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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