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Student writes exam on top of Kilimanjaro

VARSITY College student Lance Metz has earned his place in record books by becoming the first person to write an exam on Mount Kilimanjaro.

27 July 2011 | Natashia Bearam

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Before writing his exam Metz faced a gruelling six-day 5 895m climb to the top of the highest mountain in Africa, a hike through a rainforest and extreme cold.

“My operations management exam was scheduled for the same time as my fourth climb of Kilimanjaro. So with the permission of the college I decided to make this climb unique,” said Metz.

Head guide and exam invigilator Sean Disney handed the exam to Metz on the fourth highest mountain of the seven summits.

“The initial idea was to write on the summit, but when we got there it was windier than usual and when the wind picks up, so does the wind chill factor,” said Disney.

Disney packed away the exam and after a 19-hour non-stop trip, exhausted and sleep deprived, Metz wrote the paper when he returned to camp, on the mighty African peak.

Victor Menoita, vice principal of marketing at the college said, “Lance epitomises what we ask of our students, that they should always aim to take their lives to the next level.”   

The 28-year-old was bitten by the mountain bug in 2004 when he first climbed Kilimanjaro.

“Kilimanjaro is like no other mountain on earth. The unique vegetation and the mystical scenery of the moorlands topped with views of  huge glaciers makes Kilimanjaro a true wonder. Climbing Kili is achievable by the ordinary individual.”

Metz has climbed six of the seven summits. “I am the youngest South African to have climbed Everest. I have climbed Mt Elbrus (highest in Europe) and Aconcagua (highest in South America) and hold the record as the youngest South African to have climbed Mt Vinson (highest in Antarctica) and the Carstensz Pyramid (highest in Oceania).”
He plans to climb Everest again in 2013 without the use of supplemental oxygen, a feat no other South African has accomplished.

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