I was sitting in my office one day when my friend, Tina, walked in and dropped a coffee table book on my desk.
“Kilimanjaro. So why did you buy a book about Kilimanjaro?,” I asked.
She said, “I am going to climb it and you guys should to.”
I laughed and said, “I don’t sleep in tents.”
48 hours and more than a few bottles of wine later, the three of us had decided that we were going to Africa.
Hans Meyer, a German geology professor, along with Ludwig Purtscheller, an Austrian mountaineer, and their climbing team reached the summit of Kibo in October of 1889.
Previous attempts by multiple parties were not successful due to the deep snow and ice on Kibo at the time.
There are six official trekking routes on Kilimanjaro today – Marangu (also known as the Coca-Cola route), Rongai, Lemosho, Shira, Umbwe and Machame (also known as the whiskey route).
You’ve probably guessed which route we chose. Actually, the Machame is the most scenic, and is longer than the Marangu, so it has a better success rate. But, yes, we climbed the whiskey route.
The Kilimanjaro National Park shows that only 41% of trekkers actually reach the Uhuru summit at 19,340 ft, with the majority turning around at Gilman’s Point, 300 metres (980 feet) short of Uhuru, or Stella Point, 200 (660 feet) meters short of Uhuru or before ever reaching the crater.
What were we thinking?
Our typical climb consisted of getting up (too late as always), driving to the mountain, hauling ourselves up the mountain for a few hours, coming home very muddy, taking a shower, and heading out to the beach with a glass of champagne to relax before dinner.
I had never slept in a tent at this point.
And, I hated the cold.
Next >> Training & preparation begins
Kilimanjaro: Training & Preparation
Kilimanjaro: Before the Climb
Kilimanjaro: Machame Route Day One
Kilimanjaro: Machame Route Day Two
Kilimanjaro: Machame Route Day Three
Kilimanjaro: Machame Route Day Four
Kilimanjaro: Machame Route Day Five
Kilimanjaro: Machame Route Day Six
Kilimanjaro: Machame Route Day Seven
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Photography by Greg Hull or Kim Hull.
Photography may not be used without explicit permission.
Article by Kim Hull
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