Updated Jan. 26, 2012
Kyle Maynard of Suwanee is headed back home after reaching the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
The team is scheduled to arrive back in the U.S. on Thursday at 2:45 p.m., according to a post on missionkilimanjaro.com. The flight apparently is from Amsterdam to Hartsfield-Jackson airport in Atlanta. (However, an Internet flight check by Suwanee Patch showed a flight delay and estimated arrival time of 2:55 p.m.
"We are enjoying some much loved Starbucks for the first time in about a month!" (during a layover in Amsterdam), according to the blog post at 2:38 a.m. Thursday. (Amsterdam time is six hours later than U.S. Eastern.)
Maynard, who attended Collins Hill High, was born without complete arms or legs. The team reached the summit of the dormant volcano on Jan. 15.
SCHOOL MISSION: After reaching the summit, the team visited a school in Tanzania.
"The whole team enjoyed an absolutely amazing visit to a local school in Moshi. We got to hang out with the wonderful kids and Kyle gave a short presentation," read a post on missionkilimanjaro.com dated Jan. 21.
The team that includes Maynard reached the summit of the dormant volcano in Tanzania on Jan. 15. Moshi is on the lower slopes.
'WE MADE IT:' The team reached the top of the world on Jan. 15.
"We Made It!," read the title of the post on missionkilimanjaro.com. The team embarked on Jan. 6. (Tanzania time is eight hours later than EST.)
"Team Kilimanjaro left at 5 am this morning and reached the summit at 715! After a 12 hour climb through the Western Breach, Team Kilimanjaro camped at 18500 last night, setting up the historic summit on Jan 15th. Reach your highest potential! Much more to come!," the post continued.
SUBFREEZING TEMPS ARE NO OBSTACLE: You think it's cold in Suwanee?
"It’s 3 am and 0 degrees. We are eating a little breakfast and having some hot tea before we depart!," read a posting on missionkilimanjaro.com dated Friday, 6:53 p.m. (U.S. time). Tanzania time is eight hours later.
"After our rest day Team Kili is getting ready for bed. We’ve decided to wake up at 2 am and push for the crater rim. Everyone is extremely excited and anxious for our toughest climb yet. Our target is to climb to 18,500 feet in 10 hours," the update continued. According to Internet research, the highest point is 19,341 feet above sea level.
Also, a two-man camera crew has been recording the event.
GOAL GETS CLOSER: "4 Days Until Summit," read an earlier post. "... we are excited to attack the western breach tomorrow! Kyle is doing well and the team is back to full strength!"
In another website posting, the crew apologized for lack of communication, but indicated that Maynard was doing well.
Team member Chris Hadsall, a former Marine, said he was "absolutely amazed" at Maynard's ability to get through difficult terrain, according to the post on missionkilimanjaro.com.
“Spending even 5 minutes on the trail with Kyle, watching him, transforms how you deal with anything going on with yourself. I wish there was some way more of the wounded and injured military could see Kyle and meet him right after they get back to the States. It would be hugely impactful on how they deal with their injuries," Hadsall's post read.
'CELEBRATING TEBOW': Previously, in a posting from Day 4: "Kyle really did amazing." The group faced terrain that included boulder fields and a cliff face, the posting said Monday, when the climbers camped at Shira Camp at 12,700 feet.
The group enjoyed news of the well-publicized NFL overtime victory by Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos.
"Just heard the news" read a website posting under "Celebrating Tim Tebow & The Denver Broncos" dated Sunday night (U.S. time).
Tebow is noted for his inspirational qualities, and Maynard is also a motivational speaker as well as athlete.
'IRRITATING CRITTERS:' "We are all happy to be out of the rain forest," read an earlier post dated Saturday.
Despite heavy rain and "irritating critters," the beginning of the mission went well last week.
The team ascended to 8,500 feet Friday and set up camp in a rain forest after a seven-hour climb, according to a website posting. The chronicle also told of "torrential down pours" and an "army of ants that seemed to assault everyone but Kyle."
trained on Stone Mountain for the mission.
Compiled by Steve Burns.