We learned from this trip that three things are most important to success in climbing Kili: good weather and a great guide, and Florence suggested that the third factor was a positive attitude. I agree with all three. For sure, many failed due to weather. Some also have guides that don’t really look out for the clients benefit. They allow climbers to rush and not become adjusted to the altitude. Or they just don’t care. But, attitude is internal and something you “own”. I suggest climbing Kili with all three, but in the end, positive attitude and a respect for the mountain are very important. Look, the weather sucked, pure and simple. But our guide and attitude are both great. I do want to point out one other thing: one cannot control for altitude sickness other than walking pole-pole. In the end, if you get PO or something else that is serious, no amount of training would have made a difference.
I must say that overall Ori and I were VERY happy with our tour company. We had issues with the tents that they tried to resolve during the climb (and did for the most part). The quality of their staff and their passion for service was tops. And the Safari was really amazing. Again, great staff. And — they listen. So, we recommend without hesitation www.parksadventure.com. Their email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Definitely check them out.
As I sit and reflect on the climb portion of the trip, aside from advice you will read throughout this blog, there are some things to highlight.
1. Come prepared for the worst weather. That Includes the right gloves, gators, layers and waterproofing.
2. Take altitude pills from the beginning. Do not wait. Also, have ibuprofen since the headaches can really hurt.
3. Maybe it’s not important to you, but pay extra for a toilet. I have a high tolerance for this stuff but it was a killer.And it makes the climb less enjoyable.
4. Think about how your boots and feet will handle the downhill. It is an unexpected problem.
5. For casual climber like myself, the extra days acclimation makes a lot of sense. Plan 7 or 8 days. Don’t rush it.
6. Get advice from someone who does extreme exersize (like cycling) how to properly deal with nutrition. I was surprised how little people understand this.
7. Have a clear understanding with your guide how to deal with emergencies and making decisions about altitude sickness, etc. Make sure you can really “trust” your guide. Otherwise, complain and get another. It’s your life.
8. Takes things slow. Don’t rush. Enjoy the moment. It is fleeting.
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