Kilimanjaro: Worlds Highest Free Standing Mountain
I knew that hiking to the summit of the worlds highest free standing mountain would be very hard, and it was. The mountain is 5885 meters at the summit, which is about 1700 meters higher than I had been at Annapurna Base Camp in Nepal so I decided to take the altitude sickness pills. That turned out to be a bad idea and made me ill for 2 days until my guide told me to stop. Then I was fine, but had lost a lot of my energy so the rest of the hike was tough.
I went with G Adventures and they were amazing, we had 32 porters/guides for 9 of us, which becomes like a family for the 7 day Machame route hike. On the night of the summit we woke at 11pm and start the hike. It’s freezing cold, and so very dark, all you can see ahead is a little trail of lights heading up into the sky – other hikers making the trek to the summit. It’s hard to see where the mountain ends and the stars begin. We had 5 guides for the 9 of us for the summit night hike which was fortunate as I was having a hard time and broke away from the main group early on. Eli and I made our way to the top at my pace and reached it just in time for the sunrise and join the rest of the Group. What a feeling it is to reach the summit!!! You can’t stay up there for more than 30 minutes or so as the altitude makes you feel pretty groggy. When we got back to base camp all the porters came rushing to greet us, cheering and high fiving us all.
It really was a magical experience.