At Cerini & Associates, we believe that to truly serve the non-profit sector; you need to give back to it also. As a result, we have a long history of supporting the nonprofit sector through donations of both time and money. We encourage all of our staff to get involved. One way we do this through the Cerini Challenge. The Cerini Challenge is a way that our staff can challenge themselves, their friends, and their families in raising money for the nonprofit sector. We encourage you to consider joining a challenge, donating to an existing challenge, or starting your own challenge … take it from us; it feels great on every level.


2018 Cerini Challenge Part 3 Wrap-Up

So as you may or may not have heard, my trip to Colorado to climb mountains to raise money for LE&RN was cut short due to weather. Even though it was shorter than expected, it was still very eventful.

I landed on Friday, and we drove down to Estes Park, the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park. On the way down, we stopped to take some pictures of a heard of Elk. Apparently, I somehow challenged the bull male of the heard, who ran down the hillside to confront me. I tried reasoning with him, but when you have the weight and the rack that he had, the fight or flight reflex yelled, run away! Which is exactly what I did.

On Saturday, we hiked the Little Matterhorn in Rocky Mountain National Park. This was an acclimatization hike to 11,450 as it’s hard to go from sea level to 14,000 feet. You need a day or two to acclimatize. We covered 10.5 miles and picked up 3,369 feet of elevation to get to the summit, The hike featured bushwhacking (hiking without a trail), the ascent of an extremely steep scree field (it was like walking up a ski slope of loose rock), and class 4 rock scrambles over ledges with big scenic drops. It was the perfect day to spend my first day acclimatizing in Colorado.

Sunday, we did an alpine start (started the hike in the dark using headlamps to light our way) to Summit Long’s Peak. Long’s was one of my goal hikes for this trip, and it didn’t disappoint. Long’s Peak has no really easy way up. We took the standard class 3 route up, known as the Key Hole route. The route covers 15 miles and 5,100 feet of elevation. It was challenging and completely enjoyable. The route features steep boulder and scree fields, class 3 ledges, and a really steep rock path, about 60+ degree angle, up to the summit (the Home Stretch). While we were on the Home Stretch, someone above us dislodged a cantaloupe-sized rock, which pin-balled its way down to where we were climbing up. Landing about six feet away from me. Definitely got the heart pumping.

As Monday was supposed to be a travel day, our next day on the mountains was Tuesday. On Monday, we checked the weather all across Colorado and the weather for the balance of the week called for 50% to 70% chance of thunderstorms, so there was no way we were climbing on exposed ridges. We knew Tuesday was the last day, so we left it all on the mountain. We did Pike’s Peak on Tuesday. Pike’s Peak is not a difficult climb … it’s class 1 all the way up to the top … however, it is a long, steep slog. Pikes Peak is 13 miles each way and has over 7,000 feet of elevation gain. It took us about 6 hours to get up it and 3 to get back down (we were moving). Pike’s Peak is one of the two 14ers in Colorado you can drive up, so there were a ton of people at the summit. Everyone talks about the donuts at the summit (don’t bother, I didn’t like them).

While I will continue to make small trips through the end of the year, this was my last big trip for the year. I want to thank everyone who supported me this year through the Cerini Challenge and helped me raise $7,125 to make a difference in the lives of people impacted by a Lymphatic Disorder. I would like to give a special shout-out to Trudy Font-Padron and my friends at Achieve Beyond, who contributed $3,000 to the Cerini Challenge. I will keep the donation page open. If you haven’t contributed already, please consider donating to help me reach my $10,000 goal.

Motivation comes from within … hopefully, you are motivated to make a difference. To see more pictures of my trip, and other trips I take, please follow me on Instagram @totalcerinity. To learn more about the amazing things that LE&RN is doing, go to

Thanks, and I’ll see you from the mountaintops next year!



2018 Cerini Challenge Part 3 is Here!

Welcome to the 3rd installment of the 2018 Cerini Challenge. The 2018 hiking/climbing season is winding down, and so is your opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the millions of people that suffer from a Lymphatic disorder. So far I have raised a little over $3,500 in my effort to raise $10,000 for the Lymphatic Education & Research Network (LE&RN). I really need your help now, as I have a long way to go to reach my goal.

1.) On Friday, August 31, 2018, I will be flying out to Colorado to climb several of Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks. We aren’t looking to do easy ones … we have selected some of the more difficult mountains to climb. Here a sample of what we are looking at:The Key Hole Route up Long’s Peak – 15 miles and over 5,100 feet of elevation gain across rugged class 3 terrain along ledges with 1,000-foot.

Looks and sounds like fun…right?

2.) The Ellingwood Arete up Crestone Needle and the Crestone Traverse to Mt Crestone – A more than 5,000 climb to the summit of Crestone Needle featuring rock climbing and scrambling, followed by one of the most difficult traverses between 14ers in Colorado to reach the summit of Mt Crestone. We’re shooting for the direct start, after we hike in, in the morning. This will be a very long day and will require an overnight, as we climb Humboldt Peak the next day.

3.) Humboldt Peak – An eleven-mile hike featuring over 5,000 feet of elevation gain.

4.) The Prow up Kit Carson Peak – Features rock climbing up to a level 5.8 with over 5,500 feet of elevation gain.


I am hoping to climb five mountains in Colorado over 14,000 feet. This will be contingent on the weather and my body (after all I’m old). I will be pushing my limits, over the next week, all you have to do is push a few keys on your computer to support me in my endeavor to make a difference in people’s lives. Please consider contributing LE&RN … actually, don’t just consider it do it.

Keep updated by following me on Instagram @totalcerinity


2018 Cerini Challenge Part 2 Update!

Last week we took off for Maine with the goal to climb all 14 of Maine’s 4,000 foot summits. There are 115 mountains over 4,000 feet in the northeast; 48 in New York, 48 in New Hampshire, 14 in Maine, and 5 in Vermont. We are trying to climb them all, and going into the trip we had 33 left, including 13 in Maine (we had done Katahdin once before).

We figured that we would start with the northernmost peak and work our way south so that the drive home would be shorter.

Our days lined up as follows (Follow @totalcerinity on Instagram to view the day-by-day videos):

So after approximately 70 miles of hiking and 31,200 feet of elevation, we conquered the fourteen 4,000 footers from Maine, dropping our total needed to complete the northeastern 115 down to 20.

I appreciate everyone that donated so far to the Cerini Challenge to support the Lymphatic Education and Research Network. For those who have not yet supported me, it’s not to late. Please click on the donate here button and contribute to LE&RN. I will be back on the mountains in September … I’ll reach out to you then again for a donation.


2018 Cerini Challenge Part 2!

On Friday we start phase II of the Cerini challenge. There are 115 mountains over 4,000 feet in the northeast United States, 14 of which are in Maine. We are traveling to Maine to hike all 14 of them. Our trip will cover approximately 80 miles of mountainous adventure, over 20,000 feet of elevation gain and loss, and features Mt Katahdin’s knife’s edge; a narrow band of rock with precipitous drops on each side.

Our travels will include the following mountains:

  • Mount Abraham
  • Mount Bigelow – Avery Peak
  • Mount Bigelow – West Peak
  • Crocker Mountain
  • Crocker Mountain, South
  • Mount Katahdin – Baxter Peak
  • Mount Katahdin – Hamlin Peak
  • North Brother Mountain
  • Old Speck Mountain
  • Mount Redington
  • Saddleback Mountain
  • Saddleback Mountain, The Horn
  • Spaulding Mountain
  • Sugarloaf Mountain

And will cover 4 mountain ranges, including Baxter State Park, High Peaks Region, Bigelow Range, and the Eastern White Mountains (which extend from Vermont).

Many of the mountains we will be hiking are part of the Appalachian Trail, including Mt. Katahdin, which is the northernmost part of the trail, and the place where many hikers finish the trail.

Once again, we will be hiking to raise money for LE&RN, the Lymphatic Education & Research Network. This organization does so much for the millions of people inflicted with Lymphedema and other Lymphatic disorders. I encourage you to go to their website at and check out all the great things they are doing.

If you would like to see postings of my trip, follow me on Instagram @totalcerinity for daily pics and stories. Please give. I try to do a lot for people, and I usually don’t ask for much … I’m asking now … please make a difference and help me reach my goal of $10,000. I have a long way to go, but with your help, we can make it happen together.


2018 Cerini Challenge Part I Update!

On Tuesday, February 20th, we drove to the Umbwe trailhead of Kilimanjaro, the lowest trailhead of all the routes to the summit (the only trailhead under 6,000 ft. – it is about 5,300 ft.). The Umbwe route is the least climbed route of Kilimanjaro. About halfway up the 11k trail to our first campsite (the Umbwe Cave site), it began to pour. I guess I should have expected it as we were in a rainforest. Even so, we got soaked. The Umbwe Cave campsite is at 2850 meters (approximately 9,405 ft.). We were the only ones at the campsite. I peeled off my wet clothes had some dinner and went to bed … day 1 on Kilimanjaro in the books … or so I thought. Throughout the night, the Tree Hyrax were making this weird sound which made sleep, which in a tent is always difficult, even harder.

Day 2 we started the 6k trail to Baranco Camp, which is at an altitude of 3,900 meters (about 12,870 feet). During our hike to the next camp, we caught our first glimpse of Mount Kilimanjaro. It was real; I was doing this. We were out of the rainforest and into a moorland vegetation zone. We arrived at the Barranco site before lunch, and the campsite was littered with tents. From the Baranco site to the summit, we were on the same trail like everyone else. We were there in 2 days using the Umbwe route, and everyone else took 3 or 4 days to get there. After lunch, I decided to climb the Baranco wall, which is about an hour plus hike/rock scramble to a rock plateau. Unfortunately, the clouds were blocking Kili.

Day 3, I awoke to a mostly cloudless morning and the first clear sight of the mountain I was climbing. We left the Baranco Camp on our way to Karanga camp, which was 6K away. Karanga camp is only at 3,995 meters or approximately 13,184 feet. However, this is misleading, as we had gained an altitude of over 15,000 feet, just to give it back on the way to camp. Karanga camp is an alpine desert, so it was pretty barren, except for the nearly 100 tents that covered the campsite. Since we got there before lunch, we decided to hike the 4K to Barafu camp, which is at approximately 15,421 feet and serves as base camp for the summit push. We stayed up there for about a half an hour to acclimatize and then hiked back down to Karanga. At Karanga, I learned of the extreme temperature swings on Kili, as I hiked in a light base layer shirt during the day and it dropped below freezing at night (about a 40 to 50-degree temperature swing).

Day 4, we hiked back up to Barafu camp, which was to serve as our base camp for the summit push on Saturday (day 5). With the summit of Kilimanjaro at 19,341 feet, we would have nearly 4,000 feet of altitude gain over the 3-mile trek to the summit. The summit push was slated for an alpine start (still dark) so day 4 was really all about resting and eating for the summit drive the next day.

Day 5, we awoke at 12:00 am to light snow. We scarfed down some hot tea and a couple of muffins and started the push to the summit at around 12:40. Our goal was to be at the summit by the 6:30 sunrise so we could watch the sun come up from Africa’s highest peak. Between the large number of hikers, the steep grade, and the thin air, it was a slow go. We had to pick our opportunities to pass groups, yet still, manage to move slow enough to control heart rates and breathing. The trek up in the dark was very cold, and at one point I was wearing six layers of clothes for warmth. Our timing was perfect. We reached the summit just as the sun emerged on the horizon. We had conquered Kilimanjaro, the largest free-standing mountain in the world, and the highest peak on the African continent. After snapping a few pictures, we headed back down to Barafu camp. We grabbed some breakfast, took a short nap, and packed up for our trek down. By 10:40, we were on our way down to one of the lower camps. By about 12:30, we reached the camp that we were supposed to sleep at, in anticipation of our walk off on day 6. I made an executive decision, and we walked the balance of the way down to the park gate. By 3:00, we had completed our descent, a descent that spanned over 13,000 feet. After five days, my Kilimanjaro adventure was over.

So what did I learn on the mountain:

  • The porters are incredible – they have crappy gear, they are carrying heavy packs (often on their heads), they move at tremendous speeds, and they never complain. I also cannot believe how much food they can stock away. Also, the average porter makes under $10,000 a year.
  • Although Kilimanjaro is not technical, it is a large mountain at a high altitude … “slowly, slowly” is the chant and the way you need to approach this mountain (especially summit day)
  • The Mountain occupies several different zones, which means that you will experience many different types of weather patterns and temperatures as you climb the mountain. You need to be prepared with all different layers to be able to weather the trek up the mountain.

I would like to thank everyone who has supported the Cerini Challenge to date. If you have not, please consider making a contribution. The proceeds of the contribution will benefit the programs of the Lymphatic Education & Research Network, an organization dedicated to unlocking the mysteries of the lymphatic system, which will help find answers to the treatment of Cancer, Autoimmune disorders, obesity issues, hypertension, and more. Please consider making a contribution now, as I will only be bothering you throughout the year as I once again take the Cerini Challenge on the road.

Enjoy the pics!


2018 Cerini Challenge

I can’t believe it’s February already. 2018 seems to be flying … and so am I … to Africa, where I start the first leg of the 2018 Cerini Challenge. I know I bother you about this every year, and I’m sure that most of you are tired of hearing from me, but sorry, until we unlock the mysteries of the lymphatic system, find a cure for Lymphedema, and help those struggling with Lymphatic disorders, I will continue to push myself to climb stuff, and you to donate.

The first phase of the Cerini Challenge starts on February 20th, when I start my trek up the Umbwe Route of Kilimanjaro. This is the least travelled, steepest, and most difficult route up this more than 19,000 foot mountain (the tallest peak in Africa). I will be travelling through rainforests, sleeping in caves, and pushing myself to reach the summit in 4 ½ days. I figured, if I’m asking you to donate big, I need to go big. This will be the highest I have ever been.

Please click the donate now button and support me on my trip. You might as well do it now, because I will be taking other trips this year and I will keep pestering you until you do. In addition, this will probably be the coolest trip I take, so why not give at a high point.

Thank you for your continued support of LE&RN, and thanks for making a difference in the lives of people.



*Update 2/12/18 – I am currently in Cape Town, South Africa and I did a warm-up climb up Table Mountain.