Partners, Luftman and Heck gearing up to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro

28 Nov 2010, by Benjamin Luftman in News

Attorneys, Benjamin Luftman and Jeremiah Heck have been in practice together for the past 7 years but just recently decided to challenge their own determination by climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, one of the 7 highest mountains in the world. The Kili climb will last 7 days and approximately 20,000 feet up to the tip of Africa’s highest point with climates ranging from tropical to sub-freezing.

We asked Attorneys Luftman (L) and Heck (H) a few questions about the anticipated adventure.

Q:  First and foremost, what is your reason for going?

L: Honestly, for the challenge and because I view it as an incredible life experience. I thought to myself, when else in your life are you going to be as healthy as you are with a chance to do this? My mother recently had open surgery and my father has had many heart related problems. I intend to make a donation to the American Heart Association in honor of a successful climb on behalf of my parents when I return.
H: As Luftman said, I believe it will be an incredible life experience.  I love to travel, and I love to travel to locations that are a little of the beaten path.  Climbing to the top of the highest mountain in Africa is certainly off the beaten path, and as such, it has a great appeal to me.

Q: How have you been preparing for the trek?

L: I bought a 20 pound weight vest 7 months ago and have been using the stair climber at the gym to simulate climbing the mountain with my bag. Of course this has sparked up quite the curiosity and conversation at the gym.  Aside from just that, I have also disciplined myself with maintaining a workout plan and dieting properly.
H: I have worked out regularly, and have hit the stair climber, treadmill and elliptical machine on a regular basis.  I also attempted to summit Mount Whitney, which is the highest mountain in the lower 48 states.  This was a real eye opener and showed me just how difficult climbing a mountain could be.

Q: What are some of the risks involved?

L: The climate itself can be risky health wise considering the sub freezing weather at the top. Another major issue is the elevation which can cause many sicknesses that would be fatal. Every year, people die climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. There will be pills and oxygen available and also an air lift in case of an emergency.

Q: What are you most concerned about?

L: I have always been a risk taker. Starting a law firm right out of law school was an incredibly risky and the level of effort I have prepared for this trip is similar to the level of dedication I have put in to the firm. However, I would be lying if I told you I wasn’t nervous. I am most concerned about being disconnected from the firm for the first time since I started practicing.
H: I am most concerned about not being able to make it to the top.  I feel like I am in good shape physically, but you never know how the altitude will affect you.  I would be very frustrated to go half way around the world only to suffer from acute mountain sickness at some point and have to turn back.

The partners had an LH flag made for the trip and look forward to holding it proudly in triumph on top of “The Roof of Africa”. They will be carrying the momentum of that trek back to their lives at the law firm in Columbus. Attorney Luftman says that in business and in life, there will always be risks, but as the cliché goes “you can’t win if you don’t try”.

We wish them luck on their endeavor!