Thursday, November 27, 2014

Vitali Maembe joins the CDEA Kilimanjaro climb 2014 (post 7 of 10)

On my latest Mt. Kilimanjaro climb I trekked on the Machame route for the first time. I was accompanied by musician/activist Vitali Maembe.

Here’s the seventh post of my blog log of the climb

Tuesday 9th September 2014
I had an unusual dream last night, but I won't provide details. It is common to have unusual dreams at high altitudes. Jaffar Amin dreamt he was being swallowed by a giant snake during this climb.
An early morning photo at Shira Cave camp with the Shira Hills in the near distance and Mt. Meru further behind.
I continue to affirm my conviction that Machame is a relatively less challenging route than the other two routes that I have climbed: Lemosho and Marangu.

Vitali experienced moments of fatigue on our way to Lava Tower, the highest point on today's hike. On the way down to Barranco camp he became invigorated and talkative. I sped up the descent and, in this section, I am felt the strongest I have felt during all past climbs. A good sign? Most likely.

At dinner I argued with Yahoo on whether we have a six-day or a five-day climb. I said five; we were supposed to complete the climb on the 13th, and not the 12th as is planned now. I was counting a day that contains 24 hours, while the norm is to count the actual calendar days covered on which we are on the mountain. 
An item that I find indispensable on Mt. Kilimanjaro is this map. It provides a display of all the routes with altitudes for the various camps.
For the first time on a Kilimanjaro climb I suffered from a running stomach after we ate dinner at Barranco. I have written how energy-draining it is to go to toilet at high altitudes and so the worst thing that can happen to a hiker while on a climb is to get a running stomach.

Next: Barranco camp to Uhuru camp

Related post:
http://blogkili.blogspot.com/2014/11/vitali-maembe-joins-cdea-kilimanjaro_24.html
http://blogkili.blogspot.com/2014/12/vitali-maembe-joins-cdea-kilimanjaro.html

Monday, November 24, 2014

Vitali Maembe joins the CDEA Kilimanjaro climb 2014 (post 6 of 10)

On my latest Mt. Kilimanjaro climb I trekked on the Machame route for the first time. I was accompanied by musician/activist Vitali Maembe. 

Here’s the sixth post of my blog log of the climb 

Monday 8th September 2014
From my tent in the morning I heard Vitali tuning his guitar and then heard him singing. I thought that was good news; it takes energy to sing and that was good news of anyone climbing Kilimanjaro for the first time. A group of porters listened to his songs and began cheering.


I noticed the Shira Hills relatively near the camp. It is only 5 kilometres to the next destination: Shira Cave camp. No wonder they say Machame is a short route. It is, indeed. Now I am less worried about skipping Karanga camp after Barranco and heading on to Barafu camp. I did that in 2011 and failed to reach the summit.
Vitali takes a break on the way to shira Cave camp
The trek to Shira Cave camp is not tremendously challenging. There is a steep climb until half way or so and then gentle ascents interrupted by momentary steep climbs. And yet I feel drenched of energy. I even entertained ideas of winding down my annual climbs or, alternatively, stepping up my training regime.

On the approach to camp there were two porters along the way. One said to the other, referring to me: "Sauzi huyo" [he is a South African] as I walked past. I said: "Tanzania." He wasn't convinced and said I looked like a South African, until I spoke to him in Swahili.

Tanzanians are a tiny minority of the tens of thousands of hikers who climb Mt. Kilimanjaro every year and that explains why it is the second time on the moutain that someone mistakens me for a foreigner.
Just before reaching Shira Cave camp (in the background), I pose with Vitali, left.For those who are curious, this (right) is what a South African looks like.
I learnt from Ross' friend that their group is on a 7-day hike instead of the 6-day I had assumed.

Next: Is this a five-day or a six-day climb?

Related post:
http://blogkili.blogspot.com/2014/11/vitali-maembe-joins-cdea-kilimanjaro_20.html

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Vitali Maembe joins the CDEA Kilimanjaro Climb 2014 (post 5 of 10)

On my latest Mt. Kilimanjaro climb I trekked on the Machame route for the first time. I was accompanied by musician/activist Vitali Maembe. 

Here’s the fifth post of my blog log of the climb 

Sunday 7th September 2014
It was great to meet up with Ross Methven at Machame Gate, at the start of our first day of my 9th Kilimanjaro climb. I suggested we climb Mt. Kilimanjaro together after I cycled with him for 18 days from Butiama to Dodoma when I accompanied him last year during his cycling trip from Edinburgh, Scotland to Cape Town, South Africa.

A sign at Machame gate displays the vital statistics of our route to the summit.
The trek up to Machame camp (2,890m) is, in my opinion, of mid-level difficulty. At 11kms, it is also, comparatively, of mid-level distance between camps measured against the other two routes I have trekked todate: Lemosho and Machame.
Vital, left, and Steve Kerenye, the assistant guide on the trek to Machame camp.
Vitali seemed to struggle along during the early stages but he later took off and I trailed behind him and Steve Kerenye, the assistant guide.

I feel my legs are relatively strong but the breathing could be better


Next: "I am not from South Africa."

Related posts:
http://blogkili.blogspot.com/2014/11/vitali-maembe-joins-cdea-kilimanjaro_9.html
http://blogkili.blogspot.com/2014/11/vitali-maembe-joins-cdea-kilimanjaro_24.html

Sunday, November 9, 2014

I have a "new" pair of used hiking boots

I haven't found a supplier in Tanzania of some of the hiking gear that I use to climb Kilimnajaro. My best option has been to search for items from a well-stocked used goods market in Mwanza called Mlango Mmoja.

In 2010 I bought the pair, above, and when I bought them I felt they would last a long time. They have endured five climbs between 2010 and 2013.

Eventually they began to come apart and just before the September 2014 climb with Vitali Maembe, I bought another pair, below. They are lighter and have a front steel plate that I suspected might induce cold feet on my part during the night-long ascents from Barafu camp to the summit.
I can happily report that there is nothing to complain about this latest pair. Yet.

Vitali Maembe joins the CDEA Kilimanjaro climb 2014 (post 4 of 10)

On my latest Mt. Kilimanjaro climb I trekked on the Machame route for the first time. I was accompanied by musician/activist Vitali Maembe. 

Here’s the fourth post of my blog log of the climb 

Saturday 6th September 2014
I ran some errands in Moshi town in the morning and spent most of the day online and responding to emails. After a six-day hike I normally open my inbox to find hundreds of emails to clear. Keeping up with emails during the climb is possible but is a distraction from the climbing experience. Climbing offers me the only time when I can switch off from my daily work routine and to concentrate on relaxation of the mind.

For the first time I can say that the pre-climb briefing did not meet my expectations. The guides showed up late and when they did I was not informed. They contacted Vitali alone and I was unable to offer some pointers that I could provide from my previous experience with first-time climbers.
A pre-climb check during the Mwalimu Nyerere/Mt. Kilimanjaro Charity Climb 2009 with Gerald Hando of Clouds FM, centre, and Notburga Maskini, right. Left is Moutain Guide, Pius William, known also as Yahoo.
 The pre-climb briefing is extremely important because the guides provide crucial advice and check each climber’s gear to ensure that all necessary items are present. Over the years I have helped to remind guides who have overlooked noticing crucial items that have been missed by climbers on my groups.

Next: We begin the trek to the summit

Related post:
http://blogkili.blogspot.com/2014/11/vitali-maembe-joins-cdea-kilimanjaro.html
http://blogkili.blogspot.com/2014/11/vitali-maembe-joins-cdea-kilimanjaro_20.html

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Lusajo Mwaisaka joins the prestigious 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.
*********************************************************
In 2011 I was asked by the Tanzania Tourist Board to lead the Mt. Kilimanjaro Uhuru Climb to mark Tanzania's 50th independence anniversary in December of that year. Lusajo Mwaisaka was one of several climbers who joined the climb, reaching the summit on the morning of 9th December, the day of the anniversary.
At the summit, Lusajo Mwaisaka takes a self-portrait.
That was one of the most challenging climbs I had embarked on and I have written about it here.

Lusajo becomes the 16th member of the prestigious Kilimanjaro Club. The new list is:



    No.
    Name
    Nationality
    Age
    Point Reached*
    Summit Date
    1.
    Madaraka Nyerere
    Tanzanian
    48
    Uhuru Peak
    24th August 2008
    2. 
    Le Huyhn
    Vietnamese
    Unknown
    Uhuru Peak
    25th August 2008
    3.
    Markus Geiger
    Swiss
    Unknown
    Uhuru Peak
    2009
    4.
    Gerald Hando
    Tanzanian
    Unknown
    Uhuru Peak
    6 October 2009
    5.
    Notburga Maskini
    Tanzanian
    49
    Stella Point
    6 October 2009
    6.
    Dmitry
    Russian(?)
    Unknown
    Uhuru Peak
    13 December 2010
    7.
    Jaffar Amin
    Ugandan
    44
    Uhuru Peak
    13 December 2010
    8.
    William Rutta
    Tanzanian
    Unknown
    Uhuru Peak
    10 December 2010
    9.
    Mary Kalikawe
    Tanzanian
    Unknown
    Uhuru Peak
    10 December 2010
    1.  
    Steve Kamau
    Kenyan
    25
    Uhuru Peak
    26 September 2011
    1.  
    Jim Becket
    American
    74
    Uhuru Peak
    26 September 2011
    1.  
    Andrea Wobmann
    Swiss
    39
    Uhuru Peak
    26 September 2011
    1.  
    Zulfa Fadhili
    Tanzanian
    Unknown
    Uhuru Peak
    26 September 2011
    1.  
    Jim Whitney
    American
    Unknown
    Uhuru Peak
    26 September 2011
    1.  
    August Whitney
    American
    Unknown
    Uhuru Peak
    26 September 2011
    1.  
    Lusajo Mwaisaka
    Tanzanian
    31
    Uhuru Peak
    9 December 2011
    *A climber is awarded a certificate for reaching one of three elevations: Uhuru Peak (5,895 AMSL), Stella Point (5,745 AMSL), or Gillman's Point (5,685 AMSL).

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Vitali Maembe joins the CDEA Kilimanjaro climb 2014 (post 3 of 10)

On my latest Mt. Kilimanjaro climb I trekked on the Machame route for the first time. I was accompanied by musician/activist Vitali Maembe. 

Here’s the third post of my blog log of the climb 

Friday 5th September 2I014
Steve Kamau, Zara’s travel consultant, told us that Mama Zara has waived our accommodation charges and that we would only pay for food and drinks. That was welcome news. She has regularly been generous and supportive of my annual charity climbs.

Mama Zara is Zainab Ansell, the Managing Director of Zara Tanzania Adventures, our outfitters for this Kilimanjaro climb. Zara also own Springlands Hotel, where we are staying ahead of our Kilimanjaro climb.
Zainab Ansell.
I had to travel to Arusha for a cash withdrawal because my bank does not have a branch in Moshi and I do not have an ATM card.

Next: Not the best briefing

Related posts:
http://blogkili.blogspot.com/2014/10/vitali-maembe-joins-cdea-kilimanjaro_16.html
http://blogkili.blogspot.com/2014/11/vitali-maembe-joins-cdea-kilimanjaro_9.html