Conquering an impressive summit is the dream of many people who love sports – and even some that don’t – and Mount Kilimanjaro is a common element in those dreams, with many people actively trying and putting a lot of effort into getting to the coveted top of the volcano. This summer, I decided to give it a try myself, and the part that surprised me most was perhaps the challenge in the preparation itself – I’d say it was even more difficult than the actual climb in some regards!
Any experienced climber or hiker will tell you that gear is the most important aspect of your preparation, and I made sure that I was adequately stocked up on pretty much everything I could need in a time of danger. Plenty of warm clothes, with extra headwear and gloves to ensure I was prepared to still keep operating in dangerous conditions. Various accessories like additional water bottles and a specialized sleeping bag also came in handy. My advice to anyone preparing for this is to not go overboard – take as much as you need to, but keep your weight in check.
I also had to go through some rigorous preparation to ensure that I would be physically fit for the task. A lot went into that, with stamina and endurance training taking up most of my time, and I also decided to invest into cardio on a daily basis. I tried to boost my core strength as well, and it’s important to be in a solid physical shape before attempting to conquer something as impressive as Mount Kilimanjaro. You shouldn’t make the mistake of thinking that your gear alone is going to carry you through the ordeal, and you should pay attention to how your own body is able to cope with the stress.
The Climb Itself
Walking up to the mountain to begin my ascent was an almost surreal experience. My own Climbing Kilimanjaro took me almost eight days to go through, and looking into other people’s accounts, I guess I was actually a bit slower than most. Which was definitely a surprise, as when I reached the peak I actually thought I’d been going faster than I should, and my group was more energetic than I expected it would be in the first place. But it just goes to show you how much preparation some others put into this sort of thing.
The Feeling of Victory
Finding myself at the top was an experience I’ll never forget, and one that I want to repeat over and over again now that I’ve had a taste of it once. It was not easy by any means, but the peaceful, relaxing sensation that runs through your whole body once you sit down to take your final break is not comparable to anything else. I’m glad I went through all the trouble to prepare myself for that, and I’m glad I didn’t give up along the way even though I had many opportunities to do so. This is something that has changed my life forever.