A Few Less Potato Chips


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February 2nd 2011
Published: June 23rd 2017
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Geo: 43.6485, -79.3854

To set the stage, I'd have to confess to an almost ambivalent attitude toward climbing Kili (or any other mountain for that matter). Although I admire the frothing enthusiasm that many people have for climbing and hiking, it's just not an inner child that I've been able to get in touch with. DH and I have climbed smaller mountains before to see lava rivers, explosive volcanoes, gorillas, etc. but for the most part the climbing was a necessary evil preceding a truly spectacular sight. For DH however (although far from a climbing fanatic), Kilimanjaro has always been a bucket list item- we were in the north of Tanzania some years ago and it was all I could do to persuade her to skip Kili in favour of some of the best safari parks in Africa (part of that persuasion included a promise to return at some point in the future to climb this mystic mountain).

As a result, some 10 months ago we started both the physical training and logistics planning required to climb Kili. Numerous write-ups suggested it was altitude and not fitness that would dictate how successful we were in climbing but neither of us wanted to be in a situation where poor fitness could be used as an excuse for not reaching the peak (and quite frankly I was using Kili as an end goal to drive a fitness program that would see a few more push-ups and a few less potato chips). The opening of a well-equipped neighbourhood fitness centre in mid-2010 was a happy coincidence and allowed us to put together a comprehensive fitness program that would help us meet the significant demands of climbing Kili. One happy surprise of working out at the centre was the unqualified support and encouragement we received from both the staff and other members once they found out what we were in training for. It would pay big dividends over the many days of climbing to follow.

On the logistics side, having survived many a Canadian winter, I assumed we had most of the gear necessary for the climb and I really wanted to resist the temptation to invest in all of the latest and greatest of space-age materials (how did the early explorers ever survive without dry-wicking underwear??). Given that we were climbing in the 'dry' season with very little rain and even less chance of snow, this seemed to make good sense. Since she was pushing hard to shop for all the must-have gear (read expensive) for the well dressed climber, DH has been fighting the urge of launching a few well-placed "I-told-you-so's" ever since.

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Tot: 0.149s; Tpl: 0.014s; cc: 12; qc: 54; dbt: 0.0217s; 1; m:saturn w:www (104.131.125.221); sld: 1; ; mem: 1.3mb