Week 5 Recap: Difficulty Level, Climb Outline, and More!

How Difficult Is This Climb?

The question that comes up most often is, “How difficult will it be to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro?”

To be honest, I really don’t know how difficult it will be. I can only guess how difficult it will be based on what I read online and what others tell me about their personal experiences. I’ve never climbed a mountain before…unless you consider walking up the Hamilton Mountain – haha! (For those who are not familiar with the Hamilton Mountain, picture me walking up the side of a flat and boring road for about 20 minutes). Considering everything that I’ve read so far, and talked to the tour operator, it will be extremely challenging. It will be the most mentally and physically challenge task I’ll ever complete in my life. It will also be one of the most rewarding experiences ever.

96% of participants make it to the top. Approximately 1,000 people (2%) are evacuated from the mountain, and approximately 10 people (0.01%) perish on the mountain each year.

Below I’ve outlined a high level itinerary (with photos I found online) for my climb to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro. For those who are familiar with the Kilimanjaro routes, I’ll be climbing the Lemosho Route.

Day 1: 5hr trek through the Lemosho Glades rainforest to reach 2,800m or 9,186ft
Day 2: 8hr trek through the Shira Caldera, a high altitude desert plateau to reach 3,500m or 11,482ft
Day 3: 6hr trek through the Shira Plateau to Shira Two via Shira Cathedral to reach 3,800m or 12,467ft
Day 4: 10hr trek crossing the Southern flank to reach 3,900m or 12,795 ft (not much of an increase to the height, as this day is to help acclimatize to the high altitude)
Day 5: 10hr trek climb up the Barranco Wall and continue across the ridges and valleys to Karanga Camp to reach 4,170m or 13,681ft
Day 6: 7hr trek climb Barafu Ridge (4,600m or 15,091ft), and an early dinner @ 6pm in order to rest for a few hours.
Day 7: Starting at midnight, trek 8hrs to the top of Kilimanjaro (5,895m or 19,341ft), – this is most mentally and physically  challenging part on the route. After a few minutes of celebration on the tallest mountain in the world (in -25C / -13F weather!), I begin the trek down the mountain for another 7 hours before getting any rest at camp (this day is the longest, with 15hrs of non-stop climbing)
Day 8: 7hr trek down a different side of the Kilimanjaro to the Mweka Gate rainforest, where we will be greeted by National Park rangers to celebrate our success and drive us to the hotel.

Lemosho Route

Needles & Boots

If you haven’t already read my mid-week blog titled, “Needles and Boots – They go together…right?“, I recommend you do. I share some important information about the vaccines I was required to get, and discuss the boots I received from Salomon Canada to complete my climb.

Fundraising Update

As of today, I have raised $2,401 for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation! Many thanks to my sponsors and supporters! If you haven’t had a chance to make a donation, there is still time! I need to raise $5,500 by July! If you’re a business owner and want to make a donation-in-kind for the silent auction, please send me a message!

Up Next

After four months of training for the 1/2 marathon (which took place earlier this month), I would have thought my muscles would be prepared for a little bit of fun in the sand. Boy was I wrong! I’m quite surprised with leg muscle soreness from playing dodgeball and volleyball at the docks. A different muscle group has been very vocal with me this week – haha! This is great for cross-training and will help with my stability and increase overall leg muscle strength for the climb.

As mentioned last week, I experienced a minor setback with my training due to a minor muscle injury so I haven’t been able any cardio (running), but should be able to start up again this coming week. I’ll try to spend more time in the sand seeing as it has such a great affect on different muscle groups. Maybe I’ll even try a few runs in the sand…

This past week I completed the following:

May 13 – 19
Monday: Beach Dodgeball (1.5hrs)
Tuesday: Volleyball (2.5hrs)
Wednesday: rest
Thursday: Leg muscle strengthening exercises
Friday: Ran 2K to the gym, completed 1hr of weight training, ran 2K back home
Saturday: rest
Sunday: Leg muscle strengthening exercises

I hope you all have a great week!

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