A quick hello to anyone doing Meru and Kilimanjaro in Feb 14.
The number of weeks to go is now in single figures, so it's all starting to get a bit real. I'm doing some cycling and running to get prepared, but there's not many big hills to climb in Essex which is not helpful, and definitely not enough hours in the day to do everything I probably ought to be doing.
Hopefully Christmas and New Year won't get the better of me (unless I'm supposed to start carb loading now - I'm sure there must be a training plan somewhere that includes turkey, wine and christmas pudding...).
Looking forward to meeting everyone, and roll on Christmas - I left enough hints for walking socks, so if I get a reindeer sweater I won't be happy!
I'm on this trip, too, and I'm beginning to get really excited about it. I'm just back from Mt Toubkal, and will just be ticking over with running and walking for the next few weeks.
I'm a bit worried about how cold it will be on the summit days, and whether I need a better jacket and perhaps down mittens; and also how cold it will be at night - I might have to get a thicker sleeping mat as my Thermarest looks a bit thin.
I don't know how many are on the trip, but I'm looking forward to meeting everyone - it's one of the best parts of any trip.
I'm coming too - my names Graeme, from Stirling, and I'm flying Edinburgh-Amsterdam-Naroibi-Arusha on the way there. I think there are 8 of us on the trip.
Been getting all my injections the past few weeks - elected to get stuck for Rabies and Hep B as well - better safe than sorry. Been getting some contradictory advice about anti-malarials. Got Malarone tablets and am in a quandry what to do.
Lucky in Stirling I'm not far away form the hills so have been able to get a little bit of walking done in preparation although this wet and windy weather is not pleasant.
Anyone hiring kit or is everyone taking their own? I thought we'd need crampons and axe but no mention in the trip notes. The other thing I'm unsure about is whetehr we'll be able to wash our kit at camp - freshen it up a bit. anyone got any ideas?
Let's hope we get better weather in Tanzania than we've had here of late - I'm sick of the rain, and wading through mud, and then spending hours after every walk cleaning boots and kit.
No need for crampons and ice axe on this trip, but poles might be a good idea, if only for the descents. I'm not sure about getting any washing done in camp - I use a lot of merino, so don't usually reckon on doing laundry unless things get really grim. It would be good to leave a 2nd set of clothes for Killimanjaro somewhere at the bottom of Meru to pick up on the transfer, and then to swap it with some dirty clothes. Usually on these trips there's an opportunity to leave a bag somewhere with clean clothes to change into for the journey home but it's not very clear from the itinerary whether this will be possible. I'll email and ask, I think.
I wasn't going to hire any kit, although I'm not sure my sleeping bag is going to be warm enough without a thermal liner, or wearing lots of thermals to bed.
I think I need to get a Typhoid booster, so need to get on with that. I got a prescription for Malarone for this trip when I got the prescription for the Mt Kenya trip last October. I'll take them again - I wasn't aware of any side-effects before.
See you soon!
Think the weather will be a bit of a shock - getting out the plane at Kilimanjaro in 30 degrees will be something else!
Was planning on taking poles for the steep stuff. Likewise with the merino - I'll be dripping in the stuff - and I do like your idea about swapping stuff out after meru - be interested to see what response you get.
I'm taking both my down winter bag and my summer synth bag - then can double bag if it gets really cold - plus got all that merino to wear too. Am sure will be warm enough - just paranoid at how I'll sleep as last time I was above 2500m I found it really tough to sleep. Hopefully I'm not sharing with a snorer!
Am also thinking I should take my 50L backpack as opposed to my 30L - its comfier despite being bigger and a bit more robust (being an Arc'tyrex vs.OMM). how about you?
I've emailed the customer ops team so I'll let you know what they say about leaving kit at Arusha.
My sleeping bag is an Alpkit 4-season one that I've used in teahouses and huts, but not camping in winter at high altitude. According to the Alpkit website, it should be okay for Kilimanjaro, and I do have room to wear my down jacket inside it if necessary. I;ve got a silk liner and a thermal liner, so I hope that I'll be warm enough. I am going to get a better sleeping mat - this one, or an equivalent http://www.cascadedesigns.com/en/therm-a-rest/mattresses/trek-and-travel/neoair-all-season/product
I'm still debating about an insulated jacket that I can walk in - my down jacket is very warm, but very puffy; great in camp, but a rucksack on top isn't a good fit. I've been looking at the Rab and the Patagonia ultralight down jackets.
At the moment, I'm planning on taking my Osprey 33L rucksack which is very comfortable and should be big enough to carry everything I need in the day. My Exodus kitbag came at the end of last week, so it's all getting a bit real!
Thats great - thanks...
You've got me thinking about my mats now - mmm, think i'll still go with my 3season prolite and closed cell foam number - hope thats not a schoolboy error. Worst case scenario I'll sleep on top of my tent buddy!
I'm taking my montane north star puffa for camp/sleeping but wasnt planning on using for walks unless its very very cold - was just planning on layering up - synth vest, silk base, wool base, windshirt, softshell and hardshell - used that in the freezing damp cold of the winter munros and been okay. I have been debating the Montane Prism for a while but just can't commit to buying it as I reckon i'll never use it in the UK - its usually too damp. Maybe they do a womans cut that would work for you?
Got my kitbag too - its getting real!
Hi Fiona & Graeme,
I've been stressing about the cold, but think I'll be ok. Bearing in mind I tend to run cold anyway, I have a 4-season sleeping bag, silk liner, long johns, and I bought some fleece trousers to sleep in too (or to mooch around camp in) if i need them. I also intend to look Merino-tastic most days & nights - gotta love that stuff. I'm hiring the sleeping mat, so don't quite know what they provide. It's the temperature during the midnight dashes to the loo that worries me more!
I have a duvet jacket (Montane down something, not too puffy, very warm and fits well underneath my waterproof jacket) to fall back on too. I'm only taking one walking pole - I find 2 poles too unwieldy and often I need a free hand to drag myself up or over things.
Trip notes (and recently received joining instructions) confirm you can store your main luggage at the hotel, but I don't know if we get access to that on the middle hotel night to re-pack for trek number 2. That would be dead handy if we can.
Looking forward to meeting everyone. Not long now!
I've just heard back from Marta, who checked with the local operator, and we do get access to our drop bag at Kilimanjaro Mountain Resort after Meru and before Kilimanjaro, which is excellent news and should help with the packing.
Hi Fiona. Great news - thanks for checking and letting me know. That will really make the packing easier, and leaves a little room (and weight limit) for some more warm layers or sleeping stuff if need be.
A bit of background about African Walking Company, the local operator
And our accommodation -
Do either of you have Yellow Fever certificates?
The lodges do look amazing and I really can't wait - not least to escape yet more rain and wind which is getting right on my nerves. Not long to go now!
I do have yellow fever, but only from a previous holiday. I didn't get it especially for this trip.
Exodus confirmed to me last week that there's still only 8 people booked on the trip - quite a nice number I think.
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