Thursday, 10 January 2013

Keeping note on climbing Kilimanjaro

Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro is such a unique experience that anyone who does so for the first time is likely to encounter a myriad of experiences from both the outstanding scenery and the challenge of the climb.

The best way to record these observations is to carry a small notebook or digital recorder to record these observations throughout the day. Most writers have lost excellent ideas or observations for failing to immediately record what is remembered.
A view from inside my tent at Crater Camp of part of Furtwängler Glacier on my first ascent in August 2008. Crater Camp is the highest camp on Mt. Kilimanjaro, located at 5,790m above sea level. 
The long treks from camp to camp do not only provide outstanding scenery, but they also tend to induce moments of reflection that cannot be found in other settings, in the office or at home. These moments are worth recording for anyone who is searching for a complete record of climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro.

I normally record the day's observations when I retire to my tent at the end of a day's trek. I have carried a digital recorder during a few of my climbs but at high altitudes and under extreme weather conditions the batteries of the recorder do not last for long.

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Wednesday, 2 January 2013

I am the first member of the Kilimanjaro Club

The Kilimanjaro Club lists people I know who have scaled Mt. Kilimanjaro, including those who join me every year on the annual Mwalimu Nyerere/Mt. Kilimanjaro Charity Climb and those who join me for my non-charity climbs. For this first post, I list myself as the first member of the Kilimanjaro Club.
I reached Uhuru Peak, the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, on a sunny afternoon, a little after 3:00 PM with Pius "Yahoo" my guide, on 24th August 2008.
Half way on the trek from Barafu Camp to Uhuru Peak and a few hours before reaching the summit, we stopped for a rest and I took a self-portrait but missed both Mawenzi Peak, partly seen on the top left hand corner of the photo, and Le Huynh, on the left, who joined me for my first climb.
Most climbers who reach the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro experience an emotional surge when taking the last few steps. Why? I have been asked this question several times and the only explanation I can give is that when the challenge is overcome all the tension, the apprehension, and the self-doubt that has built up for the several days of the trek become a huge load that makes its presence felt.

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