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Wisconsin climbers, including one with sprained ankle, reach summit of Kilimanjaro

Danny Hall, Joe Birdsall, Charles Gilliam, Sean Hall, Dean Leichtle, Dan Lindholm, Richard Nehring and Matt Perron. Image by David Budiac

Wisconsin climbers, including one with sprained ankle, reach summit of Kilimanjaro

By Jay Sorgi. CREATED Oct 15, 2013

It's said that people do amazing things like climb mountains simply to show that they can.

David Budiac of Milwaukee, Wis. joined a group of college friends from Wisconsin to do exactly that, climbing to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, more than 19,000 feet above sea level.

He even says that one of the guys in the group had an ankle injury from a basketball accident, but made the cilmb.

"We had a guy who sprained his ankle the week before," said Budiac on 620WTMJ's "Wisconsin's Afternoon news.".  He showed up in crutches.  He had a huge tennis-ball sticking out of his ankle.  He made it to the top."

The group took the six-day climb in late September, with guides from the area helping them.  They started planning it earlier this spring.

"It all started a little earlier this spring, a few friends from college were shooting around an e-mail chain, drawing out the idea of climbing the mountain.  one of my friends spearheaded the process, and it was easy to join up with the group," said Budiac.

"We (practiced).  We went over to Devil's Lake, a few other places, small trails nearby, and got back into ths swing of things, making sure everything was OK so we wouldn't get any significant blisters."

For those who want to do it, Budiac says you don't have to be an Olympic athlete to make the climb.

"The biggest thing you need to worry about is altitude sickness," said Budiac.  "It's not a hard-core mountaineer's climb.  Pretty much anyone can do it as long as they train a little bit and they're in OK shape."