This summer, I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro for charity and it was probably the most challenging thing I have ever undertaken.
When researching and preparing to take on Mount Kili, people described it as a long hike and being easy. Well I am here to tell you there is a decent amount of climbing and altitude sickness is a bitch. Don’t be me, and have Mount Kilimanjaro as your first outdoor/camping/hiking experience.
We took the Machame route and climbed up for 4.5 days and came down 1.5 days.
Over the first 4 nights I slept a total of 3 hours. In fact I only slept well after summit night, when my body was so physically exhausted and I had no choice left.
One thing I underestimated is the beauty of the mountain, especially as the terrain changes and how strange it felt to be stood above the clouds.
This is a picture diary of my climb, I did not photograph a lot as I was absorbed in the moment.
It took me 2 hours longer to hobble down the mountain, on my severely swollen knee and being forced to place pressure on it with every downhill step was hellish. However, I can say I climbed a mountain. If it weren’t for the amazing guides like George, Godwin etc, I would not have been able to last all 6 days.
It has been almost 3 months since I completed my climb and it feels like it has been longer. I would encourage people to attempt the climb but also make sure the company you climb with are treating their guides and porters ethically. Make sure the company you climb with are signed up with KPAP (Kilimanjaro porters association project), be respectful to your guides as they look after your life and lastly enjoy it. Even when it’s cold, camp seems far away and you want to throw in the towel. Just take a step back and look around at the beauty you’re surrounded by. From day 2 onward you’ll be above the clouds and be able to see the peak.
Until next time,