Kili Weather

Kilimanjaro Factfile

At 19,340 feet, Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and the only one of the seven summits (highest mountain on each continent) that is accessible without mountaineering equipment and experience.

It's the highest freestanding mountain in the world and one of the largest volcanoes, dormant rather than extinct.

On the summit, the lungs can only absorb half the amount of oxygen compared to sea-level.

The summit at Uhuru Peak is more than 1,600 feet higher than Everest base camp.

Estimates vary, but around 20,000 people attempt to climb Kilimanjaro each year. Almost half fail to reach the summit.

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Help! – I need a Tardis, not a duffle bag

Packing panic has set in today with the discovery that I have approximately 30% more luggage than my bags will hold. I'm also way over the 15 kilo limit of climbing gear to be carried by my Kilimanjaro porter. So, tough decisions have been made. Out goes my fleece sleeping bag liner (bulky and comparatively heavy), half my snacks (though I have reluctantly kept the disgusting – and heavy – energy gels), two pairs of hiking socks (one waterproof), one set of long thermal underwear (the remaining set will be *very* well-used both day and night), small travel-sized bottles of mouth wash, skin toner and face lotion (my feet are more important than my face on this trip, so the foot cooling lotion stays). For my hotel time, I'll be forgoing even the lightweight silky bathrobe and sleeping T-shirt (have to sleep in a 'wicking' base layer). No smart casual wear for the evenings, no loafers or sandals (though I am hoping to cram in a pair of Crocs, somehow), no crop pants for travelling on dusty busses. The fleece dilemma has been easily resolved with the discovery that the thicker Polartec is actually only two thirds the weight of the thinner version. No contest. There's also no possibility of cramming in the ski pants. I may be forced to ditch the down jacket tomorrow, though I'm fighting hard to keep it. Maybe it would be better to pile on the fleece layers and add some fleece long johns to keep the whole body warm rather than concentrating on snuggling for the top half. But I do love that jacket.

I don't know how anyone manages to pack all the kit recommended by the trekking outfitters into one duffle bag (British airports limit) and a small daysack as cabin luggage. My 'overnight' daysack will contain some essentials in case the main bag goes missing en route; fleece-lined goretex mitts, liner gloves, underwear, warm hat and polar Buff, lightweight travel/safari shirt, gaiters and camera, binoculars etc., as well as that base layer set of long underwear. And I'll be clomping around the aircraft like Herman Munster in my hiking boots, of course.


Unknown said...

Wishing you a great trip, and looking forward to hearing all about it when you return!

SAR said...

Thanks, Rocky. It's looking a bit more daunting now the time has come. Post cards will be sent, but you'll probably hear all about it before they arrive.