Monday, May 12, 2014

I am Climbing a Mountain... in Africa

This crazy adventure started last December when I inquired about a friend’s address and it took off from there. Long story short…. She decided to hike Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa this June and I decided to join her. Thank you Andi for letting me crash your party. Hope you know what you are getting us into.
This is where Tanzania is in Africa
Mt Kilimanjaro is the top right of this picture.
The decision was not easy considering we have been trying to get pregnant for some time, but when we discovered we would have to do InVitro and we could not start until June Thomas graciously agree that I could push it off 1 month longer and go on this crazy adventure.
So here are the details of my adventure…
I am climbing a crazy tall mountain.

19,340 feet high. NINETEEN THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED AND FORTY MILES HIGH. Oh Crap. Sometimes it just hits be all over again. What on earth am I thinking?

Oh and by the way, we are going in June. To the other side of the equator. Where it is their coldest week of the year. Brilliant Mica, just brilliant.
Random side note. Did you know Kilimanjaro means Shining Mountain in Swahili?

There are 5 different zones we will be hiking through. Bushland/Moorland, Rain forest, Heath, Alpine Desert, and Arctic Glacier. I think that this website gives an awesome description of these zones.
The company we chose to go with is Climb Kili. So far it has been fantastic working with them. Look them up

When Andi was telling me about this craziness, before I committed, I asked about the training that needed to be done. Basically if you work out 5-6 days a week for an hour was the consensus. And then we also decided to do the longer route to better counterbalance the altitude.
Here is a video if you are interested. -
But essentially, these are the important details for our trip.
Day 1 - Londorossi Gate to Mti Mkubwa begin at 7742 ft, 3 miles, 3-4 hrs, rain forest zone
Day 2 - Mti Mkubwa to Shira Camp 11500 ft, 4.5 miles, 6-8 hrs, rain forest to Heath. First views of Kilimanjaro.
Day 3 - Shira Camp to Moir Camp 13650, 5.7 miles, 6-8 hrs, Heath to Alpine Desert
Day 4 - Moir Camp to Barranco Camp, up to 15,000 end at 13,000, 4.6 miles, 5-7 hrs, Alpine Desert
Day 5 -  Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp, 13,200 up a 500 ft wall, 2.2 miles, 3-5 hrs, Alpine Desert
Day 6 - Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp, 15,200, 2.2 miles, 3-5 hrs, Alpine Desert
Day 7 - Barafu to Summit to Mweka Camp, 19,340, 13 miles, 12-14 hrs twilight start with a sunrise and summit, then back to camp. Alpine Desert to Arctic Glacier
Day 8 - Mweka Camp to Mweka Exit, 5400, 3.7 miles, 3-4 hrs, Arctic Glacier back through Alpine Desert, Heath, Rain Forest, and into the Bushland.

Oh my. Seriously a crazy adventure. And honestly, I am not sure why I am doing this. I think 35% of me wants the challenge. I have already been to Tanzania back in 2006, so I do not even get to check a new place off of my bucket list. But I think the other 65% of me loves adventure and loves quality time spent with friends. And boy is Andi going to get quality time with me!

So training to climb a mountain has also been why I have been so super busy. Every extra moment has been taken up with exercising or cramming a hike in on the weekends. Yes, that is why I crammed in 2 hikes that we did in the rain and in the snow!

And yes I did have to break my no buying things hiatus for this. I am borrowing most items from my climber friend Sarah, but things like unmentionables I choose to obtain on my own. Sorry friend, we aren't that close.

And Thomas will be posting the updates here that the company sends. So if you want to follow along, make sure you sign up for my email updates in the top right corner!