I have a dream : I can’t remember how it started, but climbing Mount Kilimanjaro has always been on my ‘adventure list’ of things to do – ever since I was a child. In Secondary School I did a lot of outdoor activities and trekking and started to get an appetite for adventure activities, but as I moved through into working full time I lost my passion for the outdoors and instead devoted myself to work and a career, gained weight, got fat and ‘the rest is history’ as they say (you can read about my weight and weight loss HERE in previous posts).
On Going Public : This year, having lost a ton of weight (well not quite a ton !) and got fitter I decided to take action and as part of my January New Year’s Resolutions I committed in writing that I was going to climb Kilimanjaro. Having put it in writing and made it public both here on my blog and on twitter, I kind of had no option but to do it – after all I am a woman of my word 🙂
So I researched : In true me form, I did a ton of research in terms of which route I wanted to do, kit list, medical supplies and fitness prep and started to get all of this underway before even booking the trip. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read “Kilimanjaro” by Henry Stedman – it’s my favourite read along with ‘Altitude Illness : Prevention & Treatment’ by the Stephen Bezruchka (see I told you I like to do my research !). I’ve also read countless blogs written by others about their trip, their preparation and their actual experience whilst climbing all of which helped me to decide that I wanted to do the Lemosho route.
Why Lemosho ? Well I wanted to do a route which wasn’t too overcrowded, as Kilimanjaro is getting more and more popular each year. I also wanted a route which was scenic and enjoyable (as much as a route up Kilimanjaro can be! ) and also one that gave me maximum time to acclimatise to the altitude to minimise altitude sickness and to maximise my probability of reaching the summit. After all, in my mind, I was going with a very firm view that unless something really serious happened to me I was going to reach the summit !
I Committed : Finally I got to the point where I had to commit to Kili and I finally booked my trip with Amara Adventures in early July and then I really started the countdown to my Kili climb for real. I started to use all of my research activities to real benefit and started to prepare for the trip by buying or borrowing the appropriate kit, spreading the word at the gym and amongst friends and via twitter that my dream was going to become reality. It felt good 🙂
The When : My research suggested that the best time to climb would be August/September time – in terms of it’s one of the warmest times to climb (I live in Dubai so needed it to be as warm as possible – to be honest I don’t do cold – but I had to compromise on this to achieve my dream! ) and also in terms of weather and climate etc.
The What : I decided to combine my trip with a few extra days of orientation/acclimatisation at the start in Moshi and 6 days in Zanzibar afterwards for some well deserved R&R
Commit to Get Fit : I started to focus on my fitness routine in earnest from April this year, the majority of my training took place at MMA Fitness Centre in Dubai and consisted of a variety of different activities. My primary fitness classes were Club Energize Fitness Kickboxing (you can read about that here) LBT (read here) and Boxercise (read here). I also did some Muay Thai (read here) MMA Circuits and Boxing classes. My primary focus was to improve my cardiovascular fitness and to build muscle strength in my legs and core. An average week would consist of 10 -12 classes per week – typically 2 classes per day with the maxmium number of classes in a day as 5 when I wanted to test myself for endurance (not recommended).
Budget : I didn’t have a set budget for the trip, after all – it takes what it takes, it’s not the cheapest of trips to undertake neither is it the most expensive. My expenditure roughly worked out as follows :
*1 I was fortunate enough to beg/borrow some of my clothing from pals so reduced some of my expenditure which helped greatly.
*2 Since my weight loss surgery, I have a limited stomach capacity so supplemented my trip food with additional protein bars, snacks, GU energy gels and rehydration tablets.
Social Media : I’m an avid user of Social Media, so started a Hashtag for my trip #BBDKILI which would allow my followers to follow the Kili trip as I was trekking (mountain signals allowing). I also had a few info graphics drawn up to show the route and my day by day plans. Additionally I used my blog site to publish my routes each day whilst I was trekking to keep my webpage up to date.
I also signed up to a local SIM card when I was in Moshi to allow me to tweet, text and update Facebook etc whilst away.
One Week to Kilimanjaro (coffeecakesandrunning.me)
Ramadan and Mount Kilimanjaro Preparation (coffeecakesandrunning.me)
I made it to the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro !! Wohoo (coffeecakesandrunning.me)
What’s it like Climbing Mt Kilimanjaro ? (coffeecakesandrunning.me)
Kilimanjaro Fun Facts & Figures (coffeecakesandrunning.me)
In the foothills of Kilimanjaro – I’m ready to go ! (coffeecakesandrunning.me)