Saturday, January 22, 2011


Saturday, January 22, 2011

We did it!!  Bob and I climbed to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro!! 19.340 ft at 9:20 am on Friday, January 22nd. Tanzania time.  The 7 day climb of the Machame Route was absolutely awesome.  It is hard to put into words.  Each day brought us a new environment from rain forest to very arid areas; when we started on the lst day of the climb it was 86 degrees and at the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro 19.340 feet it was in the 30’s. We did have a few freezing nights but on the whole we had absolutely great weather.

Each day we had a new challenge from huge lava rocks/boulders to climb to narrow paths only made for one to pass and if you took a misstep it would be fatal...

We just arrived back to Arusha about 5 pm today. All of us exhausted. (6 in our group).  All of us made it to the top.  Excellent success rate. Ages in our group ranged from 38 years to 72 years.   One man in our group, Mark from Houston, a former NFL player, said he had never been so physically exhausted than when he finished the descent from the summit.

We had a great climbing crew to support our efforts.  A total of 27 men, 3 guides and 24 support team of porters.   Everything is carried up and down the mountain by the porters. No vehicles.  The porters carry about 4-5lbs of personal items, sleeping bags, mats and maybe a coat.  Then they carry about 40 lbs of trekkers gear, tents, kitchen tent and cooking utensils, supplies, food for eating, mobile toilet, dining room (big tent for 8 people),water and much more. We move from camp to camp each day as we make the climb, so each day you pack your duffel bag and the porters take care of the tents and transporting your duffel bag. You take your day pack and water bottles, rain gear and extra clothing for either dressing warmer or if too hot taking off a layer.  You have to be very versatile in how you dress. Layering is very important.  Each night we were briefed by the tour guide either Emmanuel or Go Listen (brothers).  They grew up in a large family of 10...5 boys and 5 girls.  Both are well spoken in English and very energetic.  Emmanuel who guided me on the ascent to Mt. Kilimanjaro has climbed Mt. Kili 80 times.  I don’t believe there was a better person to look after me.  He knew I wanted to make it to the top and he assisted me so it was accomplished.

I have lots to share with you about the 7 day climb but frankly I am exhausted.  Tomorrow we meet in the lobby at 6:45 am to start our journey to the Safari in the Serengeti.

I called KFDI 101.3 Wichita yesterday but was too late to reach Brian on the air of the Brian and Kellie morning broadcast from 5am to 10 am. I spoke with Brian at 11:10 am on Friday.  Too late for live broadcast. I thought Kansas was 11 hours behind Tanzania time but it is 9 hours.  I will try to call in to the live broadcast on Monday January 24th from the Serengeti. Once the segment is aired I will post it to the blog and send out an e-blast.

Thanking all of you for your prayers for a safe and successful climb…on both counts it was a great success.  I credit your prayers in helping me and my climbing partner; Bob make it to the Snows of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

I will post a few pictures tonight and more later.

I’d enjoy hearing from you, please leave a blog comment.