Julie Steiner (right, with Alison Watta) on a weekend training trip with GetBackpacking! at South Mountains State Park.

When: Wednesday, Jan. 17, 7 p.m.

Where: Great Outdoor Provision Co., Eastgate Crossing, 1800 East Franklin St., Chapel Hill

In 2018, we’re launching our Explorer Series, monthly talks by local explorers who have achieved some pretty impressive adventure goals — impressive goals, yet goals that are within the realm of the everyday explorer. Folks like most of us. They’ll share what the experience itself was like, and perhaps more importantly, share the preparation and training it took to get them there. A few days before each presentation, we’ll give you a hint of what to expect in a blog post.

What: Mount Kilimanjaro, at 19,341 feet the highest point on the African continent and one of the planet’s  Seven Summits.

Who: Julie Steiner of Chapel Hill

Inspiration: “The idea of hiking Mount Kilimanjaro had been in the back of my mind since I saw an image of it on a wildlife television special as a child, but it was something I never thought I could realistically do,” says Julie.

Impetus: “I love to travel internationally and I was researching my next trip last fall [2016]. At the same time, I was also craving a physical challenge — something significant that would give me a goal to work toward over the course of a year. And that’s when the idea of Kilimanjaro resurfaced.”

Preparation: “To prepare, I stepped up my gym routine and joined GetHiking! and other local hiking groups. I hiked in North Carolina on a regular basis over the course of a year, and did a few multi-day backpacking trips to test out my gear and get a sense of what the long and strenuous days on Mount Kilimanjaro might be like.” Referring to one of her less successful training outings, she adds, “Even the Linville Gorge hike — which at the time seemed a bit of a personal disaster! Without the lessons from that experience my Kilimanjaro trip might not have been the positive experience it was.”

Curious about what happened in Linville Gorge? Join us Wednesday and find out.