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Mid Life Crisis - Kilimanjaro 2015 Challenger both Body and Mind

So what is it going to be like? - Kilimanjaro Blog

TANZANIA | Tuesday, 25 August 2015 | Views [846]

Kili Map with dates - Orange Route up and Purple down

Kili Map with dates - Orange Route up and Purple down

8 days until the baby’s due date and 28 days until I leave for Kilimanjaro. I have been doing a lot of reading, so I thought I would share.

Mount Kilimanjaro is Africa’s tallest peak standing in at 19,340 which also classifies it as the world’s highest freestanding mountain. Three volcanoes make up the structure of the range: Shira, Mawenzi, and Uhuru

The journey up the slopes of Kilimanjaro takes on a climatic world tour from the tropics to the arctic. The grassy cultivated lower slopes turn into lush rain forest inhabited by elusive elephant, leopard, buffalo and antelope. Higher still, heath and moorland covered with giant heathers become a surreal alpine desert and finally, ice, snow and the magnificent beauty at the top of Africa’s highest mountain.

Definitions of altitude

High – 8,000 – 12,000 ft

Very High – 12,000 – 18,000 ft

Extremely high 18,000ft +

This means I will pass from high altitude on the first day all the way through to extreme high at the summit 5 days later, with no idea how my body will react.

As I ascend (or as I ascend through the atmosphere the barometric pressure decreases) the temperature drops. The effects of these changes are a decrease in the density of the air. Essentially there is less air to breathe in, hence the term “Thin Air”. The percentage of oxygen remains constant at 21%, but there is simply less oxygen molecules for a given volume of air that is breathed it.

My body will use up to three times as much water compared to normal altitude, meaning I need to be drinking 4-6 litres of water every day.

My basal metabolic rate (BMR) increases with altitude so at 14,000ft this can be as much as 27%, meaning although I won’t feel like eating, my body will need the fuel.

Day one - Trek through the cultivation and Forest to the Heath and Machame Camp, 5-7 hours, 10,600 ft high. Climate will be cooling with mist and fog.

Day two - Trek though the heath and moorland following the shira ridge, to 12,500 ft. Climate will be frosty with intense sunshine.

Day three - Climb to lava tower to test acclimatization with a trek to the base of Lava Tower. I will be descending to the enormous Senecio forest, passing waterfalls that will usher us in the Barranco Camp, which is set in the shadow of the massive Barranco wall at 13,000ft. Climate will have huge daily temperature fluctuations making it summer every day and winter every night, with evenings being below freezing and daytime being 35 degrees.

Day four – Climb the face of the incredible Barranco wall, which is worth going just to see it! Temperature will be noticeably cooler as we head to Barafu camp at 13,200ft as I will be entering the arctic zone

Day five - Twilight start, this will be my greatest challenge, switch backs up the face of Kili, and making sure I am focussing on breathing until I reach Stella Point. Hopefully there will be spectacular views coupled with the sunrise which will warm the soul and strengthen the spirit as the iconic Uhuru Peak will now be in my sights. This six hour night hike will be in arctic conditions, freezing cold during the day and burning sun during the day. Oxygen levels are nearly half, which is why this will test my mental and physical strength.

A fully detailed video is shown here http://www.climbkili.com/3d-routes/7-day-machame/

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Please go to https://www.justgiving.com/Tony-Mattravers/ to donate.  

Tags: challenge, charity, frustration, hard work, killimanjaro, panic, panic, summit, trekking

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