Climbing Kilimanjaro for me was an experience of a lifetime. I had the chance to experience with friends one of the most exciting trek to Mt. Kilimanjaro.
With a height of 5895 meters Mt. Kilimanjaro is the highest free standing mountain in Africa, located in northern Tanzania, border to Kenya. Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro was one of my most enjoyable trekking trip, the experience, the fulfillment of overcoming challenges and the feeling of accomplishment was a journey in itself.
Though, My goal was to get to the top of Uhuru peak, but I enjoyed taking numerous pause, reflecting and looking around.
I took the 6 day trek by the Machame route, a very popular and scenic route to the summit. Machame route offers beautiful surroundings with changing landscapes.
With just enough training, few hours of gym workout weekly for three months before the trip, appropriate gears and a good support team (guide and porters) I was ready. I have done trekking and hiking before, so that experience sure helped and yes most important I was mentally prepared for the adventure. During the trek, the key was to keep myself hydrated, took Diamox to help with altitude sickness and did the trek in a slow and steady phase. We were supported by two experienced guide, seven porters and a cook with abundance of food and meals mostly served in our tent.
The first couple days was quiet easy and not physically challenging, no major difficulties other than the usual sore feet and aching joints, but testing time was after passing the Barranco Wall. The summit day was the most difficult, with very low energy and little sleep the trek to the summit seemed endless. The trek on summit day started around midnight, we made it to Stella Point early morning totally exhausted, with my goal in mind I continued and reached Uhuru peak (5895 meters), most happiest moment of the trek.
I achieved something incredible, a sense of accomplishment, which I will never forget.
After few quiet moments and taking pictures, I started my descent. My memories of coming down the Mweka trail after the summit is a bit hazy, later I was told that, I had to be carried down by the porters up to Mweaka Camp.
I had the opportunity of doing this trip with Dr. Suresh Gopinathan.