Actor Emile Hirsch will be joining a group of celebrities in climbing to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro this month to raise awareness for the more than one billion people worldwide who lack access to clean drinking water.
Hirsch, who described himself as a "super last-minute addition" to the group, was asked to join the expedition, called Summit on the Summit, by the singer Kenna, who conceived of the project. Other entertainers making the climb include Jessica Biel, Lupe Fiasco, and Isabel Lucas.
On previous trips to Africa, Hirsch said he had seen up-close the problems caused by the lack of clean water.
"Water-related illnesses kill millions of people," Hirsch said. "But it's a solvable problem. It's not an incurable disease. It's within our reach to change."
With only a few weeks to train for the demanding hike, Hirsch is busy getting himself in shape for the challenge of climbing over 19,000 feet, which is far beyond anything he has tried before.
"The closest thing I have done was on the set of 'Into the Wild,'" Hirsch said in reference to the 2007 film in which he played a young man who heads off to live in the Alaska wilderness. "The real challenge is gonna be the altitude. It's kind of a roll of the dice as to how your body will respond to it."
In addition to the physical challenges, Hirsch is looking forward to the opportunity to continue learning about the realities of the global clean-water crisis.
"It's a really cool hybrid of education and adventure," he said of the trip.
You can follow the group's journey in detail, and learn how to get involved, at Summit on the Summit's highly interactive website.