Kilimanjaro Climb Blog
It's probably better not to agree on the spur of the moment to do something life-threatening, at a minimum, and life-changing under the best of circumstances. A couple of years ago, however, I did just that when the daughter of a close friend called to say she was turning 40 and had always wanted to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain, and would I do it with her. I was so flattered that I am now grateful she didn't throw Everest out there because I might have stupidly agreed to that, too.
We found 5 other women from our home town to join us on this adventure and we trained for 5 months, climbing a couple of mountains in Colorado and adding mileage to our normal runs. The last 2 months we met on Wednesdays at 4 and spent an hour climbing the stairs of a 10-story building with our boots and backpacks.
We made the 9-day trek, 7 up and 2 down, successfully: every one of us did. We reached the summit of 19,340 feet, at 2 PM on October 4, 2008. Our 3 guides among themselves had made about 400 summits and had never had an all-women's group. We never thought that was such a rarity. It was the hardest thing I've ever done but one of the most satisfying. The high point, along with the summit, was sharing the journey with 6 amazing, funny, generous women who never complained or whined but met the challenge with grace. We're headed for the Swiss Alps this year. (Won't have to sleep in tents nor have only a small bowl of water to bathe in…some improvements!)