043033 UC Ingalls Mental Health Awareness Month Ad Reoirter
Stephan Alheim pauses during his 19,431-foot climb of Mount Kilimanjaro. (Supplied photo)

Stephan Alheim pauses during his 19,431-foot climb of Mount Kilimanjaro. (Supplied photo)

Lyons man ‘accomplished something’ with Kilimanjaro climb

By Steve Metsch

Stephan Alheim of Lyons learned a lot about himself while making the 19,341-foot climb to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

He learned preparation is important, especially when it comes to breathing properly. He also learned to have faith in the climbing guides. And he learned to always bring an extra layer.

“It was pretty cold the day we got to the crest,” he said, saying his water froze.

Alheim recounted his journey during a news conference Feb. 8 at the Lyons Village Hall.

It was put together by Mayor Christopher Getty, a client of Alheim, who is a fitness trainer.

Getty said he’d been often asked by many residents about Alheim’s climb and decided to offer him a chance to share his story.

And what a story it is.

Alheim and his nine fellow climbers began their ascent on Jan. 23, reaching the summit at 8 a.m. Jan. 27. They needed two days to descend the dormant volcano, the world’s tallest free-standing mountain.

“I never had a vacation where I came back and felt like I accomplished something. All vacations are great, but this one stood out for that reason,” Alheim, 47, said.

He learned of the climb in April 2021 from a business colleague. Being a trainer, he loves to test his body. This fit the bill.

He and the team hiked up four to seven hours a day, 10,000 to 30,000 steps daily.

“Summit Day was intense, 16 hours. We woke up at 11 p.m. (Jan. 26), we were all anxious. We started our ascent to the summit at midnight. The whole scene was so surreal, so beautiful.”

The ascent took eight hours. So did the descent that day. They finished the descent the next day

He was under-dressed for the 15-degree weather at the summit, “but once we got moving, everything was fine.”

“The trip down was the most taxing on my body,” he said. “All that downhill puts a toll on your body. My left knee, which had a patella tendon repaired, was fired up that day.”

Three of the 10 climbers did not finish the climb because of health troubles. One had a COVID-19 scare, and one had altitude sickness. The altitude did give Alheim headaches, he said, but he toughed it out.

A breathing instructor, he was glad he did breathing exercises for the higher elevations.

One reason he decided to climb was his late father, Pete, whose death in 2015 inspired him to leave his IT career and follow his dream of starting a fitness training business.

“On the mountain, when the going got tough, or it got colder, although I thought, ‘Wow, this really stinks,’ I said I want to do this for my dad, make him proud. The mind always gives up first,” he said.

The transition from the base of the mountain to the summit led them through four climate zones: Rain forest; heather, which is shrubbery and tall grass; alpine desert; and the Arctic summit at 16,000 feet and higher.

“It was just really beautiful,” he said. “I’m so happy I went. Great pictures. Great memories.”

Kilimanjaro is achievable for pretty much anyone if they train first and are willing “to put in the work.”

“The guides are so good. ‘Grab here, step here, move up.’ If you have the right training plan, preferably possibly mine, and you work on your strength, your mobility, your breathing, and you have good range of motion, I think Kilimanjaro is achievable for a lot of people.”

Alheim “stands as an inspiration to all those looking to accomplish a dream,” Getty said. “As a community, we are proud of him.”

Asked about being called an inspiration, Alheim said: “Everybody might have their own mountain. Maybe it’s something they’ve wanted to do. If they work at it …”

His work translated to 128,562 steps in seven days on the mountain.

“I went in overconfident. I went in thinking it would be easier,” he admitted. “So, Summit Day was harder than I thought, especially with a headache and my water freezing.”

“It made me respect the mountain when you get kicked a little bit.”

After Kilimanjaro, Alheim went on a safari in Tanzania, noting a cheetah jumped atop one of the vehicles. “We saw lions, elephants, giraffes. It was awesome.”

Would he attempt another climb?

“I would do it again,” Alheim said. “I kind of want to go back to Kilimanjaro and do a different route. Maybe a faster one.”

dvn mountain climber t shirt

Stephan Alheim, of Lyons, shows off the T-shirt he received after climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa. Mayor Christopher Getty is a client at his business, Trainer Alheim, in the village. (Photo by Steve Metsch)

Local News

John Kosmowski

Feds indict Summit police chief, building inspector

Indictment says they shared a bribe over liquor license for the Mars Bar A federal grand jury this week indicted Summit Police Chief John Kosmowski and building inspector Bill Mundy with sharing a bribe from a business owner in 2017 to facilitate the transfer of a liquor license for the Mars Bar. The indictment returned…

regional orland memorial day 2022 preview

Orland Park to add 7 names during Memorial Day ceremony

The Orland Park community is invited to join the village this Memorial Day in remembrance of those who have given their lives for our country. The ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. on Monday, May 30, at the village’s memorial, Ara Pace – Place of Peace, located outside of Village Hall at 14700 S.…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Girls Soccer: De La Salle tops Bremen for program’s first regional title

By Steve Millar Correspondent De La Salle coach Carlos Nunez has seen his teams come up a bit short in the postseason repeatedly over the years. The Meteors had never won a regional championship in girls soccer. Until this year, that is. “I’ve been in every single one that we’ve lost in,” Nunez said. “We’ve…

Mallory Pugh, middle, moves the ball during the preseason. She played her first NWSL game Sunday and had two goals and an assist. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Pro soccer report: Pugh tallies twice return in Red Stars’ win over Orlando

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer Mallory Pugh gave a sample of what could be a big 2022 season when she scored four goals in the exhibition Challenge Cup series. But the Red Stars scoring threat missed the first two games of the NWSL season with an injury, and the team split decisions against Louisville and…

Sandburg's Jeremy Johnson, the hero of a semifinal win over Homewood-Flossmoor, legs out a hit in a 6-3 loss to Lockport on Saturday at Ozinga Field. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Area Sports Roundup: Sandburg takes 2nd at Bajenski tourney

By Jeff Vorva Staff writer The Sandburg baseball team has had more downs than ups this season. But the Eagles finished the regular season on a strong note with a run to second place at the Steven M. Bajenski Memorial Tournament, which wrapped up May 21 at Ozinga Field in Crestwood. To get to the…

Sandburg's 3200 meter relay team of (left to right) Sean Marquardt Declan Tunney, Trent Anderson and Brock Rice ran the third-best time in the nation Thursday at Lockport and finished in second place. Photo courtesy of Sandburg High School.

Track Postseason Report: Sandburg boys 3200 relay records nation’s third-best time in 2022

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer How good was the competition in the boys track Class 3A Lockport Sectional in the 3200 meter relay? Sandburg’s relay team of Brock Rice, Declan Tunney, Trent Anderson and Sean Marquardt ran a time of 7:42.42, which tied for the third-best time in the nation in 2022. And that was…

biz pop's beef logo

Pop’s to celebrate National Italian Beef Day with week of specials

Palos Heights-based Pop’s Italian Beef & Sausage is beefing up May this year with a week-long celebration of National Italian Beef Day at each of their locations. As part of the celebrations, Pop’s is hosting an interactive contest on their Facebook page during the week of National Italian Beef Day from Monday, May 23, through…

Members of the “Small Island, Big Song” presented educational workshops to students at Moraine Valley Community College. (Supplied photo)

‘Small Island, Big Song’ workshops enrich classroom learning at MVCC

From staff reports Coming from some of the smallest islands in the world, performers from “Small Island, Big Song” talked about climate change, indigenous cultures and island history from their homelands to students in select sociology and geography classes at Moraine Valley Community College last month. The group performed their musical and spoken word endeavor…

Elaine Grande

Pathlights names new executive director

From staff reports Elaine Grande has been appointed Executive Director by Pathlights’ Board of Directors effective May 30. Grande brings more than 30 years of successful leadership experience and becomes only the third Executive Director in the Palos Heights nonprofit’s 46-year history. She currently leads all Pathlights program and services as Director of Program Development…

biz bedford park walmart remodel

Grand reopening Friday for Bedford Park Walmart

Bedford Park residents can get a first look at the newly remodeled Walmart Supercenter at 7050 S. Cicero Ave., on Friday, May 20. The store will celebrate its ReGrand Opening with activities for the community beginning at 9 a.m. Along with a disc jockey who will play hit tunes, community residents are invited to enjoy complimentary beverages and snacks…

Neighbors

DVN JCs Restoration House Ad
Former lawmaker sentenced in bribery scheme

Former lawmaker sentenced in bribery scheme

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Former state Rep. Luis Arroyo was sentenced this week to nearly five years in prison for his role in a bribery scheme involving a state senator and one of Arroyo’s private lobbying clients who sought favorable legislation for the sweepstakes gambling industry. Arroyo, 67, is a…

Republican governor candidates on the issues

Republican governor candidates on the issues

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Abortion, January 6, Donald Trump, Critical Race Theory and whether Joe Biden is rightfully the president of the United States were the basis of questions asked to a field of six Republican candidates for Illinois governor Tuesday. A pair of debates took place on two stages…

CAPITOL RECAP: Republican candidates debate

CAPITOL RECAP: Republican candidates debate

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – The six Republican candidates for Illinois governor faced off Tuesday night in Chicago, albeit on two separate debate stages, hours after a shooting at a Texas elementary school that dominated a large portion of the debates. A scheduling conflict between two TV networks – WGN and NBC 5 –…

ANALYSIS: Illinois’ official U.S. census numbers have not changed

ANALYSIS: Illinois’ official U.S. census numbers have not changed

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker said Tuesday that he is asking President Joe Biden and the federal government to increase Illinois’ share of federal funding to reflect the results of a recent Census Bureau study showing the state was very likely undercounted in the 2020 census. The news…

GOP debate: Candidates address rising crime, Texas school shooting

GOP debate: Candidates address rising crime, Texas school shooting

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The six Republican candidates for Illinois governor faced off Tuesday night in Chicago, albeit on two separate debate stages, hours after a shooting at a Texas elementary school that dominated a large portion of the debates. A scheduling conflict between two TV networks – WGN and…

GOP Floor Leader Batinick ready to ‘pass the baton’

GOP Floor Leader Batinick ready to ‘pass the baton’

By GRACE KINNICUTT Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Illinois House Republican Floor Leader Mark Batinick, a self-described “policy guy,” came to Springfield with the goal of pushing good policy. A father of five who resides in Plainfield with his wife, Batinick said after eight years in the General Assembly, it was either time to…

Longtime lawmaker reflects on time in General Assembly, calls it ‘honor of lifetime’

Longtime lawmaker reflects on time in General Assembly, calls it ‘honor of lifetime’

By GRACE KINNICUTT Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – House Majority Leader Greg Harris, the number two Democrat in the Illinois House of Representatives, never imagined landing the role of state representative – or that he would leave office feeling that he has been successful at it. The first openly LGTBQ leader in Illinois History,…

11th contempt citation filed against DCFS director

11th contempt citation filed against DCFS director

By BETH HUNDSDORFER Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – On Thursday afternoon, a Cook County judge found Illinois Department of Children and Family Services Director Marc Smith in contempt of court for the 11th time for violating court orders to move children to proper placements. The 11-year-old girl at the center of the case has…

Criminal case against senior staff at state-run hospital dismissed

Criminal case against senior staff at state-run hospital dismissed

By BETH HUNDSDORFER Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The official misconduct case against a Choate Mental Health and Developmental Center senior staff member was dismissed on Thursday. Union County State’s Attorney Tyler Tripp dropped the charges, related to a cover-up of abuse at the state-run facility, against Choate’s quality assurance manager Gary Goins. The…

ANALYSIS: Fuel retailers sue over ‘compelled speech’ at the gas pump

ANALYSIS: Fuel retailers sue over ‘compelled speech’ at the gas pump

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] “As of July 1, 2022, the State of Illinois has suspended the inflation adjustment to the motor fuel tax through December 31, 2022. The price on this pump should reflect the suspension of the tax increase.” Those two sentences may be coming to a gas pump near you…

DVN First United Realtors House Ad
CRR NH Rainbow Motel House Ad