’s Mount Kilimanjaro (kil-uh-muhn-JAHR-oh). It is one of the world’s tallest mountains. Every year, thousands of people try to climb to the top. Most do not succeed.

Montannah Kenney of Texas beat the odds. She climbed the mountain with her mom last year. She was just 7! She was one of the youngest climbers ever to reach the peak.

“It felt great to reach my goal,” Montannah says.

Be Prepared

Her adventure began about two years ago. Montannah found out her mom was planning to climb Kilimanjaro. She begged to go too. “I wanted to see what it was like above the clouds,” she says.

The Kenneys knew it was important to be prepared. They practiced hiking on hills near their home. And they did research. They discovered that they had to be ready for all kinds of weather. The bottom of Kilimanjaro is warm, but the top is snowy and cold.

The Kenneys also learned that climbers can get altitude sickness. This illness can be caused by climbing very high too quickly. So they planned a route that would let them go slow.

Her adventure began two years ago. Montannah’s mom was planning a climb. Montannah begged to go too. “I wanted to see what it was like above the clouds,” she says. The Kenneys wanted to be prepared. They practiced hiking on hills. And they did research. They learned to be ready for all kinds of weather. The bottom of Kilimanjaro is warm. The top is snowy. The Kenneys also learned that climbers can get altitude sickness. It can be caused by climbing very high too quickly. So they planned a route that would let them go slow.

Stick With It

Montannah and her mom set off in March 2018. Guides showed them the way. Other helpers cooked meals and carried supplies.

But even with teamwork, the six-day climb to the top was tough. The group hiked for nine hours or more each day. And it rained or snowed almost the whole time. That made the rocky mountain slippery.

One day, Montannah felt sick to her stomach. She and her mom worried it might be altitude sickness. They thought about turning back. But after resting for a bit, Montannah felt better. She refused to give up. Two days later, she made it to the top of the mountain.

“I was finally above the clouds!” she says.

Today, Montannah wants other kids to know they can reach their goals too. She tells them to plan ahead, use teamwork, and stick with it.

“You can do it!” she says.

Montannah and her mom set off in March 2018. They used teamwork. Guides led the way. Other helpers cooked meals and carried supplies.

But the six-day climb was hard. The group hiked for many hours each day. And it rained or snowed a lot. That made the mountain slippery.

One day, Montannah felt sick. She and her mom worried it might be altitude sickness. They thought about turning back. But Montannah felt better after resting. She did not give up. Soon she made it to the top.

“I was finally above the clouds!” she says.

Montannah wants other kids to know they can reach their goals too. She tells them to plan ahead, use teamwork, and stick with it.

“You can do it!” she says.

  1. What does the author mean when she says Montannah Kenney “beat the odds”? How do you know?
  2. What is the section “Be Prepared” mostly about?
  3. What is the purpose of the sidebar “Meet Some Other Goal Getters!”?
  1. What does the author mean when she says Montannah Kenney “beat the odds”? How do you know?
  2. What is the section “Be Prepared” mostly about?
  3. What is the purpose of the sidebar “Meet Some Other Goal Getters!”?

Close-Reading Questions

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