Someone got it into my head that I could climb Kilimanjaro. So I set about finding the right way to achieve it, because I want to make it to the top and because I’m bringing a 7 friends along on this ride so I have to get it right!
One of the first decisions is which route to take. A few things about my approach:
- Do the math – 44% chance of making the summit when taking 6 days, 80% chance 8 days: worth the extra days.
- Do the training – running up stairs can cause a knee injury: Train wisely.
- Do the shopping – IceBreaker is f*ing expensive! Find an outlet.
I read this description of Lemosho and I knew that was the route we were going to take:
“This is the longest and most remote route to Kilimanjaro. After beautiful forests and moorlands it crosses the Shira Plateau to meet up with the Machame Route. Groups may be accompanied on the first day by an armed ranger as the forests around the Lemosho Glades are rich in buffalo, elephant and other game.”
The extra 2 days over the standard climb gives us a much better chance of making it to the summit AND means we get a more enjoyable route. Sadly, it won’t be quite as epic as is shown in “Kilimanjaro: To the Roof of Africa” from 2002, since the glaciers are nearly melted and there will be hundreds of people on the mountain along with us.
Yet, it will still feel like an accomplishment – one we can only do because of the hard work of the team at Afrikabisa Tours.
Things I learned that won’t be fun:
- You have to bring your own toilet paper – better not misjudge this
- Altitude has a way of messing with female bodies – be ready for the unexpected
- I do not react well to Diamox – the drug that can help people cope with altitude sickness, but in my case made me extra-tired
- Some people see fish as part of their hallucinations – I’m hoping for pink elephants
Things I learned that make this doable:
- We get 3 porters per person – that’s a LOT of support
- They carry our stuff during the day so we just need our day packs
- On summit night they can even carry our day packs
- One porter will bring a portable loo – a luxury option
- You can buy a COKE at the camp the night before summit – it is TRULY everywhere
Read more about my reasons for climbing at Women4Adventure.