My name is Trevor Jones and at the age of 60. I believe I will be the oldest member of the group. That's the bad news. The good news (for me at least) is that this will be my 4th time above 5000m and I have to say that, so far, I have not had any altitude problems. Not even a headache. I did the Rongai Route in September of last year, so I thought I might share some tips for those who haven't done this sort of thing before.
1. Kenya Airways is not he best! The in-flight entertainment did not work at all on the outward flight and only the music was available on the return flight.
2. It's likley to be cold, very cold. July should be the coldest month of the year and temperatures on summit night could well be -20C. Last time I wore 2 merino wool sweaters, a shirt, 2 good quality fleeces and a Rab down jacket for the ascent and at no stage was I too warm!
3. Make sure you wear something to cover your ears. A balaclava or Took hat will protect you from the wind. Make sure your hand are well insulated. Take the type of chemical hand warmers that are single use and last about 8 hours, if your hands easily feel the cold.
4. You need to ensure that at least some of your water does not freeze. Camelbaks with insulated tubes will still freeze at the temperatues we will be experiencing. Sigg bottles and the like can still freeze even if they are in your backpack. I would suggest taking a small flask or insulated container that you can put in your backpack or even a couple of small 500ml bottles that will fit underneath your jacket. You need to experiment with what you think will work for you and is comfortable.
5. Remember that on summit night you will be on the mountain for come 10 or 11 hours and will need to make sure you have enough high energy snacks to keep you going.
I hope none of this has put you off, but I think it's something you should know before you set off rather than find out when you get there and can't do anything about it!
Just to finish, my other trips above 5000m were the High Inca Trail in May 2005 and Everest Base Camp in April 2008.
Sorry, but I can't see a trip designated TYR SHIRA ROUTE that departs on 29th July. I can see a trip that departs on Mon 29th JUNE. Is this your trip? The one with the full moon summit night If so, you have posted it in the wrong section and could account for the fact you haven't received many replies. Or am I getting confused in my old age? Seriously though I would check that you have the correct date or you could be disappointed.
Anyhow, enjoy your trip, whenever it is.
Just realised I have spelt my name wrong! It is Vanessa and my husband Alex and I are both looking forward to this trip although we haven't done anything quite like it before. We read with interest Trevors comments as someone who has been before - thankyou Trevor, and wonder what advice you have on footwear for when we are in the camps?
We are going to be doing the Yorkshie 3 peak challenge on Thursday as a test of our enduance so hopefully we will pass!!!
Looking forward to meeting you
I thought I had only made a fool of myself in front of people I wasn't going to meet, but no such luck! At least SarahJayne you now know what a lucky escape you've had and I'm sorry to hijack the thread. I only hope what I have to say will be of use to anyone who is intending to climb Kili.
As regards camp footwear, my preference is for a thick pair of socks with trainers or trail boots. Sandals would be OK for the terrain, but it gets dark about 6 o'clock in the evening and when it gets dark, it gets cold. As you may have gathered, I don't like being cold and this includes my feet. The main meal of the day is round about 6 o'clock so this is also something to be considered as sitting about in the cold is no joke.
As I seem to be speaking to people who have'nt done any high altitude trekking before I've thought of a few more things you might like to know:
I think that's enough, for now. If you have any other questions I'll be happy to try and answer them.
Hi Trevor, well the bags have arrived and hopefully we have bought everything that we are going to need. Thank you for all of your advice it has been very helpful and you make it all sound very exciting what with flatulence and cess pits! no wonder my friends think I am mad with comments like, 'you call that a holiday?' and 'how are you going to manage without an iron and hairdryer'.
Seriously though we are both very much looking forward to it. taking on the challenge and seeing some fabulous scenery.
See you next week
Hi Vanessa (and SarahJayne, if you are still there). Yes, I got my kitbag at 07:23 the other morning despite telling Exodus that I didn't need one. In fact, I now have 4 kitbags that I have never used and I would suggest if Exodus want to economise then this would be a good place to start. Especially as everything is done by email now and you don't even get any baggage tags anymore! You should also be aware that your kitbag will be weighed at the lodge before we start on the trek to make sure it is no more than 15kg. You can leave anything you don't need on the trek at the lodge.
Rant over. I've been looking at some of the other threads and the one entitled Kili 1st July has some useful info, if you can manage to wade through all 74 posts. The ones from Ashley1407 will be the most useful.
Exodus tell me that there are 7 men and 4 women on the 16th July trek. I will be the oldest (surprise, surprise). There is a couple in their 50's (Is that you Vanessa/Alex?) and the rest are in their 30's. All I hope is that you will all be able to keep up :-)
I get the "are you mad" reaction a lot. My strategy now is that when I return, I print out my best pics in A3 size and show them to these people. Invariably the reaction is the same. "Well you still wouldn't get me to do it, but I can now understand why you wanted to" and that's probably the best you can do. But they haven't seen the mists rolling in, sometimes in columns as if dancing over the mountain side or stood above the clouds seemingly on a desert island looking out to "sea". But, the "sea" isn't moving or making a sound. I really hope there will be some snow underfoot this time as I feel that a mountain without snow on the top just doesn't look right. I've been looking at this site http://www.snow-forecast.com to try to find out, but it doesn't give a definitive answer. All it does tell me is that currently the minimum temperature on the summit at night is between -8C and -10C with a windchill factor of between -10C and -17C. Gulp!!
If you haven't already found it, here is the website for the first and last night lodge http://www.ilborusafarilodge.com. Reviews are divided. Some thought it was good others didn't like it. The main gripe was lack of water for the showers. The swimming pool looks very nice. However, as its not heated and at this time of the year a dip could be quite bracing.
I'll look forward to meeting some of you next week and for the others I hope you all have a good trip and can compare notes when we return to see how many made it to the top.
P.S. SarahJayne there's still time to jump ship and join our group. Your bound to have a much better time!!
we are the over 50's.
The hotel looks good to me and I am sure any water, hot or cold, along with a bed and a very large glass of red wine ( do they do wine I wonder - it was very hard to get in rural Cuba) will be very welcome after the trek.
Like you I have been reading some of the other threads, both before and after, and found them amusing and interesting they certainly add to the growing excitement.
Only three more working days left - I don't do Fridays!
See you soon
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