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 needs a mountain to scale


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 ... 


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 ... 


Kilimanjaro Diary, Day Two: Teetee the Toilet Tent

Machame Hut to Shira Plateau, Monday Sep 3, 2012
Distance: 10 km, 5-7 hours
Elevation: 840 m climb from 3000 m to 3840 m

The area around Shira Plateau is arguably one of the most beautiful landscapes on Kilimanjaro. Photo: Martin B.

Wake-up time is 7:15, with the sun still hiding behind the mountain, and we are greeted with bowls of hot water to start the day. What luxury! We wash and file into the mess tent, ... 


Kili Here we Come

My whole life for the next week in a nutshell. And in a whole lot of Ziploc bags. God bless the Ziploc bag

This is it.

All is packed, and Zax and I are getting on a plane (at some ungodly hour – did I tell you we opted for the budget flights?) tomorrow to take us closer (but not really any closer) to our goal. First to Nairobi, then to the foot of the big mountain. To some nondescript hotel, ...