Have you ever climb Kilimanjaro?
(This is dedicated to our guide, porter, waiter and cook. Gregory, Juma and all the Trekking Hero team.
Have you ever thought of going to Climb Kilimanjaro.
This article is for you… to get some tips and some guidance on what to do and how you can make it to the top of UHURU Peak, the highest point of Kilimanjaro.
This is my story and reality in Climbing Kilimanjaro.
Our Journey was on 11 September to 17 September 2016
Before I could continue… I need to explain to you about Kilimanjaro.
Mount Kilimanjaro, with its three volcanic cones, “Kibo”, “Mawenzi”, and “Shira”, is a dormant volcano in Tanzania.
It is the highest mountain in Africa,
and rises approximately 4,900 m from its base to 5,895 meters above sea level. Elevation: 5,895 meters. Prominence: 5,885 m
First ascent: 1889 by Ludwig Purtscheller and Hans Meyer.
Mountain range: Eastern Rift mountains
(above Resources from Wikipedia)
I am not a climber… and
sometimes or many times we under estimate the mountain.
Many people fit or unfit. They have purpose why climbing Kilimanjaro.
But to me, I want to prove that an Ashmatic person can do what they want and fight for this Ashamatic problem.
My experience was never easy.
My hubby and I took the Rongai Route where they said the most scenic. Its a long way but your body will have a chance in getting into climitazation in preparation for the highest peak. Rongai indeed is a very scenic route but not an easy one either.
The route has a beautiful scenery, many little flowers as well as the large ones. A few foot steps of wild animals like elephant and buffalo were seen during our climb.
We had 7 days of expedition in total.
Each day, we go and walk long hours (about 4 to 7 hours at the beginning). Was even longer hours when we are about the climb.
From one base camp to another until we reach to Kibo Hut where the final campsite prior to Climbing the Uhuru Peak- the highest point of Kilimanjaro.
Kilimanjaro is not only a mountain, it is also a huge park and playground to many wild animals and of course the humans.
Our climb from Kibu Hut base camp begins…
Our last night before the climb to the highest point, I ask my husband Markus if we could stay at the room. In Kibo, there is a Hut and it has few rooms (4 rooms as I remember) and in each room there are 10 to 12 bank beds.
All the nights during this climb were super cold for me.. The sleeping bags we had was rented from the agency were we took and paid the package trip. Those bags were not warm at all. It is not meant for that kind of weather according to my Austrian husband.
I recommend that best is to bring your own sleeping bags. Get the best that keeps you warm at night so have a lot of energy the next day.
Another problem is that, the toilets were super dirty.. yes, there are few toilet small rooms, they dig a hole and cover it with wood. But is so smelly, no water to wash the dirt. Water is tough in Africa.. Really.
Here is our preparation on the night of the climb
This night we were inside the Kibo Hut.. my heart were pounding and beats so hard for excitement or perhaps anxiety?
Inside the room, on this little corners of the bank beds and on the wall of the rooms, there were a few notes were written… notes of motivations, notes of information.. some of those notes were saying…
“I almost died..”
“15 out of 15.. we all made it”
“kili is a mind game”
“Gals, you don’t give up… you can do it”
We had an early rest that night. Went to bed at 6 pm and woke up at 10pm for the final ascend… here comes Midnight, we walk all the way up to a never, NEVER seems to end stiff, rocky and stony mountain for long hours.
Pole Pole– slow slow.
We cannot walk fast as we and many other climbers that night were breathless. So windy and it was like a minus 20 degree cold. Climbers were just puking from one path to the other. When you hear them.. you feel doing the same.. We were out of even eating the energy bars. Don’t have appetite and you wish… you get there FAST and so you get this OVER with.
Before you can reach to Uhuru pick either you submit first to Gillman’s point or Estella point. When we arrive at the Gillman’s Pick, I thought this was the highest point already, it was seems to be.. Oh no…. you have to get to Stella point after Gillman’s point and then to Uhuru Pick.
Super cold and super long nite as I could Imagine.
Arrived at Uhuru pick 9:13 am on 16 of September 2016 from Kibo hut, trying to breath and breath. Headache start to aches. Vomiting, etc. A mix feelings. We have walk now now from 12 Midnight to 9am in the morrning. With only second or the most 1 minute of rest. I did not understand why we cannot rest longer.
Breathless, my water got frozen, could not drink, even it was prevented from getting frozen and it’s still is.
Since the starting point of this adventures… I have taken Diamox to prevent me from getting Altitude sickness.
I do not recommend you to take Diamox…
It just gave a lot of side effects. Before the day of climb, I was already breathless. Tingling on both fingers and feet. So like a drug addict.
The best thing you do is to prepare yourself healthy much ahead before the climb. Prepare yourself like a year or so.. keep fit and strong is all you need as well as strong in your mind and attitude of a ‘GO GETTERS’
Because of the inspiration with my husband Markus, I made it to first, you reach to Gillman’s Point when you are coming from Kibo Hut or the Rongai Route. Followed by Stella Point that may take about 30 minutes on slow pace walk. And to the very top of Kilimanjaro where there lies the Ice Age..
( on my note that I hold in that image.. I said.. ‘If I can do it! So can You”)
It was amazing.. to be on the top of Kilimanjaro… It was a fulfillment of our life.. It was also a time where getting to know my husband well. The time where the life and death comes together. Then you knew how your relationship worth as a husband and wife. It was beautiful doing this climb of Kilimanjaro.
Now were in-love once again…
I wish I was in good condition…
to take images though, one of my camera were frozen. Only had the hand held canon and it took photos just fine. But only taken a few. I was focus on my plan that I have to Dance on the top of Kilimanjaro. Which I did.
You are only allowed to stay 15 minutes to take your photo taken.
And you were not the only one at this time.
As we descend from the pick, we were cruising the sandy and stony path dust all over until your nose bleed from sneezing.
IMPORTANT TIPS TO KNOW….
Bring yourself a super warm sleeping bag, DO NOT rent from your agency. It’s not warm enough for individual needs.
Good hiking shoes.. I bought mine from Lowa brand. Super comfortable.
Super warm but light clothing.
Flash lights and spare batteries.
You have to use walking sticks. It does help when going down the mountain. Even if you are so young.. your Knee will suffer from the down impact of walk.
Trekking Hero agency however are very helpful.
The people in Africa are all great really. The warmest people I ever met.
To summarize the above mention.. Here is my video on this trip. Please do share .. and thank you for reading..