Metcalfe Misses Xconomy Band Battle—Climbs Kilimanjaro Instead

A few weeks ago, after sending out a notice reminding folks of our then-upcoming Xconomy Battle of the Tech Bands on January 22, I got an e-mail back from Bob Metcalfe of Polaris Venture Partners. It read: “Thanks for inviting me…but darn, on January 22, I will be returning from Africa, having just climbed (I hope) Kilimanjaro.”

Did anyone else detect sarcasm in that “darn”?

But guess what—he did it! Turns out the 62-year-old Ethernet co-inventor was part of a team from the Explorers Club that did indeed reach the 19,340-foot (5,898.7 meters) summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest point in Africa, in northeastern Tanzania.

Here’s his communique:

Our Explorers Club “Flag Expedition” had 24 climbers and 44 guides and porters. Seven days up, and two days down.

We had a team of doctors working to keep us well, and a team trying to study AMS — acute mountain sickness, which I lucked out and did not get.

Researchers from US Army and MGH.

After summit at Uhuru peak of Kibo crater, we camped just below, in the crater, at 18,800 feet, COLD, next to remnants of Kilimanjaro’s famously melting glaciers. I am wondering if Kilimanjaro’s glaciers melt after every ice age (since the crater formed 100K+ years ago) or just this past one.

This ascent/descent followed our family descent/ascent into the Grand Canyon a couple of weeks ago. Mt. Washington a couple of weeks before that. Beacon Hill daily.

Click on the photo below for a larger view. The photo was taken on January 19, so recall his note about “two days down.” I think he could have made the Battle on January 22. Bob?

Bob Metcalfe on Kilimanjaro

Bob is Xconomy's founder and editor in chief. You can e-mail him at bbuderi@xconomy.com, call him at 617.500.5926. Follow @bbuderi

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