Kilimanjaro and Beyond

ABOUT Barry Finlay

Barry Finlay
Barry Finlay is a fiction and non-fiction author. In his previous life, he had an extensive career in financial management before retiring in 2004 after thirty two years with the Canadian federal government. Since retiring, he has divided his time between writing, working as a consultant o More...


It is January 16, 2009, and 60 year-old BARRY FINLAY and his son CHRIS are propped against a rock, struggling to draw a breath on their treacherous climb up Mount Kilimanjaro. Their destination is tantalizingly close, yet the weather and - more importantly - their health will determine the end result.  Barry's backpack holds a Canadian flag with the names of over 200 donors mobilized by the climbers back home.  The donors have contributed to providing classrooms and clean water for desperately deserving school children in Tanzania.  For Barry, this is a life-changing physical, mental and spiritual adventure.  Follow along as he and his son strive to climb one of the World's Seven Summits, meet the children who will benefit from their fundraising, and come to an understanding that one or two people really can make a difference.  It is a journey that leaves the two with the lasting impression that nothing is more satisfying than reaching a goal and giving others the opportunity to achieve theirs.

Kilimanjaro and Beyond was named by Reader Views in 2012 as the best inspirational/spiritual book and best book on an environmental issue. Barry and Chris were finalists in the Eric Hoffer First Horizon contest for best new authors and Barry was named one of the top "50 Writes You Should Be Reading" by the Authors Show. 

When I was researching the possibilty of climbing Kilimanjaro, I would have benefited from books on the experience of climbing the mountain. I found there were mostly technical books. I found none that combined the climb with fundraising activities. I felt there was a need to be filled and that the experience of my son and myself could be useful to others who face mountains of any kind, whether they are large pieces of volcanic rock or simply day-to-day challenges.

Amazon - After reading the first few chapters, I knew this would be a book I would have to read in one sitting, if possible. I was engaged from page one and tried to imagine going through the same preparations and planning as Barry and Chris described in order to give themselves the best possible chance for success.

Fitness training, medical examinations, including consultation with doctors experienced in foreign travel, miles of hiking and biking, immunization shots, so much more than just buying backpacks, boots and warm clothing.

This book is truly an adventure shared with the reader. It is written in unpretentious human style, with lots of humour and all the details of life on a mountain exposed. It also gives some insight into the culture-shock that is Africa, the people deprived of almost everything we take for granted yet happy and generous to visitors.

The amenities already in place through the generosity of Barry and Chris's supporters in their fund-raising efforts, the borehole and the classroom in the Mwanza area of Tanzania, and the visions for future improvements, are described near the end of the book and one is left with the certainty that they will be successfully implemented. Such is the determination of Barry and Chris Finlay.

If you would like to know what is required to one day stand on top of a 19,000 foot mountain and at the same time improve the lives of some of the people near the bottom of it, you have to read this book!