Climbing to the Top: Elk River chiropractor reaches Mount Kilimanjaro summit in pursuit of most challenging bucket list goal

by Jim Boyle
Dr. Dan Moore’s adventurous side has led him to sky dive from an airplane and jump from cliffs, but to complete the feat at the top of his bucket list he needed to traverse 19,341 feet in the opposite direction.

Dr. Dan Moore (center) and fellow climbers Kyle Tengwal of Brooklyn Park and Anthony Acitelli of Dayton at the summit.

He made it his goal long ago to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa. He did it this past summer, reaching the summit on June 13, 2011. It is Africa’s highest point and the world’s highest free-standing mountain.
“This is something that has been on my radar for so long,” Moore said.“To finally do it was exhilarating. It was a real sense of accomplishment.”
He first dreamed of the climb 10 to 15 years ago, but after a patient of his did it about five years ago he started to give it more serious consideration.
He casually mentioned it to his friend,  Anthony Acitelli, of Dayton, who promptly said that he was doing it with him.
That’s a good thing.
Acitelli, an even more adventurous sort who would like to go cage diving with the sharks next year and has run with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, was more than eager to join him.
It took Moore more than a year of planning — and training. Moore, 40, became one with outdoor trails, hills and his gym’s stairclimber and a pair of hiking boots in preparation for the hike.

To rest on the mountain-side when all you had was a narrow ledge along a steep wall was like kissing rock, Dr. Dan Moore said.

The stairclimber readied his cardiovascular system and helped break in his boots over the winter, so neither would break him on this ultimate test.
In addition to Acitelli, 46, Moore also climbed with Kyle Tengwal, 39, and a guide who makes the treacherous climb four times  a month for the chance at a good life in Africa — one with a house and a car. The guide also brings an assistant and some porters.
Moore leads a good life here in Elk River. He’s been a chiropractor for 14 years, including the last 10 in Elk River.
Here he enjoys the happiness people experience when he helps them live healthier, more productive lives. His clinic, Bodywise Chiropractic, opened in October of 2001 at 19332 Highway 169.
His clients have ranged from elite athletes who are state and NCAA champions to soccer moms, kids and average Joes injured in car accidents.
He also works with businesses and their employees on health and wellness issues. He speaks to many businesses free of charge to inspire improved health and wellness.
His climb is inspiring in and of itself.
Making it to the summit was not easy. The temperature on the last night of the trek got down to 10 degrees below zero. Camp food was getting harder and harder to stomach. But after more than five days of climbing, “there’s no way you’re going to stop.”

Porters, who carry food and tents and climb Mount Kilimanjaro four times a month, experience lots of neck and back pain. They had never heard of a chiropractor before they hiked with Dr. Moore. “I became a popular guy this day,” he said.

The group slept for two hours before their last climb — a 12-hour affair.
They woke at 3 a.m. to get an early start.
The guide led the way and the assistant trailed.
“The sky was brilliant,” Moore recalled in a writing dated June 12. “Pitch black but completely full of stars.”
The group even saw a meteor streak across the sky at one point.
The rocks were slick as they set out, and the only light on the mountain-side was from their headlamps that illuminated just a few feet in front of each hiker.
“All you could see was your fellow hikers’ boots,” Moore said. “This continued for about two hours.”
When the sun was about to rise, the group stopped to rest.
“It was a breathtaking sight, watching the sun rise at 16,000 feet with another peak, Mawenzi, in the background, all the plains below and the Rebmann Glacier glowing orange near the top.”
They eventually made it to the top, and the rush of emotions were even more amazing.

This shot was taken on Day 5 as the group had neared the summit.

“It was quite a feeling of accomplishment,” Moore said.
The Elk River chiropractor is not necessarily looking to top his climb of Mount Kilimanjaro. He would love to take his family hiking in Peru. He and his wife, Missy, have three daughters, ages 8, 10 and 13.
He also wants to spur others to achieve their goals and dreams.