Once you have done the Half Dome hike a few times, you may consider other challenges, like Mt. Shasta or Mt Whitney in California. Avid Blog Reader, Steve, aka FitDude, took it a step further. This Texan flew across the big pond to Tanzania to scoot to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro.
He just got back from the hike to promote Ovarian Cancer awareness. He held a prayer session on top of the mountain and read names of women who passed away because of the cancer. His sister and cousin had it as did some of his friends. Now you are aware.
Kili is big at 19,000 feet and some change. There are several ways to the top and trips are guided without true mountaineering skills needed. Hikers stay in huts or tents along the way and are given meals as part of the fare. Although the famous “Snows of Kilimanjaro” are melting with Global Warming, it is still pretty cold up top. He needed Yellow Fever and Typhus vaccines to enter the country.
Kili is highest free standing volcano in the world and it also has the most unobstructed view of land in the world. Mt Diablo in the East SF Bay area has the second! He was in touch with an unknown British rock star, Daniel Pearson, who gave him pointers about the hike. Every single item he brings to Yosemite, including poles, Vasque Breeze hiking boots, synthetic shirts, heavy sox and more went to Kilimanjaro with him. Temperatures at that altitude are below zero. He also packed a ski jacket, gloves and pants as well as numerous sweatshirts. He took candy and t-shirts for the kids and adults in the local villages. He also visited a Masai camp and did two day trips (waterfalls, small animals, hospitals (on a professional level), but no safari.
Steve told me: “All in all, it is a harder accomplishment than Half Dome because of the time and altitude. I felt more danger at Half Dome but thought the view in Yosemite was far more awesome than on top of Kilimanjaro (looked like the moon). Some minor altitude issues (slightly dizzy) hit at about 18,000 feet. Unlike Half Dome, the descent is much faster by a long shot. Almost like a ski slope.”
Carpe Diem, brother. Bucket List material for all. I did an animal safari in Tanzania in the ‘90s, but no time for a hike up Big K.
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “The Snows of Kilimanjaro,” a 1952 short story by Ernest Hemingway
MrHalfDome™ – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com