Tag: Kilimanjaro

Kilimanjaro Summit January 1 2010 – Photo Gallery Rerun

In December of 2009 I flew through Amsterdam to Kilimanjaro Airport in Tanzania, and was shuttled to the hotel in Moshi for Zara Tours. The next day our small group boarded a bus with our gear and headed to the Machame Gate. Over the next 5 days we ascended through daily rain to the Barafu Camp and that night, New Years Eve, we took off for the summit shortly after midnight, accompanied by the singing and pan-beating of the celebrating porters.

After a fairly steep climb in rocks and snow we hit the relatively gentle final grade to the summit just after sunrise. We took a few pictures then headed back down to camp for lunch and a nap. I was a little under-dressed, wearing old ski and hiking clothes to donate to the porters, and had to borrow some softshell pants, as mine were soaked from the rainy day hikes. I had to wiggle my toes a lot in my three-season hiking boots, but I think it only got down to maybe 10 degrees F that night at the coldest – about 3 AM.

Kilimanjaro is the highest point of Africa, and is also the highest volcano in Africa, so is a member of both the Seven Summits and the Volcanic Seven Summits. I’d love to do it again, and have contemplated putting together various groups of friends or relatives, or even charity contributors. Oh, well. Enjoy these selected pics from my “rerun” gallery.

KPICASA_GALLERY(KiliRecap)

If you want to read a summary I wrote after the fact here’s a link to the “expose”

World Water Day 2012

Today is World Water Day 2012. According to this report:

There are 7 billion people to feed on the planet today … each of us drinks from 2 to 4 litres of water every day, however most of the water we ‘drink’ is embedded in the food we eat: producing 1 kilo of beef for example consumes 15,000 litres of water while 1 kilo of wheat ’drinks up’ 1,500 litres – Unwater.org

Elbrus water source needs to be boiled
Water Pipe above blue building below Elbrus summits. Use at own risk.

And naturally, there’s a solution available for all of us:

Coping with population growth and ensuring access to nutritious food to everyone call for a series of actions we can all help with:
· follow a healthier, sustainable diet
· consume less water-intensive products
· reduce the scandalous food wastage: 30% of the food produced worldwide is never eaten…
· produce more food, of better quality, with less water.
– Unwater.org

Having been in regions with serious major clean water issues, and having suffered the debilitating effects myself, I have to offer my own opinion on this. On Kilimanjaro, the highest point of Africa, one of the Seven Summits, as well as one of the Seven Volcanic Summits, the cooks supposedly treated the abundant surface water by boiling, but it became apparent quite quickly that they did not want to waste porters on carrying stove fuel, so they actually didn’t treat it. As a result, I ended up with diarrhea on summit day and my tentmate ended up puking in the tent all night on the eve of summit day. We both managed to summit.

On Elbrus (the highest point of Europe and also a Seven Summits and Seven Volcanic Summits) in the Spring, they had to melt snow for water, so it was fairly safe, but in the Summer they got their water from a pipe tapped into the water runoff from the glacier. A lazy cook with very poor English skills who wasn’t really all that considerate of the long-term effects just gave me some water right out of the pipe. I ended up with serious diarrhea that lasted for four days and I barely finished the qualifier with one pit stop in the rocks, but was so wasted that I contracted AMS and could not complete the Elbrus Race 2010.

Water is abundant on Kilimanjaro
Abundant water along the trail for drinking on Kilimanjaro

On Aconcagua, another Seven Summits peak, highest point of South America, water came off the glacier in a large pipe that forked all over the camp to each of the outfitters. My outfitter let it collect in a barrel so the sediment could settle out, and we were each on our own for treating it. I used a SteriPEN Classic on mine, and that worked well enough.

Aconcagua Base Camp water supply
Water tubing and tanks at Aconcagua Plaza de Mulas Basecamp

I’ve suffered from the effects of unclean water, so I know it exists. For myself, I will carry the Steripen with me wherever I go, but worldwide, I’m not quite certain how to fix this problem, aside from a treatment plant on both Elbrus and Kili, or maybe education, if it will stick, or somehow making the guides and porters and cooks really care one way or the other, which probably has less chance of sticking. That would have the longest-lasting effects, IMHO – getting people to even care.

8-year-old to climb Mount Kilimanjaro

Tyler Armstrong of Yorba Linda, California will attempt Mount Kilimanjaro to increase awareness to the 300k boys worldwide suffering from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. DMD is considered an “orphan” disease as pharmaceutical companies don’t find it profitable to do research for a cure. A somewhat “accomplished” climber

[as a 7 year old, he] summited Mount Whitney [14,505 feet (4,421 m)] in Sierra Nevada, California with his father Kevin Armstrong. He may have unofficially broken the record for the youngest person to ever summit Mount Whitney. Tyler reached the summit in 7 hours and 50 minutes.
7-year-old summits Mount Whitney the highest peak in the continental US – Examiner

Source: examiner.com via Charles on Pinterest


If Armstrong summits Kilimanjaro, he will become the second youngest to summit one of the highest mountains of the world at age eight. This eight-day challenge and adventure will begin on June 23, 2012.
“I am doing this climb to help Suhail and other boys my age that have Duchenne because most of them have a hard time even walking,” stated Tyler Armstrong.
8-year-old to climb Mount Kilimanjaro for Duchenne muscular dystrophy awareness – Examiner

I’ve had the great adventure in the past to have taken several youth up several mountains. I’ve taken a handful of 10 year olds up Colorado Fourteeners [Quandary With Dallin], and a 5 and 8 year old up an 8000′ peak [Squaw Peak With The Kids].

I have a pretty good idea what it takes to motivate and encourage a child up a peak under a variety of conditions. For one-day hikes. I’m about to try a two or three day this summer with a ten and maybe an eight year old. I know from experience that a week on a muddy rocky wet trek to the Roof of Africa is a much bigger endeavor. I myself wish the Armstrongs the best of luck.

So how does everyone else feel about this? Do I need to ask the typical questions about Everest at age 10 after Vinson and Elbrus at 9, etc? Or do you have your own views on this one?