icons/avalancheicons/bootscompassfacebookicons/gloveshandsicons/hearticons/helmeticons/ice axeinstagramminusmountainicons/pathsMap Pinplusicons/questionicons/guideicons/ropeicons/gogglesicons/stafftenttwitteryoutube
Everest with Mountain Madness

Kilimanjaro Summit — 16 out of 16!

MM Guide Ben Mal­i­ty reports on our recent Kil­i­man­jaro expedition:

Day 1 of our 16-per­son Kili­man­jaro climb this late June start­ed off with a com­fort­able night at our pri­vate camp in the Arusha Nation­al Park. At around 6,000 feet, it’s great for acclima­ti­za­tion and the trekkers loved it. The staff was gen­er­ous and made the com­fort­able tents and meals look amaz­ing. Far away from the bus­tle of Arusha and far from the air­port, there is no place like it to recov­er from your trav­els and get ready for the climb. Trekkers kept exclaim­ing, what a place to stay before the climb!”

The team hav­ing a deli­cious meal. Ben Mal­i­ty photo

Despite the large group size, every­one was well tak­en care of. A deli­cious bar­be­cue din­ner start­ed off the trip, along with a large veg­an-friend­ly spread for our veg­an friends. Ani­mals near the camp, such as Colobus mon­keys, baboons, buf­fa­lo, giraffe and a vari­ety of birds made the atmos­phere out­stand­ing. Our first day was a lit­tle cloudy and chilly, but every­one warmed up as we hiked to the water­falls 600 feet above camp.

Acclima­ti­za­tion hike to some gor­geous water­falls. Ben Mal­i­ty photo

A few group mem­bers had already had expe­ri­ence at alti­tude but the major­i­ty of them did not. Despite all of that, each trekker was pre­pared and ready for the climb! It was a fun group of peo­ple and we all got along well. After our first cloudy day, the fol­low­ing day pre­sent­ed a pleas­ant sur­prise for every­one, as we were greet­ed with clear skies and a per­fect view of the moun­tain we would be climb­ing. One trekker laughed, what a sur­prise to final­ly see where we are head­ing! Now the ques­tion is, how do we get there, Ben?” The trail start­ed out dusty and cold, but as always, our camps at night were warmer than expect­ed. Plus, warm water bot­tles in our sleep­ing bags always make sleep­ing much more comfortable!

Head­ing up through the mon­tane for­est. Ben Mal­i­ty photo

Enjoy­ing a sun­down­er. Ben Mal­i­ty photo

As we made our way up the moun­tain, we encoun­tered our tough­est day on our way to the crater camp. As always, for some peo­ple this is their favorite day, for oth­ers, not so much. As we scram­bled up the breach, Pole Pole” (slow­ly slow­ly,) became the famouse words of the day. We use this mantra through­out the trip, but much more so on this day. It was like a car race, where those who were in front on the first part of the climb, pulled up the rear on this day, and all in the mid­dle kept a steady slow pace. The cold, wind, dust, and big glac­i­ers in the crater did not deter the clients from mak­ing the final push to the top. One trekker had hoped to sum­mit that same day for his birth­day, but the pace and con­di­tions on the moun­tain con­vinced him to go with the rest of the group the next morning.

Explor­ing the Furtwängler Glac­i­er in the crater. David Bates photo

Porters pass­ing quick­ly by with heavy loads always encour­ages trekkers that they can make it to the top. Reach­ing the sum­mit ear­ly the next morn­ing, Moun­tain Mad­ness trekkers rejoice and cel­e­brate, espe­cial­ly when they get a good pic­ture of how dif­fi­cult it is com­ing up from the less-scenic and enjoy­able side of the moun­tain. Oth­er trekkers arriv­ing from the oppo­site side look beat­en up and tired and have no smiles on their faces. Most are even pulled up to the top. 

Every­one has now returned home with fun sto­ries from their new friends, mem­o­ries of porters singing and the guides’ rid­dles that encour­age peo­ple to reach the top. Great com­pa­ny, great staff, great group and great choice.” — trekker Bri­an T.

Thanks every­one!

~ MM Guide Ben­hadad Mality