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Ann Curry Still Pissed About That Botched Trip to Mount Kilimanjaro

Early risers may recall that, just a few weeks ago, the four main leads of the Today show traveled to the ends of the earth in search of the Weather Dominator as an attempt to raise awareness for environmental issues. And while Matt, Meredith, and Al all seemed to cope with their respective journeys okay, the generally disagreeable Ann Curry found herself in a world of hurt while trying to scale Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro. Despite prepping for the journey by spending a full week adjusting to the altitude, Ms. Curry and her crew were unable to complete their journey (and therefore were unable to cut down a swath of trees in order to plant a “Green Is Universal” flag at the peak’s majestic summit). Now, a full three weeks later, she recalls the myriad issues that backfired on the voyage in a Television Week exclusive (jealous?) that will surely set your Schadenfreude receptors tingling for days.

While it’s truly a pleasurable (if, at times, gross) experience reading through the entire 3,500-word (!) description of the various maladies that Ann Curry had to do battle with during her stay on the Dark Continent, we here at Intel figured we’d save you some time and just point out the highlights for you:

On forgetting to drink bottled water: “I picked up a terrible amoeba from the water. It’s so embarrassing to even mention it … The reason I’m embarrassed is that I get to come back and I get all these medicines and I’m going to be fine, with no negatives, and there are people, there are kids out there who are dying of diarrhea because they’re getting bad water. It really puts things in perspective.”

On the effects of being exhausted: “I had a headache that stretched from the top of my skull all the way down to the back, almost to my neck. My ankles, my legs, my hands and my face were bloated, so that I looked even more Asian than I am.”

On getting blisters: “I have one the size of a golf ball on my heel, and you know what’s funny? The blister has popped and what’s left of it is the shape of a heart.”

On hallucinating while climbing: “We had been climbing for eight hours, a steady up climb, [when] not only I, but other members of my team as well, hallucinated for a few moments. We had been told that we were almost at camp, almost at camp, almost at camp. We thought we actually saw the camp. In fact, what we saw was a bunch of rocks in the mist.” (Ed. If Ben Silverman had known about this, he would’ve immediately cut to a live feed!)

On being overly dramatic about her situation: “I thought about cutting off my wedding ring. I wasn’t wearing my —I don’t wear a lot of jewelry, but I have this little thin travel wedding ring that I wear whenever I go into these tough places and my fingers swelled up so much that I actually was starting to ask whether I could cut it off my finger, because I didn’t want to go blue and have worse problems.”

On missing out a chance to go to Australia instead: “Look, it is not easy to get a live signal, so we had people actually going to these places, not going to the top of the mountain, but going to these locations, to see: Can we get a signal? So I was actually supposed to go to the Great Barrier Reef, to be out on a platform in the water, but we went out with our technical team and tested it and in fact it didn’t work. There was a real problem trying to go live.”

On being really pissed at her producers and quitting the climb because of it: “Ultimately it just came down to this: It was not worth it. We had done our job and I treasure these people and nobody can pay you enough to suffer that much. It was not acceptable.”

On the worst part of all: “The rainforest killed my BlackBerry, because I was wearing a Wal-mart raincoat, because I forgot to bring a raincoat. Wal-mart is going to kill me. I had my BlackBerry in my Wal-mart raincoat because I thought it was going to keep it dry. Well, it turned into a little pool inside my pocket and my BlackBerry was basically sitting in water for hours.”

Curry Talks About Challenges of Nearly Conquering Kilimanjaro [TVWeek]

Ann Curry Still Pissed About That Botched Trip to Mount Kilimanjaro