How the Curvy Kili Crew Climbed Kili

The Curvy Kili Crew, an impressive group of 20 plus-size women, climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro as we cheered them on from across the world.

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With the goal of reaching the summit on International Women’s Day, the Curvy Kili Crew embarked on an unforgettable journey climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro this March. Extreme temperatures, steep trails, and blazing sun didn’t stop them from trekking the world’s tallest freestanding mountain. As they dealt with spotty cell coverage, we eagerly waited for updates from the crew and photos. We knew that members like Bisa Myles had overcome so much, between stress at work and personal health struggles, and couldn’t wait to watch her achieve her goals alongside her fellow hikers, who illustrated that bodies of all sizes are capable of greatness.

The Curvy Kili Crew hikes Mt. Kilimanjaro.
The Curvy Kili Crew hikes Mt. Kilimanjaro.

One foot in front of the other, the entire Curvy Kili Crew took their first steps on Africa’s tallest mountain. With Andrea in the front of the crew, and Yolanda right behind her, seeing all 20 plus-size hikers lined up on the trail brought us so much joy.

Christa, leader of the Curvy Kili Crew, hiked Mt. Kilimanjaro back in 2016 and was frustrated that she was the only plus-size woman in her group of female adventurers. She vowed to return to Kilimanjaro with fellow fat women, which is how the Curvy Kili Crew was born. We applaud Christa and the rest of the crew for shattering stereotypes!

The Curvy Kili Crew hikes Mt. Kilimanjaro in ponchos.

A little rain can’t get these ladies down! They packed everything they possibly could bring to protect themselves from the elements, including their favorite Dia&Co activewear and, of course, rain ponchos. Inspired to go on your own hike? Check out Andrea’s day hike packing list, and take solace knowing that you didn’t have to pack quite as much as the members of the Curvy Kili Crew had to for their 7-day monumental hike.

The Curvy Kili Crew hikes Mt. Kilimanjaro and reaches Kibo Hut.
The Curvy Kili Crew hikes Mt. Kilimanjaro and reaches Gilman's Point.

19 of the amazing crew members reached Kibo Hut at an impressive elevation of 15,520 feet, where the vegetation changed into an alpine desert. Then two members, Autumn and Kathy, reached Gilman’s Point with an elevation of 18,652 feet. After hiking every day and camping every night for 7 days straight, these women truly moved mountains.

The Curvy Kili Crew hikes Mt. Kilimanjaro.
The Curvy Kili Crew hikes Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Are you interested in accomplishing an incredible feat the way the Curvy Kili Crew did? Be sure to check out WHOA+, the new plus division offered from the women’s adventure travel company to learn how you can join a future adventure. Next up is a hike up Machu Picchu, with fellow plus-size women, including leader Christa Singleton, who encouraged WHOA to add a new division dedicated to curvy and courageous women.