NEW CASTLE —
Climbing Kilimanjaro before turning 60 was on Livermore’s bucket list.
He made it, reaching the summit on Nov. 29 — the date of his birth in 1952.
At the end of the six-day climb, he was literally walking in the clouds.
He ascended 4,000 feet in six hours in the dark. “It was a hard, arduous climb,” he said. “Very cold.”
Livermore knew the tempterature was below zero. His gloves were covered with ice. He drank hot ginger tea to keep his insides warm.
“Every day it was a different view and a great view,” said Livermore.
“It was emotional at the top,” he went on. “They sang ‘Happy Birthday’ and threw me a party when we got back down.”
His group included a trio from Australia, one from Italy, a Russan woman and a man from Texas. Livermore was the oldest. Accompanied by two dozen porters, cooks and guides, each climber carried a backpack and used trekking poles.
“I did something that only a small percentage of the world gets to do,” said Livermore, who walked in volcanic dirt around the west rim of the crater of a dormant volcano.
Camps were set up every evening and torn down each morning as the group proceeded to its next destination point.
Meals of eggs, sausage and fruit were prepared using propane gas.
Livermore is a son of the late Oliver Claude and Frieda Livermore. His sister, Gladys Wingert, lives in New Castle.
As a teen, Livermore fished at the lake at Cascade Park. At 16, he bagged his first deer in Cook Forest.
He was a member of the Order of the Arrow, an elite Scout group that spent many a day at Camp Agawam.
He attended New Castle schools and graduated in 1970 from what is now the Lawrence County Career and Technical Center. After high school, Livermore joined the Navy.
“I consider myself a Ne-Ca-Hi grad,” said Livermore, who attended the class’ 40-year reunion in 2010.
Livermore plans to continue mountaineering next summer by climbing Mount Rainier in Washington State. No plans yet for how he’ll celebrate birthday No. 61.