Climber Interview: Jonathan Kraft
State in the US: Colorado
Route up the mountain: Machame
How many days: 8
Number of people in your group: 17
What was your reason for deciding to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro?
So many reasons. Because it’s there, because the snow at the top will (reportedly) be gone within my lifetime, because I am physically and financially in a place where I can, because I want to experience the discomfort – growth only comes in areas of discomfort. I guess the best answer is that I’m going to experience the feeling of knowing that I’ve done it.
How did you research your trip?
I have been reading literally everything I can get my hands on. A list of sites we’ve read are on the Kilimanjaro2006 site. Most of the research has been done online, but we have also watched the National Geographic video, as well as read a couple of other books.
How did you physically and mentally prepare for climbing the mountain?
Physically I have been going to the gym almost every day, doing yoga once/week, and in April, we will be hiking 14k+ mountains every weekend. Mentally my preparation is ongoing. I read a lot of personal development books, which help me to have good philosophies on life. Good philosophies lead to good attitudes which lead to good actions.
What is your biggest fear about the mountain?
Getting ready to go. I don’t know that I have any fears about the mountain itself, but just making sure that I’m prepared with all the gear I need, and I guess not knowing what I don’t know. But I know I’m in good hands, and that the trip is well planned, so that shouldn’t be a problem.
Are you going home afterwards?
Perhaps. We may also stay and do a safari. It’s a bit open at the moment yet.
Have you done any other adventure trips? If so, where?
Well, traveling to China was an adventure, as was living in Germany for four months as an exchange student. So I guess it depends on your definition of adventure, but if you mean “Lug your butt up a mountain” or “trudge through
a swampy bog while fighting crocodiles”, then no. This will be the first time.