Owner Stories from the Road

To the Top: Kilimanjaro

Robby LeBlanc takes his Voyage-Air guitar to conquer Mt Kilimanjaro!

Robby LeBlanc Mt. Kilimanjaro the final climbThis story actually starts back in 2004, when Robby LeBlanc was daunted by a variety of physical ailments: many related to his being overweight. That year was a turning point in his life, where he was challenged by friends: “IF you could drop 100 pounds, what would you do? How would you celebrate?"

Robby's immediate and offhand reply? “I would climb Mount Kilimanjaro! To the top, and play my guitar at the top to celebrate!"

Frustrating years passed as Robby struggled with his weight and his health. Finally, as his weight dropped, he stopped dodging phone calls, and started to make plans. To climb Mount Kilimanjaro with a guitar.

It was an expensive proposition. With exposure on the TV Oprah Winfrey Network, Robby found sponsors. Even so, it was down to the last minute to get his plane ticket in hand, and join an expedition that would climb the tallest free-standing mountain in the world. Kilimanjaro.

Robby LeBlanc Mt. Kilimanjaro with his Voyage-Air at the TopHis choice for a guitar? “I originally wanted to take my usual guitar, but considering its weight with the case, I knew that would be tough. Then I found out about Voyage-Air Guitar, and that proved perfect: a full-size guitar with backpack straps and case, and it was overall very light to carry."

On his first days upon arriving in the Serengeti of Africa, Robby played his Voyage-Air Guitar for children and villagers in remote areas near the base of the mountain. “That was a thrill," said Robby. “If nothing else happened, those days would have made my trip complete."

But a lot more happened as Robby and the group began to climb the mountain. Torrential rains on Day 1 of the first base camp that nearly swamped and overturned the truck carrying their supplies. A mandatory 'acclimation climb' that pushed Robby to his limits, dealing with the thin air at an altitude. And in the next days, a mud slide that left Robby clinging for life, dangling over the edge of a 100-foot precipice, held by one hand from a porter/guide. In the ensuing moments, Robby was pulled to safety.

Robby said: “I have to tell you, Voyage-Air, that your guitar was a trooper. For this climb, the guitar endured temperatures from the jungle tropics, down to 20 below zero. And I could always open and play it, with a bit of time for the guitar to adjust to the temperatures.

Robby LeBlanc Mt. Kilimanjaro with his Voyage-Air signed in the village“There were times when the guitar was put in with the expedition cargo, and all of that was left outside at night, 20 below zero. Even with that exposure, lugged up the mountain under incredible conditions, the guitar looks as brand new: there are no cracks or problems."

When Robby conquered the summit of Kilimanjaro, he pulled out his Voyage-Air Guitar and played a few of his favorite tunes. Followed by his own rendition of “Amazing Grace“ in a personal prayer of thanks for his achievement.

The ascent group bowed heads in reverence as he played, atop the highest mountain peak in the African Continent. “My fingers nearly froze while playing Amazing Grace“ said Robby. “But it was the crowning moment of my personal struggles, and this trip. Only a Voyage-Air guitar could do this, and make that moment possible."

Owner Testimonials

  • This is a beautiful sounding instrument. It has a distinct sound of its own and that in and of itself is extremely attractive. The finish and construction of the instrument is of a high standard. 

    Gerry G - VAD-04LH with a LR BAGGS Element VTC pickup

  • I have been a pro guitar tech for over 40 years now. I have a vaom-04 in my personal arsenal that I’ve had about 4 years. I absolutely love it. It’s been on several airlines in the overhead and on many trips by car. The gig bag is great too as it holds all the 04’s gear (soundhole pup, tuner, strings, picks, etc.) And also clothes and some suitcase items for an overnight. It’s like a piece of luggage that happens to have a guitar in it as well. Very cool! 

    Dean - VAOM-04

  • The action is the same as my Taylor 514 CE, so my practice is undisturbed on the road. The sound is also very good for the price. I think I have one of your less expensive models, but it sounds quite good. Thanks for making such a great guitar. 

    Jim N. - VAOM-02

  • I am extremely happy with the guitar. I can’t believe how good it sounds and its overall playability. The pick up you installed  is incredible . Amplified it sounds way better than my Takamine which was considerably more expensive.

    Phil C. - VAD-04 w/ Stage Pro Anthem

  • Unzip the case, unfold his Voyage-Air guitar, lock the neck in place...and then play the guitar without even retuning -- all in the matter of about two minutes! The guitar played in nearly perfect tuning and the tone was stunning. In that instant I was hooked. The timing of my discovery of the Voyage-Air guitar could not have been better. 

    Karl D. - VAOM-04LH

  • My first impressions are this is an excellent instrument, even compared to my Martin, with a good tone across the range. I have capo’d to the 7th fret and found the tuning remains accurate. I am amazed at how light it is, which will be a bonus when taking on plane trips.

     Brad C. - VAD-04

    FOR INTERNATIONAL ORDERS - The Grand Total is for the product and shipping only. This total does not reflect any additional import duties or taxes that may apply. Any import duties are paid upon delivery/pickup of the guitar and is the responsibility of the purchaser. Please refer to your country’s customs and import offices for the correct amounts and pertinent information. Note: Left handed guitars can take 5-7 days to ship. Pickup options can take 3-5 days to ship. Rush shipments are available, additional expedited shipping charges and handling fees will apply.