After enduring torrential rain and a blizzard earlier in the trek, the star-studded group of entertainers and activists started their final ascent of the Tanzanian mountain at 1:30 a.m. Tuesday. They climbed for seven hours, then finally reached Uhuru Peak, where they posed for a photograph holding a sign that read "SEND WATER."
With single-digit temperatures at the summit, the climbers were expected to remain at the top for no more than 45 minutes. They had planned to give a special shout-out to the father of Ethiopian-born musician Kenna, who organized the climb. Kenna's father lost several family members due to waterborne illnesses.
"The last 48 hours have been the most intense and physically grueling experience of my life. Miraculously, we all made it to the top together," says Hirsch. "To have such a complete success for such a worthwhile cause – the global clean water crisis – more than reaching the summit is what is really satisfying."
Adds rapper Lupe Fiasco: "The thrill of conquering your fears, especially in such a physically and mentally taxing environment, can't really be done justice in words."
Joining them on the climb are UN Foundation executive Elizabeth Gore; Alexandria Cousteau, granddaughter of ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau; photographer Michael Muller, and Kick Kennedy, environmentalist and granddaughter of Robert F. Kennedy.
To see photos, videos and Tweets from the expedition, visit www.summitonthesummit.com