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Who Makes It To The Summit?

You would think there is an equation for success on Mt. Kilimanjaro, a rule that if you follow, will help you arrive at the summit. Over of the years, however, I have seen everything: a short, fat, overweight woman with no trekking skill climb straight up Western Breach to the summit. A week before that, a huge, Scottish triathlete only makes it three days and has to be brought down because he was having trouble breathing and throwing up.

Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro isn’t hard – it’s like a long, long hike. The thing that gets you is the altitude and how your body adjusts to it. Sure, you can train, eat well, be at high altitudes, spend an extra day on the mountain, and you might have gained some better chance of making it up the mountain, but you really never know. You might get lucky, you might not.

By Peter Baxter | Permalink | 3 comments | December 1st, 2005
Tags: Mountain Warnings on Kili
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By Judi | January 3rd, 2006

Yes, but what did you find were the factors which ensured summiting? I’ll be leaving base camp September 1 and plan to make the top. Will be almost 72 then and will do whatever is necessary between now and then to ensure success.

By Ed | January 27th, 2006

I was 53 when my son and I climbed Kili in 2004.
I prepared with lots of hiking in Wisconsin but we are a little short of altitude. What gave us the best chance was doing a 9 day climb which gave us a 97% change for success. The 5 day gives you only a 50% chance. Your trip may already be cast but the longer a can give your body time to acclimate the better chance you have. We did not use diamox but had it along. We didn’t sleep at Crater Camp but summit day was 1.5 hours up and 6 down instead of 8 up and 6 down from Barafu.
Good luck to you…it’s awesome.

By walktheearth | February 27th, 2006

I think its safe to say that the more fit you are, the better your chance of acclimating.


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