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Mid Life Crisis - Kilimanjaro 2015 Challenger both Body and Mind

Kilimanjaro – Day Six of the challenge, Summit Night – Kilimanjaro Blog

TANZANIA | Friday, 1 January 2016 | Views [814]

Summit

Summit

We left at 12:20 am, in the full moon. The first hour was a tentacle climb and then we were climbing, following the paths of head torches, switching back, and back, for hours. We caught up with Carole (who had left earlier) which was nice to have the group back together again.

 

It was cold, you needed every part of you wrapped up, my seven layers on the top were great. The guides were superb at helping pull the draw strings tight on your gloves so no cold air could get in.

 

The further we went the harder it got to walk, Nelson was keeping the pace slow but it was half a foot in front of another for four hours, watching the total lunar solar eclipse unfold ahead of us. It was eerie when it went completely dark on the mountain, 

 

It was a slog but I was doing ok, music on. Then I had a massive nosebleed. I couldn't get it to stop, we had some tea which the guides had brought and Nelson said if it doesn't stop soon you will have to go back down.

 

I managed to get it under control and we carried on.

 

5 am brought the start of the sun coming up and renewed enthusiasm. But also the realisation of how far we were still away from Stella Point, the top of the mountain as we could see it, but not the highest point. 

 

Walking for another couple of hours, not seemingly getting any closer, was sole destroying. Sliding backwards and such small steps meant I started to wonder if we would make it.

 

I realised the group was splitting and I had a choice to make. I pushed myself on, keeping up with Tansher, Sarah and Nelson as we pulled slowly away from Sarah, Kat and Carole.

 

This really was a mental test, one that I was determined I was going to win. Watching other people coming down was not good for the morale. It was the longest couple of hours of my life but at about 830 we made it to Stella Point. The last section seemingly being a sand dune, or it felt like it. A sit down, photos for ten minutes and then we were off.

 

Uhuru point was only 156m higher and around the crater rim, but I think babies could have crawled faster than the speed I felt like I was going. 

 

The feelings were split, I could see what I had come for, but it still felt like it was miles away. 

 

The views of the glaciers and Mount Meru poking out of the clouds were stunning.

 

We made it to the top, and had our photos taken at the sign. Luckily I checked some of the photos, especially the one with my shirt full of sponsoring companies’ logos on. I looked like the Michelin Man. Four layers were removed and the photos retaken.

 

Ten minutes after arriving, we were heading back down.

 

The rest is history, except to say how I was physically broken, suffered more nose bleeds and it took me a good couple of months to get over the experience, not to mention the challenges of getting home to the usual family and work pressures.

 

Thank you for the support, I will sign off 2015 and wish you good luck in whatever challenge you undertake in 2016.

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

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