How My Painful Kilimanjaro Experience Strengthened My Mind

My Painful Kilimanjaro Hiking Experience LUiS Angel

On January 11, 2020, I began a journey with 19 others to summit Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa. I had trained my butt off all year for this. I didn’t anticipate that a stomach bug on summit night could have ended my entire journey before reaching the top of the mountain. Listen to how I overcame this obstacle and if I was successful in reaching the highest point in Africa of 19,341 ft!

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As you heard from the podcast episode, this was the toughest mental challenge that I have ever been faced with. My body and also the trained professionals were telling me to turn around when I was just an hour away from summiting the tallest mountain in Africa. I didn’t quit though. I kept going. With the low oxygen levels at such a high point on the planet, I shouldn’t have been up there for as long as I was. I still managed to will myself to the finish line and be the only person at that given time to be this high up in Africa. 

If you would like more information on the next hiking adventure, be sure to contact me or Nelson Dellis at AxVentures

This was our itinerary for the Kilimanjaro Trek

Day 1 – JAN 11: Arrive at Kilimanjaro airport. We will meet in the arrival area at Kilimanjaro where our vehicle transfers us to the Keys Hotel where rooms on a dinner/bd, breakfast is arranged for you.

DAY 2 – JAN 12: Free morning to relax, stroll around and Moshi and explore a bit. Group meeting in the afternoon.

DAY 3 – JAN 13: After breakfast, we’ll transfer to the Machame Park gate. After registering we’ll begin the climb to our first camp, Machame Camp (10,000ft, 6-7hours).

DAY 4 – JAN 14: Today’s segment of the ascent will continue across beautiful heathland and alpine moorland with magnificent views of Kilimanjaro Peak. We overnight at Shira Camp (12,500ft, 6-7 hours)

DAY 5 – JAN 15: As we draw nearer to the peak, we will pass the Lava Tower. The trek becomes a bit more strenuous as the trail steepens on the approach to our overnight stop at Barranco Camp (13,000ft, 5-6 hours).

DAY 6 – JAN 16: From Barranco camp, famous for its “giant groundsels (Senecio species), you ascend the Barranco wall and hike glacial valleys to Karanga camp. Today is a relatively short day, lunch is taken at Karanga camp. In the afternoon a walk can be taken with your guides for great views of the Southern walls of Kibo and deep glacial valleys.

DAY 7 – JAN 17: Today is another half day ascending to Barafu camp. Once again lunch is taken in camp allowing plenty of time to relax before the summit bid. Desolate alpine desert and at times strong winds rip over this camp and yet in the evening, splendid views of Mawenzi peak are the norm. A relatively early dinner is taken before heading to rest for the evening.

DAY 8 – JAN 18: Most people depart just before midnight for the final summit bid. Patience and persistence is the name of the game to reach the summit and by dawn as the first rays of light start to appear, most arrive near the rim. Ascending via Stella Point affords a relatively short final section to Uhuru peak, the Rooftop of Africa! Your goal today is to return to Mweka camp.

DAY 9 – JAN 19: After breakfast, you descend once again through montane forest and around midday after saying farewell to your crew, you are picked up and transfer back to the Keys Hotel for a hot shower, dinner and a warm bed. FINAL DAY: Either prepare for your journey home or stay and take a wildlife safari or Maasai Home-Stay optional tour.