Not long ago, I wrote about finding the Dragon Boat Racing group on Meetup.com. Well, a few weeks ago I received a message about a NEW Meetup called, “Climbing Kili.” I immediately knew what that was. I opened the message to learn more about the group. I have always thought of climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, so I found it interesting that this message came to my email. Destiny? Timing? I decided to go and find out.
If you haven’t used Meetup.com, you should try it. If you find a Meetup you like, you RSVP that you are attending. Meetup.com sends you a “reminder” message of the meeting date and people comment like they do on Facebook. For example, 12 people scheduled to attend and about 2 hours before the meeting time, people sent messages on “why” they couldn’t come. That was a bit annoying, but I still decided to go hoping a “few people” would make it.
Turns out it was great. The Meetup organizer was a very nice Australian woman who had climbed Kilimanjaro a few years ago and said it was fantastic. She was also a travel agent and has been to Africa many times. She started to fill us in on the trip. She climbed with two ladies who were in their 60s and one woman in her 30s. They ALL made it to the top. They were all in good shape, but not hard core athletes. As they were in different parts of U.S., they communicated by email regarding training. The organizer did long hilly walks on the weekends and in the gym used the stepper a few times a week. She used a normal type of hiking boot, nothing super expensive. She said they didn’t use or take expensive clothes with them either, they get so dirty. At the end of the trip, they left their hiking clothes and boots with the carriers – they appreciated having these things. They don’t have good shoes.
The best time to climb Kili is Sept/Oct, Jan/Feb or early March. This is a 7 night / 8 day package. She said you hike 6-8 hours a day. While you need to be able to hike, Kili is more about acclimating to the altitude. The men in the photo carry your main baggage, the camping equipment and food. You just carry your very personal belongings as you hike. There are different types of packages, so you have to investigate online the cost of what “you” might want to do, i.e extra days, hiking a more secluded trail with less people, etc. She told us about the Machame Route, nicknamed the Whiskey route.
Great group of women at the meeting. One had just climbed Mt. Everest Basecamp, which was exciting. Two others talked about climbing Mt. Rainier in Washington and Machu Picchu (lots of stairs) in Peru. Turns out Mt. Kilimanjaro is one of the Seven Summits. Fun to meet like minded adventurers.
We are considering September 2017, she said there will be a full moon at that time.
If you’ve done the climb, share your story!