As Africa’s highest mountain and the tallest free-standing peak in the world, Kilimanjaro, or ‘Kili’ as it is fondly known locally, is one of Tanzania’s most famous landmarks and entices many visitors to the country each year, all of whom have the desire to climb to its summit – at 5,895 metres (19,336 feet)!
Now living in such proximity to the majestic mountain, our very own General Manager Martin Cody, Director of Engineering Gary Stigter and Director of IT Steve Richardson, decided to take on the challenge of the Kili climb in January this year. We learn more about the experience from Martin Cody…
What was your inspiration to climb Mount Kilimanjaro?
Living in Tanzania was the motivator. When you spend over two years living in this wonderful country, we all felt it important to discover as much of this beautiful land as possible, with the ultimate challenge being to conquer Kilimanjaro.
For how long did you train to be ready for the climb and what did this involve?
Training took place on and off for a period of six months. The training plan included Sunday walks, which for us meant ten times up and down a small climb near the Lodge – ‘Mini Kili’ as we named it. The plan also included gym time; putting the treadmill on a 15 incline to adapt to the steepness. Another important factor was to take the time to wear in our climbing boots, which proved to be very valuable to all of us.
How many days did it take you to climb Kilimanjaro?
Seven days in total; five and a half up and one and a half back down.
What was the most challenging moment of the climb?
The final night’s ascent. This involves waking up at 11pm and having some tea to warm the body, before a seven hour climb starting at midnight until you reach the summit. The last few hours, including the descent afterwards, were difficult, however well worth it once one got to the top and saw the expansive views of the surrounding landscape.
What advice would you offer others considering the climb?
Have a good pair of boots and wear them in beforehand. Bring along some of your favourite comfort foods and plenty of layers of clothes as it gets cold towards the top. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, slowly slowly (‘pole pole’ in Swahili) is the way to go to avoid any altitude sickness.More posts from March 2016