Thursday, 25 February 2010

Kilimanjaro Introduction

I climbed Kilimanjaro (the above behemoth) a couple of years since and have a diary of the trek which I've been keen to compile and get in some semblance of order at some point. No better time then the present whilst them nights out there are dark and the evenings are spent in front of the box. I'll start it here and add the days as I finish them....

The seed was first sown to embark upon such a beast of an expedition when I'd returned from Peru having tromped the hiking trail of the Inca Trail. Geoffrey broached the idea of trekking to Everest base camp or indeed to the top of Kilimanjaro (namely Uhuru Peak). Whilst the Inca Trail was a great challenge and gave you an enormous sense of achievement it wasn't overly taxing. I therefore looked at this one as being for the challenge. There are two Everest base camps (one in Nepal and one in Tibet) which sit at 5360m and 5208m respectively, at least 500 metres lower than the summit of Kilimanjaro at 5895m. That stat combined with the fact that the achievement of getting 2/3rds of the way up a mountain would never compare to the sensation of standing literally on top of the world (as indeed it does standing atop Kilimanjaro which itself towers above the plains).

Geoffrey took no persuading in the Kilimanjaro direction and we both agreed that it would be a great trip. We then put the word out for other recruits whilst Geoffrey diligently went about selecting an appropriate operator to go through. It was only days until we had what consisted of our team, myself, Craigy, Geoffrey, Otto Jon and Jo. Others showed interest but shied away in the end, fair play it was a once in a lifetime trip but it came with an appropriate price tag (I think it was this that really put other dudes off). There was also the huge appeal of a Safari on the Serengeti and time on Zanzibar - one of the finest paradises on earth, it would have been criminal to miss either opportunity whilst we were over there.

Routes and companies were scrutinised as these two factors were to play a huge part in our chance of reaching the summit. This really was a one off opportunity so we had to up the percentage chance of success even in the planning stages of the trip.


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