Michael Malone and a rag-tag team of iiNet staff and friends have scaled and conquered Mt Kilimanjaro, and raised $100,000 for charity.
The iiNet staff team at the summit: Simon Watt, Michael Malone, Richard Staniforth, Stephen Harley, Chelsea Gray, Samara Luck, Anthony Malone, Glen Lewis, Lisa Roos and Roger Yerramsetti. (Credit: iiNet)
What began as a proposed challenge of endurance between Malone and his friend Geoff Rasmussen, it grew quickly to include 15 of the telco's staff and close associates signing on to climb Africa's highest peak, known as the Roof of Africa.
It would be the second trip up the mountain for Malone, but every member would make it to the summit.
iPhones, BlackBerrys and blogs were just as key to the trip as pegs and poles. The team maintained regular sorties across the base camps in search of elusive reception, and impressively kept up a regular flow of Twitter and blog updates.
At the third camp, just under 4700 metres, Malone wandered off in search of connectivity for his stranded iPhone.
Michael Malone at the summit, with his son's Pokemon cards, given to him for strength. (Credit: Michael Malone, used with the permission of iiNet)
"During the afternoon rest we lose Michael. He has wandered off in search of coverage with Glen [Lewis] and Rick [Staniforth] but hasn't returned. Just as Lisa [Roos] is about to send out a search party, he returns," iiNet staffer, Samara Luck, wrote on the team blog.
Earlier that day, the team had passed a German party along the mountain.
"They look at us a little strangely while our team points an assortment of electronic devices to the sky. Forget snacks, our guys are hungry for data!" Luck wrote.
Throughout the four-day hike, the team spoke fondly of soaring ice cliffs, gaping caverns, frozen hair and spurious soup.
Malone said BlackBerrys fared better than iPhones in terms of receiving connectivity during the trip.
By the end of the trip, the crew had raised more than $100,000 for Lifeline through everydayheroes.com.au.
"Over a bit of dinner, we all agree that we have just survived the most physically and mentally gruelling day of our lives," Luck wrote.
Malone is currently in Nairobi on vacation.
Roger Yerramsetti posted the video below of the team at the summit.