“Hey folks, this is Ben – back from leading a truly amazing trip to the roof of Africa, the mighty Kilimanjaro!
It’s always the group that makes an expedition and the 13 folk that signed up to pit themselves against this mighty challenge were an absolutely brilliant bunch! Taking the highs and lows (mostly highs) of expedition life in their stride and keeping on smiling and dancing!
Some quick key stats…
• 13 trekkers, a local team of 49 strong and one me
• 5895m Uhuru Summit with 49% of oxygen available at sea level
• 64km or 40miles hiked and 3631m or 11915ft ascended
• +24 pots of Milo consumed (that moreish malt drink that if you have had the privilege of taking to Africa’s highest peak, you will well know)…
• +30l of water drunk per person”
“Some of the highlights from this expedition were reaching Kosovo camp at 4870m with the whole team singing, dancing and going strong. I knew then summit success chances were good!
As ever reaching the summit is a highlight but witnessing the sunrise after Stella Point just before summit was an awe-inspiring sight, tumbling clouds beneath us and Mewenzi (the 3rd highest peak in Africa) silhouetted against the rising dawn is something I’ll never forget!
Barranco Wall is one of the most infamous sections of most climbs up Kili, with people often nervously awaiting the climb from the camp below which the wall towers over. The Barranco Wall attracts a few nerves as there is a short scrambling section, however with the support of our local team, the reward of a gorgeous view and a refuel station at the top and a bit of singing- you are at the top in no more than half an hour. Once climbed, it quickly turns in to one of the highlights of a trip and on this trip we were especially rewarded with teas and treats at the top by the Edward and Johnathan two of the amazing local team. They’d set the whole picnic table up with table cloth included of course!”
“The mess tent is another highlight of the trip. Tea and popcorn at the end of the days trek is provided by the ever fantastic local team, and then it’s a chance to chat, reflect and laugh over the days adventure and eagerly anticipate whatever wonders Noru the chef has conjured up next. Chicken and chips was a firm favourite!
One of the top pieces of advice I have for this trek (and on any) is to keep things relaxed and chilled, worrying about sleeping, the next days trek, the weather etc does nothing to change it and just tires your body and mind even more. That and, of course, eat and drink your fill of the delicious food available as it helps your body adjusting to altitude, keeping warm at night, energy levels high, and expeditions are a chance to really pig out as you’ll still be burning more than you put in!
What a feeling to be stood atop the Roof of Africa with the full team of trekkers – a 100% summit success in the bag, 13 happy faces bursting with pride and the African plains spread out in front of you like the best banquet you have ever laid eyes on.”
“And then celebration was in order, in the form of a feast, wild acrobatics and fire dancing which I was stitched up in, the video evidence is quite something to see!
After experiencing an adventure of this scale, it can take a little to process it and even now the whole experience is still sinking in for myself and probably the wonderful folk who’s adventure I got to be part of.
Can’t wait to get back out to Kilimanjaro in September for another round of adventure- hopefully see you out there too!”