Kilimanjaro was all I expected and much, much more. The climb itself was not the hardest but the descent was amongst the toughest when I twisted my ankle and had to be carried down from 15,000 feet.
In my normal manner for all my climbs, I have added a few pages to my site to document the expedition:
In spite of the last few hours of difficulty, the overall climb was good albeit a bit rainy and cloudy for over half of it. But on summit night, it cleared and all 14 of our IMG team made the summit: One hundred percent success.
Kilimanjaro is known as a walk-up trek or hike. Climbers ofter diss it as easy, not a challenge. While the trails are well groomed (or worn) and porters carry everything, there are a few parts that provide challenges for climbers of all skills.
The climb up the Barranco Wall given the low clouds, mist and wet conditions was fun and provided a good taste of rock scrambling for everyone. But it is the altitude on Kilimanjaro that people often underestimate. At 19,340 feet, it is higher than any mountain in North America or Eastern Europe.
This is an altitude where serious AMS, HAPE and HACE can easily occur. I personally saw several people struggling and some wisely turned back. So when we had 100 percent success for our team where 12 of our 14 members had never been above 14,000 feet, it was gratifying to join them.
My ankle injury was so unexpected that even today, almost two weeks later, I cannot believe what happened. I detail the injury and the evacuation in the trip report. Again, my deep thanks to Eben Reckord of IMG, the lead local guide and porters on my rescue; Andrew and Mosha, the staff at the Moshi hospital; and finally, my teammates for their help and support.
One more thing about my trip to Africa: the safari. It was beyond my expectations how exciting it was. We flew to the Serengeti and then drove back to Arusha visiting the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater National Parks. The variety and abundance of wildlife was beyond understanding. I have a photo gallery of them along with pictures of the Kili climb at this link
This trip epitomized that “Memories are Everything”. Please read the trip report at Kilimanjaro 2011 Trip Report
OK, next up is Carstensz Pyramid in New Guinea. I leave in mid October. I fly from there to Australia to tag their highest peak, Kosciuszko, the 8th of the 7 Summits … but more on that later
Memories are Everything
Arnette is a speaker, mountaineer and Alzheimer's Advocate. He is climbing the 7 Summits throughout 2011, all to raise $1 million for Alzheimer's research. You can read more on his site.
Photo Courtesy AlanArnette.com