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My MT Kilimanjaro Climb! « Mathieu O'Halloran's Blog

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My MT Kilimanjaro Climb!

Training has been nothing interesting to blog about this week so I will share my trip to MT Kilimanjaro in March 2007.

After a strip to the Nalindi coast of Kenya to watch the IAAF x-country worlds I decided to go and climb the highest mountain in Africa. I wasn’t able to find any body else who wanted to go and trek with me so I headed off solo.

In Mombasa, I boarded a bus towards Moshi, which is the down that divides Kenya and Tanzania. Mt Kili is actually on the very border of Kenya and Tanzania.

The journey was loong hot and pumpy! Except for a few indians that spoke fluent Swahili, I was the only white guy on the bus and thats when I was sporting the “Jesus” look.

Once in Moishi, I got off the bus, immediatly I was swarmed by a dozen men screaming “Mt Kili Mt Kili Mt Kili Mt Kili” They where typical east Africans with dark skin and big white smiles. It was starting to get dark so after a very very quick evaluation of my options, I decided to go with a porter whos name was Jasper!

Just because I think its a cool name and there Jasper National park of which I visited when I worked on the rigs because I gave a ride to my driller Gary, to his home in Jasper town!

Anyway, I check in a hotel and gave an advance payment to my porter so he could get things started. I felt un-easy about this but he insisted. He sayed he had to buy the treking food at the morning market!

Next day things went fast, my porter woke me up in my room and he had a the food ready and taxi! WOW!

So after atking out some money from the ATM, changing it into US dollars (thats all they take for the license to climb the Mountain” very strange eh!

We rented some climbing equipement, got a map and we where SET!

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The base camp is located at 1600m . I had been living at 8000 feet for about 2 months at that point so I felt fresh to attack the mountain!

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Busy camp Mandara Huts at 2720m during mid-day.

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The walk from base camp was about 15km uphill, we did it quick, so we agreed to head to camp 2 since we still had some day lite!

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1400m higher and 12 more km and we got there. Inside the cabins where we sleep:

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Sunset above the clouds…Priceless!

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Next day, last water stop! Oh, and at this point, wearing sungalsses is very important!
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Camp 3, Kibo huts, 4700m… Into thin air and my lungs can feel it!

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After a terrible sleep, with howling winds, cold beds and other making noises, I got up at 1am to get ready so I can climb in the peace of night and watch the sunset from the top of Afrika!

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The final push to the top wa sthe hardest…I packed to much food and water and extra clothing, I was gasping to air…and I was too cheap to buy some bottle oxygen from base camp….Extra wait I convinced myself! We had to do switchbacks to get to the crest and take many breaks, well I had to take the brakes, my porter was fine! We passed others that had left earlier in the morning because there would climb at a lesser pace…

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A picture is worth a million words! But I was too early for the sun rise…

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On the way down, I crossed Gilmans point…

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The way down was much harched on my legs than the way up!! OUCH my hip flexors and quads! Form the top to the bottom in about 14 hours! That 40 km downhill!! Possibly good for running up here eh?

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This is me and my porter Jasper at the bottom, undulging in a Kilimanjaro brew!

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Just after this picture, I got very sick for 3 days… I went up and down the mountain in about 60 hours! The average is 5 days…But my proter got to go bakc up the mountain with other clients, so we wasn’t holdind me back and I was my usual impatient self think, the world record for the up and down is 8 hours. I only took 60 hours??

But to Sum up the trip, this was a great experience that I would recommend to anybody who goes to East Afrika, the climb is quite easy. I think Elton John is the most famous person to go up!

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