In celebration and support of the shared vision that was GCI’s Climbing Leadership Fund project with Climbing Life Kenya, Sterling developed the VR9 9.6 mm Limited Edition Kenya Rope, inspired by the colors of the Kenyan flag. Being one the symbols of our national unity, the flag forms a huge part of our national identity and digs deep into what we share as a people. Black for the people, green for the land, red for blood our ancestors had to shed as a price for our freedom and white for peace in our country. The smooth feel of the Kenya Rope as I flaked it was divine. As the black, green, white and red snaked through my hands the words “Heritage of splendour” rang repeated through my mind.
At Climbing Life Kenya (CLK), the Kenya Rope was received as an embodiment of our CLK ideology and rallying call - Tupande Pamoja! which means “let’s climb together”. To us, the Kenya Rope also signifies that climbing is for all and celebrates the unifying spirit of climbing to people across borders and between climber and belayer. It brought to the fore the efforts we have made to build awareness and visibility around climbing in Kenya; and demonstrated that in pursuing our mission, we are building into the growth of a vibrant global community that is not defined by boundaries but by what we believe in. In the words of our national anthem, it calls us “all with one accord, in common bond united, to build this our (climbing) nation together.” I felt immensely proud to be Kenyan and part of the global climbing community.
Reminiscent of an athlete who cries after winning in the Olympics, we were all overcome with the emotions that come with being part of something greater than ourselves.
Lillian, another one of our volunteers, who had just finished flaking the new Kenya Rope walked up to find me, “Aki Liz I can’t stop smiling when I see this rope.” She whispers. “When I touch it, I just feel like crying; and I don’t know why.” But I knew exactly why because I was feeling the same, and so was every other volunteer at the crag that day. Reminiscent of an athlete who cries after winning in the Olympics, we were all overcome with the emotions that come with being part of something greater than ourselves. It is one thing to know that you are part of something greater and it is a completely different thing to actually live and experience that truth. Our team is filled with an immense sense of patriotism for having played a part in inspiring the Kenya edition rope by Sterling and humbled that we got to share a significant piece of our national heritage with the climbing world.