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What is My KAPE all about?

An umbrella organisation for a series of sustainable expeditions and community-empowering projects, My KAPE is about climbing big mountains around the world while building awareness around sustainable living.

Mission: 

The mission for My KAPE is to eventually complete the Seven Second Summits. However, at the same time, it is more than just climbing mountains. “It’s about getting involved with communities and promoting awareness as much as possible,” says Fitchen. “I also think that this is the evolution of expeditions. It is time that a new generation takes a stand to [undertake expeditions] in a way which has minimal impact on the environment.”

KAPE 2 ATACAMA is the next in the series of My KAPE expeditions and begins in March 2014

 

Kai Fitchen | Why I do what I do ...

Climber | Explorer | Earth & Youth Ambassador | Founder of My KAPE

Who is Kai Fitchen and what makes him tick? 

I am 20 and I love to climb. I find quite a lot of enjoyment getting myself into uncomfortable situations, simple as that.

I’ve had so much fun in the great outdoors and I feel that I have a responsibility to protect it.  I want to do my best to make sure everyone gets the same kind of pleasure from nature as I always have. 

Where did you get the idea for My KAPE from?

In 2010 I climbed Mount Elbrus and it was a big big shock to me. Litter was scattered around the basecamps and my climbing partner almost died in attempting to summit. It made me think about the selfishness that comes with climbing. There are many who think that because they pay to be there, they don’t have to care. I refuse to be a part of that and I knew that I needed to find a way to continue climbing big mountains but in a responsible way.

That's how KAPE 2 KENYA, and the My KAPE expeditions, were born.

Diagnosed with Epilepsy at 9, how has that affected you?

My self-confidence was shattered. It was rough, but hiking and climbing was the only thing which got me through it.

I think Kilimanjaro was the big breakthrough (in 2009). It changed my life. Before that wonderful climb, many told me and my parents that it would be irresponsible and reckless. It makes sense, epilepsy originates in the brain and the lack of oxygen and fatigue could trigger an episode.

But, I’m stubborn and I trained my butt off to make sure I was in the best state to take on the challenge.

Yes, I have Epilepsy and I have to be aware of it, but I don’t want to let it define my life. There are always “naysayers” out there, but I’ve always believed that if you do what you love you’ll find a way for it to work.

What do you hope to achieve with My KAPE? 

The climbs are for me. The work we do along the way and the way we travel are for the planet.

I hope these exciting expeditions bring awareness to the environmental and social issues that everyone is facing. However, above everything else, I hope My KAPE can inspire people to become conscientious about their actions. Instead of driving to work or school, why not cycle or carpool? Why not eat less or no meat? These simple actions will really make the impact.

My KAPE isn't a short-term project. I’m aiming to do expeditions like KAPE 2 ATACAMA for a very long time.

Why should people care about this?

The reason for this is very simple: in my life time Climate Change, overfishing, pollution and all these nasty things will start to affect our everyday lives, not to mention that of our children.

I don’t want that to happen and nor do I want to punt the whole “oh-all-hope-for-the-environment-is-lost”. All hope isn’t lost and I what to show off all the awesome people, around the world, who are working towards a more sustainable future! Plus, if I can contribute by bringing awareness to Epilepsy and sustainability on my adventures, why not!

There is no overnight solution but that’s where “Making Mountain Metaphors” comes in. There’s a mountain of problems that we, as a global community, have to overcome. But if we just put one foot in front of the other, we’ll make our summit.