Adventure Team | Jul 29, 2021
My journey to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro was the most epic adventure of my life! I flew to Nairobi, Kenya and then to the sprawling Kilimanjaro International Airport in Tanzania to start my journey. I climbed with one of our Lloyd's underwriters Peter Laidlaw
and one of our clients Mike Chopra. We stayed one night in Arusha, Tanzania and then took Jeeps to the starting gate at Mt. Kilimanjaro.
The mountain is 19,340 feet tall. We passed through 4 climate zones on the ascent. Starting in rain forest and ending up in a white out blizzard at the summit! The scenery was absolutely stunning. I saw Colobus monkeys and birds of Paradise in the rain forest and crazy looking trees in the next zone that look like something out of Dr. Seuss book. These trees only grow on Kilimanjaro and the two other dormant volcanos nearby. I half expected to see a dinosaur in these primordial surroundings. On to barren areas with names like Lava Tower and Rock Valley.
Finally, we awoke at midnight to start our summit day attempt. This was the most difficult day as we trudged up the steep and icy slope to the Glaciers at the top of the volcano rim near the summit. Ambient temperature was -10 degrees not including wind chill. It took everything I had to reach the summit.
As you can see in the summit photo, the flag appears to read “Even Corn”. Make sure you buy Travel Insurance! Even the best laid plans can end up “Even Corn”.
We were so spent at the top we didn’t think to check that the banner was fully extended. That and the fact that we could barely move our fingers. We spent a total of 7 days on the mountain, mostly for acclimatization. Every evening our local porters would greet us in camp after our days trekking with traditional African songs and a choreographed dance. It was the best way to end of day of difficult hiking.
After we summited and made our way off the mountain and celebrated we started our journey home. During our stop over in Nairobi we enjoyed a day of safari which is a whole other story. Once again it was the people that made the trip. Our Guide Charles is from Tanzania and all of the porters grew up and have families within an hour of the mountain. One of our porters was a Masi warrior! Getting to know these people and learn about the culture of Tanzania was as fulfilling as the climb itself.
This climb happened in fall of 2012 and not a single day goes by that I don’t think about some part of that amazing trip. I started dreaming about this trip 10 years before. If it’s on your bucket list, make it happen. You won’t be sorry. 5 stars.
We are the adventure team - travel enthusiasts who aspire to experience the world in a unique way. We are travel junkies who seek unconventional adventures not ordinarily taken. We climb mountains and volcanoes, we wind surf the powerful Pacific waves, and we golf world renowned courses that leave you begging for more.
We are the Seven Corners Adventure Team, and these are our stories. View more »