Austin girl climbs Mt. Kilimanjaro, setting record

For some time, Austin resident Hollie Kenney was thinking about trekking up Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. What she didn't know, was her seven-year-old would join in on the fun.

“I wanted to really have fun adventures with my mom and do different things, and I wanted to be closer to my dad, [Heaven]” said Montannah Kenney.

“Montannah's dad passed away the week after she turned three. She has desperately wanted to be near him again or see him again,” said Hollie Kenney, her mom.

So on March 10, the two started their journey up the more than 19,000 feet high Mount Kilimanjaro, and into the clouds, but not without some challenges.

“She threw up on night three from Nutella which she'll never eat again,” said Hollie.

Their guide told them high altitudes and lactose products may not mix too well, but insisted they would be alright. Montannah kept going and going.

“On the bottom when we weren't so high it was kind of hot and warm but on the top it was pretty cold,” said Kenney.

“A seven-year old in two feet of snow that has to go to the bathroom was probably the biggest challenge,” said Hollie.

Then after six and a half days of climbing, she became the youngest girl to reach the summit, a world record.

“It was pretty cool when I reached it,” said Montannah.

They didn't make it down without many laughs.

“With ski pants you can slide down the mountain. So she was sliding down the mountain and she got some of the porters and our guide to slide down the mountain. She was bringing the kid out of them,” said Hollie.

Montannah and her mom say it's nice to break a record, but they did this for her dad.

“She knew Mount Kilimanjaro was above the clouds which was very inspiring to her because she knew she would be closer to heaven,” said Hollie.

Montannah's dad struggled with PTSD before his death. The family has set up a Go Fund Me. Money raised will go to research for EMDR. It is a type of PTSD therapy.

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