Thursday, 31 March 2016

On climbing gear and bragging rights

I am discovering mountaineering from the cart to the donkey, rather than the other way round.

When I first climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in 2008 one of my relatives, who had climbed Mt. Meru earlier, gave me some high altitude clothing he had used during his climb including a down jacket, and a high altitude trekking trouser, made by North Face. At the time I had no idea where North Face stood in the pecking order of outdoor product manufacturers.
On my first ascent of Mt. Kilimanjaro I reached the summit in the afternoon and spent an extremely cold night in this tent on the crater floor. I woke up the next morning to take this photo of part of Furtw√§ngler Glacier. I was fully clothed in the sleeping bag throughout the night and the North Face down jacket and high altitude trousers provided great relief.
Several years later of climbing Kilimanjaro I have gradually learnt that I was wearing a top-rated brand. I also recently found out that North Face products are popular with college students in the United States. Some of these students have little interest in using their North Face products for outdoor activity; they buy North Face products for the sole purpose of acquiring bragging rights for owning a coveted brand.

I have been slowly adding up my gear for my long-term mountaineering quests, and have recently bought a North Face duffle bag. I have spent money on hiring gear over the years, and I realize it's cheaper to buy some of the equipment.

Continuing with my learning curve on the hidden aspects of mountaineering, I am wondering whether someone may have spotted me with my duffle bag at the airport and quietly sneered at me for showing off.

Monday, 28 March 2016

Back to square one on training

In my penultimate post, I wrote of my preparations for the January 2016 Mt. Kilimanjaro climb. I missed the climb because of a loss in my family and that loss kept me off training for a long time. Now, I begin the arduous task of reminding my mind and my body of the direct link between adequate training and reaching the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro.

This author suggests that once the brain is reminded that training is worthwhile (read worthwhile as also meaning "enables one to reach the summit") then it becomes easier to jump into that routine.
Kibo, as seen from the Marangu route.
Here are more ways to motivate yourself to exercise (written for women, but works just as well for men).