Call and ask about our 2009 advertising rates!
(304) 354-6917
Maxwell Climbs
Mt. Kilimanjaro
by Helen Morris

Updated on Wednesday*:

Community Calendar


Around Calhoun 

The Publisher's Desk

Week in History

Waste Not, Want Not

Classified Ads

This Week in Photos


Hildreth Supply

Calhoun Realty

Venezia Law

Guest Book

Doug Maxwell of Charleston stands at the highest point on Mt. Kilimanjaro’s Uhuru Peak on the volcano Kibo, 5895 meters (19,340 feet) about sea level.

Doug Maxwell, a man with one arm and one leg who climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, is a West Virginian with Calhoun County roots.

He is the son of Steve and Donna Morris Maxwell (CCHS Class of 1965) and the grandson of the late Don and June Burke Morris. He is also related to the families of Dick Morris, Jane Carpenter, and the late Carl Morris.

Calhouners prayed for him when he had his accident 30 years ago at the age of 10 and cheered for him as he marched onto the football field with the WVU Band, carrying his 40 pound sousaphone.

The childhood accident occurred when he was climbing a tree and had an encounter with a power line. The current went through his body, resulting in the loss of his left arm at the shoulder and his right leg below the knee. He was in a Pittsburgh hospital for several months.

He has never been the kind of young man that sought pity or special accommodations. At family gatherings, he joined in the games with the other cousins and led them in dramatic presentations that were high tech.

He could ski, climb Cooper’s Rock near Morgantown, and ride a bicycle. This all helped him prepare for climbing the highest mountain in Africa and the tallest free standing mountain in the world.

A resident of Charleston, Doug did not talk to anyone about his plans in the beginning, because he wasn’t sure he could achieve the goal.

He proceeded with his training plan by setting up a walking program that included carrying a heavy pack. The next step was taking part in CrossFit, a core strength and conditioning program. This was followed by a trip to Florida where he had a new socket built for his leg.

He signed up for a seven-day tour out of Seattle that cost him about $7,000, excluding his gear. It took seven days to go up the mountain, which included a four-day safari in the Serengeti. He completed the climb on Jan. 19.

There were 14 other travelers in the group, a few guides and  about 75 residents who helped maintain camps on the way and carried the group’s extra gear.

Even though he was traveling with a large group, he had a lot of time alone. The favorite part of the trip for him was the Moorland, where climbers go through the cloud line.

Some of the trip was an ordeal.

He said, “I can walk on the balls of my feet all day, but the uneven ground on my artificial leg was tough. I had a local guide to help me.”

The journey took about eight grueling hours.

When asked if he would do it again, he said, “When I first got off the mountain, I said,  ‘No way,’ but now it is a little more appealing. Never say never.”

Doug said he felt blessed that he still has one arm and one leg: “I can work on my old ’57 Chevy, climb mountains, and play my guitar, just not very well. I may not be the best at everything, but I am participating.”

Calhoun County is pleased to call Doug “one of our own.”

This Week's Editorial:

By Helen Morris:

Publisher's Desk

Calhoun County Map

Calhoun Map

Important Links




Chronicle Staff

Homeland Security

WV Your Way

WV Travelers

Contact the webmaster.

Free Guestbook
Calhoun Chronicle's Guestbook

Encounter Calhoun County
SportsFuneral NoticesSubscribeAdvertiseSubmit NewsPrivacy Policy

© 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 Calhoun County Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
P.O. Box 400, Grantsville, WV 26147