Kilimanjaro Rongai Route 23rd September 2011

Who's joining me!? :)


Ill be there!! Cannot wait!!


Oh yey finally!!! My I've been waiting a long time for somebody to rally with but I see you're not exactly the average Joe ready to support us "mountaineering virgins" :) Guess you've been higher than Kili ey? Perhaps you can advise me - I'm in the midst of deciding on a sleeping bag and I've bought myself a silk liner already. Although one can rent a bag for Kili I also need a bag for a gorilla expedition immediately after Kili and on that trip they dont rent bags :( So I'd still need my own. For Kili its been advised with 4/5 seasons and for the gorilla trip a 3 will suffice but I'm thinking with my silk liner perhaps a 3 will suffice for both or is it a bad idea to risk it? I'll never need the bleeming bag again and a good quality one (4/5 down filled) is just horrendously expensive...


Don't worry, all of the mountaineering I've done has been in the UK, at just over 1,000 meters, so this is my first time at some proper altitude :)

Sleeping bags, hey? Well seeing as I work in an outdoors shop, I hope that I will be able to give you some good advice! I reckon that it would be VERY risky not to take at least a 4 season bag to Kili. A liner is absolutely great, especially the silk ones, because they add about an extra 3 degrees to the overall warmth of the bag.

I'm not sure what the availabilty of their products in Malta is like (it looks as if this is where you come from?) But see if you can find a brand called 'Marmot'. They do great quality sleeping bags which aren't stupid prices. They do a down bag called the 'Angel Fire' which is a womens specific bag and a good warmth. However, if you are going on the gorilla expedition, i would imagine that you might be sleeping in the rainforest? If this is true, completely disregard a down bag, because down is useless when wet. Instead have a look at the 'Marmot Wave 4' synthetic bag. Again its got a temperature rating of -10c but it's heavier than a down bag.

So basically a warm bag I would say is essential! Just take the liner out on your gorilla expedition to remove some warmth! I hope this has helped and that I wasn't going on a bit :)

I had my yellow fever and the first course of my Hep A & B vaccines today. Just three more to go!



Hey Adam! How sweet, thank you for your useful advice!

Yes I live in Malta but will meet you lot in London on the day and fly out together. I hear sometimes it doesnt matter how fit or experienced you are, some dont make it for whatever reason, mainly the bodys reaction to high altitude etc.. I just hope we all make it! That extra day of acclimatization should benefit us all. I love to work out on a daily basis if i can and have heard the stairmaster should be my new BFF!? Any training advice? And yes before you say it, I've been walking 1-2 hours for a few Sundays already to "break into" my new trekking boots! :)

Well re sleeping bag, it's actually just a day trek into the forrest that we'll be doing to see the gorillas, then moving on. It's called the "Gorilla & Masai Mara" trip so it will be 2 weeks travelling through Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya so I'm not too worried about the dampness as we wont be camping in the forrest as such. I've seen the fibre ones are less expensive but as you say but I'd rather opt for quality even though buying all this gear that I'll probably only be using once is proving steep... I get cold very easily so I'll go with 4/5 as you're saying but the Marmot you recommended is only a 3-season and certified -4c whereas we need one -10c min. I found a pretty decent down filled 4/5 season called Vango 1000 5? Speaking of down will you be wearing a down jacket too? I've got myself kitted with a very technical windproof jacket and trousers, to go on top of all the layers. The guy who kitted me who has kitted many expeditions says that its "surely" enough. I know you can rent jackets too but perhaps that would be too much? :S

 Re vaccines.... Hmmm hope I've been given the right info!! I took the 2nd dose of Hep B today (what a coincidence!) but they said yellow fever, typhoid and polio can be given ONE MONTH before departure. In Malta it's more common to be given the wrong information, so I wouldnt be surprised if I've been misinformed? Any recommendations from reliable healthcare on Malaria brands?

Phew! Sorry for all the questions :)



I though that we might have been spamming this page a bit too! But like you said, it's all useful stuff!

I really don't know enough about the anti-malaria stuff to make a decision yet of which to go with, so I'm going to wait until I see the nurse again. Why were you warned off Mefloquine? I think that mosquito nets are provided.

Im not getting the rabies jab. The ones Im getting are Typhoid, Hep A & B, TB and yellowfever. I'm already up to date with diphtheria (these are the ones the nurse reccommended). Fortunately, on the NHS I only have to pay for yellowfever which is £48, which is the important one anyway because you wont be allowed into Tanzania without a yellow fever vaccination certificate! I too cannot wait to see all the animals, the jungle should be great! Would love to see some colobus monkeys :)

The bag I'm bringing is a Marmot Sawtooth, which is the male equivalent of the Angel Fire. Realisticly, its best to sleep with little as possible on to produce plenty of body heat but you can build up with as many layers as needed if you get cold.

When it comes to trekking poles it depends on what I'm doing to wether I have 1 or 2. Nevertheless, I always have at least one, because they reduce the weight on your knees, back and hips immensly. If I were doing scrambling I would only use 1 because 2 just get in the way. If I was walking with a large rucksack for an extended period I would use 2. I'm still undecided for Kili, I think I'll bring 2 and may end up only using 1 depending on the conditions.

A 30-40l rucksack sounds good. Im taking a 45 just because I already have it. And definetly Neoprone covers. Im taking my 2L water bladder for my rucksack and then on summit day Ive got two bottles with neoprone cases which Ill put on a sling and keep inside my down jacket on my neck. Dehydration is one of my main concerns. Are you going to bring any extra purification stuff?

Im still deciding wether to bring my blackberry too :) I dont want all the internals freezing up though! Yeah, it would be pretty cool to update your status at the summit. 'Im standing on the highest point of Africa, at -20c, seeing the curvature of the earth' ;)


Blackberry??? Bring it and let it freeze to death ;) 50 quid says it won't work on summit.

I hadnt heard of diphtheria till now and it hasnt been suggested to me either :S next time you visit dear nurse please ask her if its vital to have this injection, or consider yourself an official assessor to murder.. lol

I think i will bring extra purification, wasnt it meant to keep water from freezing too or was that something else? :S Damn i just got a flash image of myself packing on the night before departure.... not good!! I need to start laying out all the crap and ordering the small bits and pieces too.. something tells me that preparation will be half the battle won against this mountain. Oh, and "pole pole" :) Have you been reading any books/films? 

I'll send my clients an email, the ones who advised against Larium. They live in Uganda and said I could write them anytime :)

P.S. My stat would be "...just standing on top of Africas highest mountain.. tallest freestanding mountain in the world.... no biggie" ;) :))


Hahaha! I knew I was going to get slated for my blackberry! How is your Iphone not going to freeze? Have you got an app that will reheat the thing? ;) And yeah, I'll ask the nurse :p

I wasn't sure about purification, but I think I will bring it. Better to be safe than sorry in some cases! I've never heard that its got anti-freezing properties?! I think you must be thinking of something else! And when you come to pack, lay everything out in front of you then half it! I get really obsessive with keeping weight to a minimum, all exterior packaging comes off etc... and I only take the absolute essentials. But thats some of the fun of it I think!

There is a Kilimanjaro guide book sitting on the shelf at work which I've been taking and reading in my lunch hour. I just hope noone buys it!! Have you found anything to read/watch?

And yes indeed, 'pole,pole'. 'Slowly, slowly!'


Long time no speak!! How are you?

Thanks for that information it's really useful, particularly the part about rabies because I never knew that you had to have more jabs after. And so it seems Primaquine may be the best one to think about?

I clocked up another 12km today! My boots are causing me nightmares at the moment though because I have found they are too narrow. I may have to end up getting a new pair!

The last weekend in June I'm doing a mountain challenge to raise money for a cancer charity. I'll be climbing the highest and 2nd highest peak in Wales, England and Scotland all in 48 hours! Its going to be good training!


Thought I could join in on some of your info. Try to take your yellow fever jabs 3 months before travelling, this is for entry requirements into Kenya more than for health reasons they can be funny about it. Larium is the recommended anti-malarial drug for this area, its high risk area and needs a drug of this strength. The pros are 1 tablet a week instead of 2 daily, the dreams can be very vivid but only on the day you take them.

Take it on the same day every week start 2 weeks before you go and keep on taking them up to 4 weeks after you come back.( they come in packs of 8 approx £21.50).

I would not bother with rabies injections but saying that its always nice to be as upto date with as much as you can afford if travel at the drop of a hat.

Looking forward to seeing you both, good luck with the peaks Adam I'l see you soon



Hello room for another. just found your info. my first job is to find another nurse. i have had hep A. tetinus. and a another. and her only advise was slowley up fast down?. time for a change.

 Adam On the boot front i have changed my boots from meindal to north face because they are a wider fitting. getting on great with them.  there are four of us coming from south derbyshire. SeeYa

Keep well

J box.

Adam Igot my boots from blacks of Tamworth. I think they are part of a large chain. cost me £149.

Do we need to have the yellow fever jab? as hoping to see another nurse next week.

Regards Jbox

Boots first having brought my meindls after two visits to the shop for £165 wore them two weeks in the house then, went a walk . i quickly relised they wern't for me fortunatly one of our party brought them of me.£80 och.  i then visited every out door store in the area tried every boot on twice. and settled for these. had them two months with no problems. and they are leather with solid soles.

previous climbing very little. last year did the three montains in britain.  and one again this year up to now.  our ages range from 42 to 53. all men. who like to have a laugh and a drink. its not the mountain you should worry about,  its the party afterwards, Regards jb 


Hi Gabby the first time I went to Kenya, 3 months prior for YF jab was the minimum requirement for entry, the last time it didn't matter because I was already 6 years into the jab. Don't know if that is still the requirement, that was 13 years ago I just got mine done the same.

Hi JB glad to know I won't be the daddy of the group (47) but looking forward to the post Kili party.



I'm gonna be the only woman on that mountain..!!


I've printed the info and will discuss in Sweden when I'm there next week, perhaps they have more options than here and can get this Atovaquone. I'm def for the more expensive if that's gonna keep me feeling all there!!




ADAM: Atovaquone purchased in Sweden ;)

Remaining balance was paid today! Countdown has officially begun for me, yeyyy! :))

How many trekking poles are you guys bringing? 0, 1 or 2?


Stretches eh? That's a new one!? :) Maybe we should all meditate in the mornings and prey to the gods that we get up there :P No but seriously, stretching, how so?

Hehe you sound like you've got all the boxes ticked ;) Did we already discuss the sleeping mat? Are you renting one? FB hmm.. perhaps my full name will yield results.. Gabriella Arcidiacono.

Re reserved flights would be good idea no? But how do we organize that? :S


I don't know what it does really! But I suppose keeping your muscles moving will stop you getting tired etc...

 No Ive already got a Therm-a-rest Prolite Plus sleeping mat which I've used at -10c in Wales before! I think we have to contact exodus to get reserved flights, I'm not sure if there's an extra charge either.

The price of my Atovaquone was a pleasant suprise today. Wasn't anywhere near as much as I thought it was going to be!


Oh yes p.s... not taking any anti-malarials until the last day, in prep for my 2-week rwanda/uganda/kenya trip just after Kili... they say its not neccessary at those altitudes!


Just thought we'd say hello, we're going to be joining the trip in Nairobi as we'll be on safari the week before the trek. We're going to be on our honeymoon after getting married in Ibiza on 17th Sept....for some reason we thought this would be a good idea (the trek - not the marriage!).

We're pretty much jabbed up and are now trying desparately (and not very successfully) to raise our fittness levels!

 Looking forward to meeting you all.....

Sonia & Stu

Aye up Sonia & Stu . hope you have a great wedding day and every thing goes well.

went to see the Doctor yesterday inreference to malaria and altitude tabblets. came away with nowt. as he was a ex everest experdition doctor. he advised me that unless a doctor was present i should not be taking any altitude tablets-due to it masking other symtoms. as for malaria i have to go back when he,s researched whats best for me. managed to get a good mat and sleeping bag as tesco's are doing a good deal at moment. walked to work this week about 3 mile no blisters and feeling good. LOL. 4 WEEKS TO GO. we will be arriving the day before as we fly from amsterdam.  will put one behind the bar for you all.

 Keep Well. JB  


Hey Sonia and Stu! Hopefully it's going to be one hell of a honey moon for you both!

So now there's at least 8 of us. I really CANNOT wait! Hey JB, that's really put a spanner in the works for me if an expedition doctor has said that.

Sonia, I'm taking chlorine dioxide tablets and I use sachets of Dioralyte or Nuun tablets for flavour and rehydration.



Hi all,

Sonia has been to see her Dr today whih has prescribed her some Diamox  (20 tablets for only £4...seems cheap?! But it's deffinately the right stuff!). One theory we've read (which is sort of in ageement with JB's expedition Doc), is that is by taking it as a preventative measure, you're depriving yourself of a possible cure should you need it - i.e. if you do develop AMS, and have already taken Diamox then the only thing you can do to relieve the symptoms it is to decend....but then again, surely you would have already delayed the development of those symptoms by taking it in the first place?! 

Anyway, we're going to take some with us anyway and see how we're feeling 24hrs prior to summit day (if indeed we make it that far!). 

FYI - this is a really good article regarding altitude: 

Not long now...can't wait to get going!! 



Hi all, I am just realising that this is available, I am climbing Kili too:) Cant wait to meet you all and take on this challenge. Is everyone all set? ash


urhmm.. what material should underwear best be Gerry? :S still need to buy this..! I guess there will be no washing clothes up there so need plenty sets. And Adam stop being such a goodie-goodie! It's 4 weeks left and you've even got your dollars!! Whats wrong with you! :P :)


The blend ive got is 90% polyester & 10% elastene for stretch. this works the same way as your base layer taking moisture away from the body so no chaffing, also controls odour. Avoid cotton because this absorbs moisture and will leave you wet & sore on a trek especially if its hot. hope this helps

cheers gerry


......what the hell are high-altitude glasses?


Good call on the undies Gerry, we went into M&S today and got some too!



I hope there  for wine or beer but no there for reducing light & glare through your sunglasses by about 8%  ileagal to drive with. You will be ok without them.


Ok so now theres 4 weeks  to go has every one sorted out their water, remember summit day you will need a flask with neoprene cover kept inside your jacket to stop it from freezing, your camelbak will freeze before you top out. I ve had this happen and it didnt go well, so bring a flask as well, 1 or 2 litres.

cheers Gerry



Sorry but just to advise, You will need camp shoes , try to avoid open toed footwear or flip flops. Stub your toe or cut your foot & trek over ( stubbed my toe once on a climb, nasty cut it was murder for about a week) trainers are fine until it gets to cold & then stay in your boots. Bring old trainers to leave with the porters they will be over the moon. make sure you bring a hand torch as well as a head torch & if you can a magnetic/hook tent torch, sainsburys garage are doing one for 2.99. Wet wipes are a must and iodine for cuts or water purification or though it tastes like s**t. 

sorry if I sound like an old man lol


ehhhh sorry :-) hadnt seen there was a pg 2!! lol


Its been good to read all your top tips as Im leaving on 30th Sept for the same on the same trip.. Good look to you all.


with risk of sounding like i love my mobile phone too much (no seriously, i dont intend on using it much but i will be turning 30 on the mountain so i'd be expecting a few calls lol!!) how do you guys plan on solving the charging issue? has anyone bought a solar charger? does anyone have any experience with this, what to think about, what works what doesnt? etc


Are they coming with you Gerry?


unfortunatly they won't be Gabby, my daughter is moving home & my grandaughter is going to Canada for a holiday at the same time. I shall say happy birthday from the top of Kili.(hopefully).


Well having what will probably be my final blow out before the trek, big roast & a few drinks. My stomach has already shrunk, which is a good thing lol, still plenty of shrinkage needed


i've been barely been to the gym once in the past 2 weeks. havent been on a 1-2 walk in a month? too busy at work :( but will make it a point to do something daily from today on! oxygen course is going ok tho yday's session i reached an "altitude" of 5000m and i was on the verge of falling asleep.... soooooo incredibly tiring... yawn!!

re mobile charger im investing in a solar charger called solio, comes with all the adapters for various gadgets such as cameras, mobiles, ipods etc. hoping to pick up a local SIM card as soon as we land in tanzania to save on roaming charges!


(1-2 HOUR walk in a month)

AYE UP.  Gaby Ref underware. had a team meeting (4 on us) and decided lace was best. if that helps. purchased malaria tablets on saturday price varied from £66 to £40 from asda. tried to hire a coat from exodus for one of the team unfortunatley none left so if your thinking of hireing be quick. and thompson holiday agents were best for currencie exchange. can't stop of to M/S for new clouts. Love the Derbyshire lads. LOL.



LOL! :))


Started the anti malaria this weekend, no side effects to note. Hope it stays that way lol


Not taking any anti malaria for this trip... hope it stays that way LOL!!! ;)


Aye up me ducks

MONDAY. 1800hrs  Just got of the phone to a man who climbed kili last week. he says very importent to take plenty of lip balm and a face protector ie scarlf/motorcycle style mask (cotton) because of the dust. his lips are still sore after a week? also he recomends downs mittens and coat because of the cold. take loads of sweets ect. last but not least , 24 in his party 17 made it to top. take plenty  of wet wipes and hand gel because washing facilitys are very basic if any, lucky to   get water to wash. not wishing to tell you how to suck eggs but hope this info helps. now where did i put my passport xx 



Aye up JB got me motorcycle mask packed, loads of wet wipes, lip balm. We have our own porta loo and you get a bowl of hot water a day from our boys apparently. Nail brush is big on the list of things people wished they had brought. Dont forget to cut your nails before we go cheers see you in 4 days :)


Soooo excited! :D How are we meeting on Friday? Are we gonna meet before check-in? It says recommended check-in 3 hrs before and I wanna see if I can pick up a moneybelt etc once inside the duty free shopping area. Shall we arrange anything guys or just see you at the gate?


Back from my Expedition Skills course in the Peaks now. Nice and muddy and achey ready for Friday!! Unfortunately I've picked up a little bit of a cough, so I'll be nursing that in-between my carb loading (it certainly won't stop me though).

 Was great fun doing Mam Tor and Kinder Scout with a 15kilo rucksack, my legs are certainly in shape now. I'm off to frantically wash and re-pack, see you all Friday :D


I'l be heading for a drink  after check in and relaxing before the hard stuff, may see you there.




Nice Adam! You can carry my daysack too if you want, no prob. And I've been coughing for over a month now, should've gone to doc and probably had a dose of antibiotics but as the ultimate spiritual way goes.... f*** it. See ya all tomorrow with your Exodus tags!!! :))

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