Title-Gate

The good news is, my book about my Kilimanjaro adventure is coming out soon.

The bad news is, I can’t decide on the frikkin’ (as co-climber Mike would phrase it) title! I’ve been agonizing longer about that title than my daughter does about deciding what to order in a restaurant. ...  Continue Reading

I May Have Sort of Written a Book

I’ll let you in on a little secret: I’ve written a book. “FINALLY!” Some of you might now say. “I’ve said for ages you should do this.” The reason I haven’t told anyone until now is that I absolutely hate talking about stuff I’ll do without being absolutely certain I’ll do them. Perfectly. And the best way of being absolutely certain you’ll do something, perfectly, is to already have done it. But I’ve come to see that there are a few pitfalls with this strategy:
  1. If you don’t tell anyone you’ll be writing a book, you’ll feel compelled to keep doing everything else you’ve already been doing on a daily basis just to keep up appearances, i.e. keeping up your blog (not to mention checking homework and cooking dinner,) and the time slot left over for actually writing your book will fall between midnight and two  in the morning, meaning you will have to take a loan on your future book royalties to pay for the Nespresso capsules you need to keep going.
  2. If you don’t tell anyone you’ll be writing a book, the only person who’ll be encouraging you to write your book will be you, and every writer knows that that is possibly the single worst person in the world to give you any positive reinforcement.
  3. If you don’t tell anyone you’ll be writing a book, you won’t have any deadline. Meaning every other thing landing on your desk that has a deadline, like calling the exterminator, folding laundry, buying groceries, and making a dentist appointment for your spouse and children will appear on your to-do list above writing your book, which gets us back to point 1).
Given all this, it seems as if the risks of NOT telling anyone might actually outweigh the risk of spilling the secret. Because what’s so bad about people knowing you’re writing a book? I’ll tell you what’s bad. Now you actually have to write that (gulp) book!

The good news is that I have, in fact, written it. For the last three months, I have labored away and manufactured a coherent story out of my (and Zax’s) Kilimanjaro climb that I think is halfway readable, devoid of the most glaring typos, and actually adds tons of
 ...  Continue Reading

19 Lessons Learned from Climbing a Mountain

Not long after I returned from my Kilimanjaro climb, I went to a talk by a guy who jogged the entire length of India and who makes a living going on such daring and exhausting and a bit crazy adventures and then giving speeches about the lessons he learned from them.  I was greatly impressed until it occurred to me that I also can talk about the lessons I learned from one of my crazy (and while not really daring then certainly exhausting) adventures.  So here I give you some of the lessons Mount Kilimanjaro has taught me.

  1. Wherever you are in life, it’s always a good idea to plan a new adventure. (But get yourself some good boots and take a few extra packs of wet wipes.)
  2. Everyone
 ...  Continue Reading

Kilimanjaro Diary, Day Seven: Down, Down, Down, and Straight to the Bar

Barafu Camp to Mweka Camp to Machame Gate, Sep 7 and Sep 8, 2012

Distance: 12-13 km, 6-7 hours to Mweka Camp and 10 km, 3 hours to Machame Gate
Elevation: 1600 m descent from Barafu to Mweka Camp at 3000 m and 1200 m descent from Mweka Camp to Machame Gate at 1800 m.  

Descending Kili: One minute you’re next to a glacier, and the  next you’re in the rainforest.

Technically, this diary entry begins on the morning of Day six. I had left off with having come ...  Continue Reading

Kilimanjaro Diary, Day Five: A Tent with a View

Karanga to Barafu, Thursday Sep 6, 2012
Distance: 4 km, 3-4 hours
Elevation: 400 m net climb from 4200 m to 4600 m

One of my favorite Kilimanjaro pictures, the view of Kibo from Karanga Valley camp

Going from Karanga to Barafu is a relatively easy hike. As I’ve said before, if you do the Machame Route in six days instead of seven, you’d go all the way from Barranco ...  Continue Reading