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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Kilimanjaro Climb and Summit Photos

Kilimanjaro Backpack

Kilimanjaro At About 4500 Metres

Believe it or not, I like this photo better than the one of me at the summit of Kilimanjaro (see below) so I'm placing it at the top of this post. It was taken by my tentmate and buddy Karel (see below) who I spent the week with along with 18 other people as we climbed Kilimanjaro. You can click the image to get the full size version if you like. It's 1024px wide, so suitable for your desktop background, lol.

Pretty much every day I hiked like this with just a sweat wicking shirt and not thermals on. I carried my coat this day as we were approaching the last camp and I didn't want to be caught off guard in case I needed it. It wasn't until the last day's hike (um.... night hike) that I needed more. In fact, I needed every piece of clothing that I had to keep warm. I hiked with no poles at all, so on that last night hike while everyone was freezing their fingers, I kept mind snuggly and warm inside my coat pockets. Albeit, I used a single chemical pouch handwarmer thingy, but my fingers were mostly warm.

kilimanjaro self portrait

Me and Karel Enjoying The Mens Club

Karel, myself and other men ended up sitting around a little area outside our meal tent this one evening. We named it the Mens Club and then I took this self portrait of myself and Karel. You can clearly see the cloud cover far down below us. It was amazing to be camping and hiking above the clouds for so many days in a row. Sureal actually.

Kilimanjaro Uhuru Summit

Kilimanjaro Uhuru Summit

After 8 hours of hiking, watching Orion rise in the distance, a beautiful sunrise from Kilimanjaro and freezing cold winds, I got to Stella point. After a short break, I headed on to Uhuru and reached it with Karel as the first of our group. About 10 minutes later a few others showed up and we took more photos. This is my kilimanjaro summit photo. It's also available in a larger format, just click the picture.

I vaguely remember what happened on the top of Kilimanjaro. The air was so thin and the oxygen so little, that I just plodded along on autopilot with my head down and breathing deeply. I remember some specifics of when I spoke with people regarding some critical decisions, but other than that, I just walked and breathed. My camera was broken about half way up the climb of Kilimanjaro (I stepped on it and destroyed the top half of my viewing screen), so I resorted to "best guess" photos. At the top, the batteries were barely responding even though I kept it inside multiple layers next to my body. Thank heavens for Karel and his camera. My summit photos were taken on his camera and he passed them along.

Related Kilimanjaro Climb Links

These are various posts I made before the climb and after the climb of Kilimanjaro.

Kilimanjaro Climb - the last post I made before leaving showing my packed Backpack and day pack.

Successful Kilimanjaro Summit - not suprisingly, the only post that month!

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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Successful Kilimanjaro Summit Uhuru Peak



After 5 days of hiking Kilimanjaro in Tanzania Africa, myself and 19 others from our group Hands Across Africa summited Kilimanjaro. We raised almost $100,000 for three childrens charities near Kilimanjaro. As I’m still traveling (currently in Nairobi Kenya), I have not received photos from friends showing my Kilimanjaro summit pictures. I do however have these amazing (to me at least) shots showing a few of the days.

When I arrived in Tanzania to climb Kilimanjaro, I was without my main pack. KLM seemed to have misplaced it and I only had my daypack and boots. This next shot is when I first got into the land rover to go to the park gate for our first day’s climb. A moment later, the rover filled with my hiking partners and the door closed. It was then that the hotel manager came out and announced that my bag had arrived. I was 1 minute away from leaving to climb Kilimanjaro.

land rover

Kilimanjaro Day 1 Landrover

I had rented all the gear I needed from the shop at Keys Hotel but when my bag arrived, I asked for 10 minutes to re-arrange my stuff. I returned the rental gear except for a poncho and my kit bag and placed my safari clothes into my pack and put it into storage. I had asked for 10 minutes to complete the task, but with my Peak Potentials Leadership Training and my Warrior Camp experiences, I delegated tasks and had it all done in less than 5 minutes.

I’m going to skip most of the trip diary of my Kilimanjaro Summit for now as I’m doing this update remotely (from Kenya), but will post some great shots I have just to keep things up to date for now.

kilimanjaro in my backyard

Kilimanjaro in my backyard

This is a self portrait from day 4 with Kilimanjaro in the background taken from about 3700 Metres. Kilimanjaro was my backyard for an amazing 7 days.


Day 5 on Kilimanjaro

This is a shot from about 4200M or so taken on Day 5 just before arriving at our camp that day at 4600M.

We got into our camp on day 5 at about 1 in the afternoon or so. We had lunch, then I had a nap before supper. We’d only get about 3 hours sleep after supper before being woken at 10 PM to be ready to leave for the Kilimanjaro Summit at 11 PM (23:00). We did our ascent during the night / early morning in a major wind storm. It was a clear night and a full moon. We had planned our Kilimanjaro trip with a full moon summit almost a year in advance and it was worth it. I watched Orion rise over the horizon as we climbed and somewhere near 6 am, I got this shot of the sunrise.

sunrise on kilimanjaro

Sunrise during Summit Morning

There were very few people who were willing to take their gloves off and get their camera’s out during this cold spell but I knew of one special girl who would appreciate this picture of the sunrise over Africa and thoughts of her helped me get this sunrise shot.

It was just after this that 3 of my hiking group turned back. One had been fighting a viral infection and hadn’t been eating for 3 days. Another had vomitted twice (presumeably from AMS) and decided to turn back as well. I tore off my insulated Sunrider drinking bottle full of water and handed it to him for his trip down. I’m well experienced in the effects of dehydration and wanted to make sure he had enough water to get back. When I asked him, he only had 500ml left (16 oz). The last of the 3 was Dave, a 57 year old who was just plain exhausted. They were about an hour or less from Stella Point on Kilimanjaro when they ran out of steam.

When I got to the top, I took a short rest and caught my breath. This is a self portrait of that moment. You can see a portion of one of my hiking partners Tracy huddled up next to me in her blue jacket.

Stella Point Self Portrait

Stella Point Self Portrait

It was another 150 metres and about a half hour trek to Uhuru at 5895m on Kilimanjaro from here. We split into two groups, one heading down from Stella point and another heading onward to Uhuru.

Just before we left, our guide said “the weather’s changing” which I thought was a good thing, but that’s not what he meant. The wind picked up and it turned colder. My themometre read -10C but with the wind, it was easily -20C. I staggered to Uhuru taking one step at a time and one breath at a time. I kept my head down, my balaclava done up and plodded along. I had caught up to Carl, my hiking partner and we walked to the Summit Uhuru together.

Carl has the photos of the summit which I will post later.

The lineup for the Kilimanjaro summit photo was quite large. People were arranging themselves to get shots of various natures. Individual shots and group shots. Shots with all the clothing on and shots with the head gear taken off to show the faces.

There were many ill people here. One lady that was waiting didn’t even want to turn her body or move the slightest for fear of vomiting. Another gentleman was rushed down by his guide and a hiking partner and could barely walk. They had their arms around his shoulders and practically dragged him towards the descent route. Losing altitude is the best thing for anyone suffering AMS.

This last photo shows one of the glaciers there at the top with a great view of Africa in the background. You can clearly see the curve of the earth in this photo. I have jumped out of an airplane from as high as 15,000 feet, but to climb to 19,300+ is a feat I am going to treasure for a great many years. As I said, I have many other photos on other cameras to post later as well as a lot more of my own to go along with my Kilimanjaro trip log and summit report when I get back to Canada.

glaciers from uhuru

Glaciers from Uhuru

Some Hike Info: 20 hikers, 72 miles, 5895 metres, 17 got to Stella Point, 8 continued on to Uhuru Peak, 3 turned back before Stella. Raised $100,000 for three african charities. Half the amount of oxygen at the top than at sea level. 6 Days up - 1 day down. Beer available at Mweka camp on the way down!!! Ate deep fried jam sandwiches at 4000m (will probably NEVER have a chance to do that ever again, unless my peaks buddies climb Kilimanjaro with me in 2008 hint hint). Used no medications at all - no Diamox, no Tylenol, no nothing - fueled by Sunrider foods, Metabooster, Fortune Delight, Nuplus, Sunbars, Quinary and Korean White Ginseng.

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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Kilimanjaro Climb

This will be my last post for awhile as I’m heading off to Africa to climb Kilimanjaro with a group raising money for three African children’s charities (see www.handsacrossafrica.org ).

I’ve been away most of the summer working peak potentials personal development camps like enlightened warrior and Ultimate Leadership Camp in British Columbia, California and New York.

Here's a pic of Angela Dennison, Mack and Myself all sporting shaved heads. Angela just got hers shaved the night before. Just so happens that her twin sister shaved hers the night before 700 miles away and neither of them talked about it. Creepy.

warrior camp

Shaved Heads

Amanda Dennison, Angela's twin, holds the world record fire walk in the guiness book of world records at 227 feet and did so with no burns whatsoever. She does firewalks and facilitations for people and groups to help them overcome challenges and create breakthroughs. I worked with her before she started doing firewalks and had never met Angela. Then over the past two years, I've spent almost 2 months living and working with Angela and barely even know Amanda anymore. Weird.


Twins and Coop

So now back to my Kilimanjaro climb trip and reason for posting all of this!

I’ve had this trip to climb Kilimanjaro on my life list for quite some time and when I found this group that was going, I quickly joined. We climb Kilimanjaro the first week of October and summit on a full moon. I found this great trip diary of another Kilimanjaro trip as told by Markus Wandel at http://wandel.ca/africa2005/index.html

I packed a few extra items for my trip such as a rain cover for my day pack and bought an extra pair of Expidition weight thermal long underwear to go along with all the other high altitude and cold weather gear I already had.

Here’s a pic of my gear before I leave

kilimanjaro climb

Kilimanjaro Climb

After the Kilimanjaro summit, I head out on a two week safari of Kenya and Tanzania. Then I spend 5 days lounging on the beaches of Zanzibar and then spend 4 days in Egypt. After that I visit my sister in Austria for 10 days and plan to update my blog with some pictures of my Kilimanjaro climb, safari and Zanzibar.

Here's info about kilimanjaro climb. (not mine).

Going to sample some of the fine beers of Austria, visit Arnold’s home town, see some of the world war 2 places like Hitlers Eagles Nest and just plain hike some more mountains.

Not really sure what else I want to see in Austria, just playing it by ear. My travel agent said to me today “You’re the most relaxed traveler I’ve seen in a long time and I wish more of my clients were like you”. I just wanted her to plan the trip, the itinerary and I’ll do the rest.

Packing was easy.. just some warm clothes, some multi purpose clothes and lots of Sunrider foods to get me through the heat, the cold and the exertion of the climb.

I packed two backpacks, my sandals and the boots I’m wearing. Simple.

When I joined the group raising money for the climb of Kili, I thought, “while I’m over there, might as well go on a safari and visit Egypt”. Then a friend of my ex girlfriends had just gotten back from Zanzibar and had done it just to say she’d been to “Zanzibar”, so I though I might as well pop over there too. My only plan for Zanzibar is to spend time on each beach on every side of the island and work on my tan.

So if you don’t hear from me for 6 weeks, you’ll know where I am ok?

Climbing Kilimanjaro will be a great feather in my cap, as my buddy Scott Gullian says. His feather was Ultimate Leadership Camp and Kilimanjaro will certainly be one of mine.

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