Offline for 18 days - going to the heights of Africa
Anyone trying to reach me will be unable to do so from October 4 to 22, 2015, as my son and I leave this afternoon for an adventure in Africa and I will be offline.
There are four parts to our trip:
- climbing the challenging Umbwe / Lava Tower / Crater Camp / Western Breach route to the summit of Kilimanjaro http://www.climbkilimanjaroguide.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/kilimanjaro-map.jpg?c242d9
- visiting http://projecTembo.org
- a project supporting young Maasai women
- a safari to see elephants http://www.tanganyikawildernesscamps.com/camps/kambiyatembo/location/
- scuba diving and snorkeling in Zanzibar with Okalahttp://www.greatguides.org/Story_91_Meeting_Okala%3ATourism_and_Conservation_in_Zanzibar.html
There is no guarantee either or both of us will make it to the summit, as health issues will be constantly monitored and our guides will turn us back if they assess we cannot handle the altitude. For all the trek companies and all the climbers, in the past 9 years only two climbers have died on Kilimanjaro (the latest was three weeks ago yesterday), so it isn't as scary as some make it out to be: http://www.climbmountkilimanjaro.com/practical-information/the-routes/the-umbwe-route/
You can see on the map that our route is the shortest, and so steepest, route to the top. This short route will provide lots of time for rest and lots of time to go slowly (in Swahili "polepole"). I'm thrilled!
Based on my South America Inca Trail http://goo.gl/fv8HsR
hike that went to 13,800 ft, I am hoping I can handle the Africa Kilimanjaro hike to 19,200 ft.
To track our hour-by-hour progress, my son's device will automatically post our positions by GPS every 10 minutes to the http://goo.gl/PQ1OeA
"SPOT" page. Posting will begin later today with only periodic check-ins and then the detailed tracking will be on the climb. We expect to summit within an hour of http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/fixedtime.html?iso=2015-10-13T04:00:00
and the GPS record will include a special note in real time, so you can "follow" us up to the top of Africa! Kilimanjaro is not the tallest mountain in the world, but it is the tallest free-standing mountain in the world and the highest point in all of Africa.
I've been training for this through September, enjoying climbs at Luskville Falls http://www.ncc-ccn.gc.ca/places-to-visit/gatineau-park/things-to-do/hiking-walking-gatineau-park
twice a week, plus lots of walking.
The wonderful Roddy Bray http://www.GreatGuides.org
arranged the itinerary. I can't say enough good about the way Roddy works and helps to plan and arrange African visits. He, himself, guided my wife and me in Cape Town, South Africa in April this year, and he knows the best guides wherever you are going in Africa.
I've never gone so long without email, so this will be interesting in a number of ways. Please be patient for a response from me. Thanks!