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 giving speeches about the lessons he learns from such journeys. I was greatly impressed until it occurred to me that I also can talk about the lessons I learned from my own journey, even if I don't quite make a living from sharing my experiences.

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

Technically, this diary entry begins on the morning of Day six. I had left off with having come back to Barafu Camp early on September 7th after reaching the summit after a long and grueling climb the previous night, but our day wasn't nearly over by then. The longest part of it was still to come. This is Part 7 of Kilimanjaro Diaries, the last day on the mountain.

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Kilimanjaro Diary, Day Five: A Tent with a View

Kilimanjaro Diaries Day 5

Going from Karanga to Barafu is a relatively easy hike. If you do the Machame Route in six days instead of seven, you'd go all the way from Barranco to Barafu, making it absolutely imperative to get up very early so as not to be delayed at the foot of Barranco Wall, unless you don't mind dragging yourself into Barafu past sunset. But if you have the extra seventh day, you are in no rush.

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Kilimanjaro Diary, Day Four: Barranco Disco

Kilimanjaro Diaries Day 4

By now the mornings have gotten very cold. Whatever water you've left outside the night before is frozen by  morning. We are grateful once again for the warm morning sun and take our time packing up. Except we should have gotten an earlier start. When we finally get going, we find ourselves at the tail end of a very long line of hikers all waiting their turn to clamber up Barranco Wall.

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Kilimanjaro Diary, Day One: Pole Pole

Kilimanjaro Diaries Day 1 Machame Route

Before you've even arrived at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro, you'll have heard the worlds pole pole, meaning slowly. Apparently, nothing quite equals pole pole in contributing to your success in making it all the way to the summit. In equal measure, however, nothing equals pole pole in contributing to your impatience early on. Pole pole is the only speed things happen on and around Kili.

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Kili Here we Come

Kilimanjaro here we come

Kilimanjaro climbers start out at some nondescript hotel which then does what all Kilimanjaro base camp hotels do. Within seven days, it will magically transform itself from a dump into a 5-star luxury resort. It will entail such wonders as hot running water and, even more amazing, a toilet. Electric lights. And a bar with a cold beverage. What  more can you ask for in life?

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