Ridgefield orthodontist Dr. Blaine Langberg recently returned from a journey to Tanzania, where he climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro. At 19,341 feet, it is the highest mountain on the African continent and the highest free-standing mountain in the world.
While he was in Tanzania, Langberg delivered more than 1000 toothbrushes and toothpaste for an orphanage run by the Human Outreach Project.
“Dean Cardinale, the founder of the charity and our hiking guide, expressed a need for the oral hygiene products in the community. It was a small way to pay it forward to the children of this welcoming country,” said Langberg.
Langberg ascended the Machame Trailhead with a tour operator situated out of Utah called World Wide Trekking, which he discovered through the Harvard Travel Alumni Association. His group of eight spent seven days on the mountain and summited Uhuru Peak on the sixth day.
“I knew it would be an amazing experience,” says Dr. Langberg. “I was excited to see a part of the world that I’ve never been to before, and to participate in this once-in-a-lifetime adventure with a unique group of people. It was all that – and more!” His co-hikers turned out to be a wide ranging clan from around the globe. Some trekkers were from neighboring New York, and others represented the countries of Honduras and Ireland. After the ascent, Dr. Langberg toured the surrounding African landscape, including visits to Ngorogoro Crater and a safari through Serengeti National Park.
This wasn’t Langberg’s first climb, though certainly the most challenging. In 2012, Dr. Langberg climbed California’s Mt. Whitney, the highest mountain in the contiguous 48 states. He says this latest hike was even more dramatic for him. “The trek was like nothing I’ve ever experienced. Every day brought a different ecosystem. One day we hiked through the rainforest, another day we went into the alpine desert and before I knew it, I was in an arctic snowcap. At times I felt like I was in another world. It was tiring trekking for over seven hours a day. It was magnificent, not to mention very gratifying.”
This is just the latest in a long list of personal goals accomplished by Dr. Langberg.
“I’ve always enjoyed writing and managed to write two screenplays, and one became a movie-short that was shown at the Connecticut Film Festival. Recently, I finished my first novel. I performed stand-up comedy and even served as a guest bartender at a charity event. That may have been the most challenging of all – it was completely out of my comfort zone!”
Dr. Langberg explains he enjoys challenging himself with his projects and adventures.
“I try to find ways to enrich myself, and add balance to my life as an orthodontist and father to three lively young girls. It’s fun to push myself in unexpected directions.”