When it comes to climbing Kilimanjaro, there is a whole host of people supporting you, from the travel agents: 360 Expeditions in my case, to the porters who carry the tents, kit etc to make your climb more enjoyable. Can you imagine how difficult it would be, if not only did you have to do the trek, but also had to pitch and take down camp, had to cook all your own meals, as well as carry everything that enabled you to do that? Well they are things I won’t need to fret about, thanks to the porters.
My research into this trek has brought up some very surprising reading, one of these being the treatment that some porters have endured in the past. Thanks to a group called Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project public awareness has been raised into the conditions that they once worked under, and now they have access to proper clothing, cooked meals and minimum daily wages.
I now need to check that the company I am travelling with work within the guidelines of the Partner for responsible Travel Programme, that ensures the porters that will be helping us on our climb, are being well looked after.
Would you pay extra, knowing that the staff that surround you, each day, are being paid a living wage, and able to have access to proper equipment for thier job?
Carrying my own backpack up Goatfell
Living in Scotland, it is so easy to go hillwalking, with an easy hours drive from my back door. Here are some pictures of my very first hillwalk, just a few shorts weeks ago. I felt quite accomplished, as it was a steep climb very early on. My thanks to the patience of my fellow walkers, who encouraged me all the way.
Ailsa Craig: Volcanic Plug off the Ayrshire Coast
Just off the Ayrshire coast, in the Firth of Clyde, you will find the Isle of Arran. The highest point of the isle, is Goatfell, standing 874 metres above sea level. Here’s a few pictures from last years hike up to the top.
Carrying my own backpack up Goatfell
How fit do you have to be, to climb Kilimanjaro, I ask myself? Contrary to my friends belief, I am not as fit as they think I am, in fact I am probably not as fit as I think I am.
It is the highest mountain in Africa, and fifth in the world, standing at 5,895 metres above sea level. To be successful in getting to stand on the Roof of Africa, it is necessary to have not only a certain level of physical stamina, but also mental. Being prepared will only increase my chances of reaching my ultimate goal.
So here are a few things I will be doing in the next 16 months, in preparation.
Hillwalking: Living in Scotland, I am spoilt for places to go hillwalking, all within a short distance from my home. It is suggested that I get to the level of hiking 100 km in a week, so I have a round trip from my house planned, to do 7 days in a row. If I can be doing that by next summer I shall consider myself fit.
Climbing Ben Nevis
Walking the Kiltwalk in 2019
Taking a weekend course in Glenmore
Suggested 8 week fitness regime in preparation for trekking up Kilimanjaro
Training is still very much in it’s infancy, but I do have 16 month to go, so I am not despairing yet. However on each step of my training I do find myself reaching a low point, where I have to remind myself that now I have commited to doing this climb, (to the tune of £800 deposit) and that once I am at the foot of Kilimanjaro, I am not going to be able to say “do you know what, I won’t walk today because a) the weather is inclement b) I haven’t had a good night’s sleep c) any other reason I care to come up with.
On several hill walks recently, I have had to push myself to carry on. Easter Sunday was an example. Once we had realised that we had made a mistake and were slaves to the high tide, I quickly became despondent, and then cold and tired, and then my hip started to feel tight. I know that there was a lot further that I could have slid, into despair, but at that precise moment, when you are several miles from home, with only the clothes that you are wearing, with very little food in your backpack, and 1 slip could mean the breaking of a bone, you begin to ask yourself why you are doing this? Then you remind yourself of the very reason that YOU ARE doing this, and that is for the children and families who will benefit from the money you are raising, and your mood lightens, and off you plod again.
Thank you for reading D is for Depths of Despair: Journey to Moshi and Onwards AtoZChallenge
I am calling my A to Z Challenge this year Journey to Moshi, and Onwards. It is based around my upcoming trek in September 2019, to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, which is known as The Roof of Africa. I would feel blessed if you followed me throughout the month of April, as I post about all sort of things related to this journey, including my training, a little geography, hillwalking, Rotary and anything else I think of to fulfil the challenge. At this point I am not sure whether the A to ZChallenge, or the Kili trek is the easier of the 2.
What do you think? Wath this video and let me know in the comments below.
Happy Watching 🙂
KILIMANJARO from Laurence Hills on Vimeo.
I chose to sign up for the Kilimanjaro trek purely for the sense of achievement I am expecting when I reach the top. If this morning’s Nordic walk was anything to go by, then training is paramount. The wind was howling off the sea, so much so, that it was hard to breathe, let alone talk, as we strode along battling with the wind. My companion asked if I wanted to turn round and go back, but the thought of turning back, halfway up Kili, is not an option, so I kept plodding on, reminding myself how I got through the 10 run last September……I paced myself. Funnily enough a post came up on facebook the other day for another 10k run, in August this year. I must enrol, and get back to running again.