Kilimanjaro – Changes Your Perspective
‘It is the best sunrise in the world. You know this as waves of physical emotion course through you. You are standing on the Roof of Africa and life is back in perspective...’
Last Christmas Exodus’ Sales & Marketing Director Ben Roseveare met up with his father in law who announced that 2010 would be the year to climb Mount Kilimanjaro with a group of friends and business associates. Ben recalls it well… ‘After a few minutes of deliberation it became clear that he really meant it! The time had therefore come to do battle up the mountain for the second time. The Private Groups team at Exodus clicked smoothly into gear and in September the Tridonic Kilimanjaro Team successfully made a full moon ascent via the Rongai Route.’
'You can call it KILI when you've climbed it!!'
That was the send off from the Trekking Experts on the Exodus sales team in Balham. Having gently reminded them that I climbed 'Kili' successfully in 1999 I was still feeling pretty nervous.
1. What would the Rongai Route be like?
It’s a great route and quite understandably the most popular with Exodus clients. Described in the trekking guides as ‘comparatively gentle’ (??!!) you start on the northern slopes of the mountain with fabulous views over the rift valley and into Kenya. The route takes you up to and around Mawenzi Peak before crossing the saddle and taking on the climb to the crater rim from Kibo Hut.
2. What about the camping – last time I was in the mountain huts?
Camping is brilliant. Great for the group dynamic. Kilimanjaro is a popular mountain and by camping you can pick your route sensitively and avoid the crowds. You can genuinely find your own space on the mountain – collectively and individually. The Exodus equipment is the best on the mountain – tents, thick foam sleeping mats, sleeping bags and down jackets all spot-on. Exceptional camp food and exceptional mountain crew - I will not spoil all the nuances and surprises but the special moment for me was battling up the scree slope to Gillman’s Point. There were only one set of guides singing Kilimanjaro songs of encouragement as their group struggled - OUR GUIDES!!
3. Would the altitude catch me out this time?
The ultimate question – and the honest answer is ‘yes’ – the altitude will always catch a few people out. At Exodus we are very proud of our 79% success rate to Uhuru ‘Freedom’ Peak. It’s a tough climb emotionally and physically…
1. Get your own group together
Please contact our Private Groups team if you’re interested in organising your own departure.
2. This December? It’s not too late!
Next trips to The Roof of Africa: Departing 16th, 24th and 31st December
3. Kilimanjaro Presentation Evening (London):
04th November: Join Ben, Andrew and others for an evening of ‘All Things Kilimanjaro’. Book your seat(s) online now.
Smokeless Stoves Change Lives
Ben also visited the innovative smokeless stoves project Exodus have funded in Geita District of Tanzania.
‘I was quite shocked. It's been a long time since I've been that remote and rural in a country like Tanzania. It felt like a forgotten part of the world. I am delighted that Exodus are really making a difference.’
Phase One Results:
90 youths have been trained.
180 ‘Rocket’ stoves have been constructed.
Positive feedback from the villagers. Less smoke, less cooking time, less firewood, safer…
The field visit was to Bunegezi, Mwagimagi and Buhalahala villages. Overall about 20 households were visited and review discussions were held with the village elders, Plan staff and the trained youth.
Royal Parks Half Marathon – Ben ran the Royal Parks half marathon for the second year running on the 10th October raising over £1,000.
Full project update on Smokeless Stoves Project click here.
Ben’s Blog – click here to read or comment.
Rongai Route Video ¦ Google Earth Trekking Flight ¦ The Daily Express - Shira Treks ¦ Comic Relief to Kilimanjaro ¦ The Sun - Climb Kilimanjaro ¦ Tanzania Porter Education Project ¦ Real Travel - Mt. Kilimanjaro ¦ The Telegraph - Mount Kilimanjaro: Climb and Punishment ¦ Extracts - Battle of the Treks