Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Kilimanjaro: Preparing for a Trek to the Heavens and Back

Wow! Looking at a calendar makes me a little nervous right now. In two weeks, I'll be at Zara Properties in Tanzania preparing for my first day on the Machame Route up Mt. Kilimanjaro. Did I say, "Wow" already? Oh I did. I guess all that's left is the nitty gritty details to reassure the family that I have not in fact gone to the heavens and back...just to 19,400 feet and back.

First things first, get a travel journal. Check. The wonderful and thoughtful Marianne Marco sent me this beautiful, customized writing journal to document my journey. It's pretty big, so it will likely document several journeys.

So, the journal wasn't actually first, it was just something fun to lead with. First things first, find a trek company, get flights, buy insurance, get a visa, update vaccinations, gather gear, buy gear, test gear, test gear some more, and somewhere along the way try to do some training. Check.

To be honest, I'm feeling a bit of anxiety for having spent a majority of weekends from the past two months out of the mountains - most at sea level. This fall has been filled with a lot of family events, and I was happy to sacrifice those weekends in the mountains to make memories with my family. Hopefully, all of my family time this fall will hold everyone over for the rest of the holidays. No worry, loves, I'll see you again in April.

My nephew, Noah.

My cousin's little boy, Branson.

My nephews, Noah and Levi, with my grandparents: Grandpa 91,
Aunt Nina 90, and Grandaddy 90

My family has beautiful children. My niece Hannah (middle)
with Sophia and Angelina.

My cousin's little girl, Harper.

International travel isn't a strong suit for many of my family members, so it raises the level of anxiety about a loved one leaving the country to climb a mountain in a third world country. As promised, I am posting my flight itinerary and emergency contact details on my blog for immediate reference if needed. (Links provided)


Dec 20 - Depart Denver (DEN-IAD-ADD-JRO)
Dec 22 - Arrive at JRO and transfer to Zara Properties in Moshi
Dec 23 - Rest Day

Dec 24 - Day 1 (6 miles)
Dec 25 - Day 2 to Shira Camp (4.4 miles)
Dec 26 - Day 3 to Barranco Camp (5.6 miles)
Dec 27 - Day 4 to Karanga Camp (2.5 miles)
Dec 28 - Day 5 to Barafu Camp (2.5 miles)
Dec 29 - Day 6 to SUMMIT to Mweka Camp (5 miles)
Dec 30 - Day 7 to Mweka Gate (6.8 miles)


Dec 31 - Drive to Lake Manyara Natl Park


Jan 4 - Safari Blue
Jan 6 - Stone Town


Jan 6 - Last night in Tanzania
Jan 7 - Depart Kilimanjaro Airport (JRO-DOH-MIA-DEN)
Jan 8 - Arrive in Denver


Jan 10 - Ice climbing (Why not? It sounds like fun. Now I just have to find someone to take me)

Emergency Contact Information: Zara Properties 866-550-4447
Mr. Yosia

US Embassy in Tanzania: Link to Page

I bet you're wondering how I can be gone for so long when I have a pet at home. No worries, Marty McFly won't go hungry, or lonely. I'm hiring a pet sitter. Plus, my landlord loves Marty, and will probably check on him randomly while I'm away to make sure the pet sitter is taking good care of him. 

Craphead will probably just sleep most of the time anyways.