ROCKY HILL, CT – For Jamaican-born climber Rohan Freeman, the lyrics of the renowned song “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” now have a whole new meaning in his life.
Freeman made history recently when he reached the top of Carstenz Pyramid in Papua, Indonesia to accomplish his goal of completing the “seven summits,” or the highest peaks of the seven continents. In doing so, Freeman also became the first African American to have completed this very rare quest.
“This is an extremely rewarding accomplishment for me on a personal level, to see what was once a dream of mine become a reality truly is a life changing experience,” said Rohan Freeman. “I’m also overjoyed to be the first African American to have accomplished this; something that I take great pride in and something that all African Americans can be proud of.”
This mountaineering challenge to climb the seven summits was first accomplished on April 30, 1985 by Richard Bass and has become a milestone goal for a very rare select group.
Freeman, a former college athlete motivated to find a hobby to compliment his active lifestyle, discovered and began climbing in 2002. The hobby also served as an opportunity for him to travel the world.
Freeman’s first summit was Africa’s highest peak, Kilimanjaro. When he successfully accomplished that climb it was a huge boost to his confidence and provided him a drive to propel to the next level of mountaineering.
“The adrenaline rush and sense of joy and accomplishment after completing Kilimanjaro really made me hungry for more,” Freeman said. “I kept my eye on my goal, and never turned back.”
After successfully conquering four of the seven summits (Kilimanjaro, Denali, Elbrus and Aconcagua) between 2002 and 2009, he climbed Mount Everest on May 19, 2009. Mount Everest was initially Freeman’s long-term goal, and he used that achievement to further motivate him to climb the remaining two summits. He then climbed Vinson Massif in Antarctica in 2011, and finally Carstenz Pyramid in October 2012.
“The sense of accomplishment when I completed the seven summits by reaching the peak of Carstenz Pyramid is absolutely indescribable,” said Rohan Freeman. “I’d worked tirelessly to achieve this goal, and doing so it taught me a life lesson that the impossible is possible if you want it bad enough and you reach deep enough.”
Freeman has incorporated this life changing attitude into his personal and professional life. He is the President of Freeman Companies, a successful engineering company based in Hartford, CT whose slogan is “elevate your expectations.”
In completing the seven summits Freeman’s eyes were opened to beauty of each continent while traveling the world. He was also able to incorporate fundraisers into his summits raising money for needy charities like The Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford.
“The support from people that I met along the way, and the support that I’ve received locally has been overwhelming,” said Freeman. “I am truly blessed.”
Short term goals of Freeman include continuing to successful grow his engineering firm Freeman Companies, to participate in Ironman triathlon races and to participate in Marathon des Sables, a multiday 151 mile race in the Sahara Desert considered the toughest foot race on earth. Freeman is also contemplating a run for public office.
Freeman was born in Jamaica, and has lived in Connecticut for the last 28 years. Following his goal of summiting Mount Everest he fulfilled another goal of opening his own business, Freeman Companies of Hartford, CT. He graduated from the University of Connecticut where he was a member of the track team. Freeman continues to stay active and carries on his passion for athletics by road biking, kayaking, hiking, and rock climbing.
Freeman Companies provides civil engineering, land surveying, and environmental sciences services. The Connecticut-based firm is a certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) and Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) that services a broad range of market sectors including retail, commercial, education, healthcare, transportation, utilities and residential.
The Boys & Girls Club of Hartford is part of a nationwide affiliation of local, autonomous organizations that work to help young people of all backgrounds develop the qualities they need to become responsible citizens and leaders. The mission of the Boys & Girls Clubs is to enable young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens.