It is not a lack of fitness, determination or mental strength that prevents people from standing on the summit of Kilimanjaro, it is altitude. At 5,985m Kilimanjaro is the highest freestanding mountain in the world and altitude sickness can strike anyone at any time – it is the luck of the draw. It is another reason why anyone attempting a climb of Kilimanjaro should go with a reputable climbing company – safety is paramount.
From sea level cities like Sydney, San Francisco and London it is hard to imagine what altitude sickness feels like, but speaking from experience it is ghastly and suffering its effects shows true determination alone.
Everyone would have been suffering some form of altitude sickness, however, a few minutes ago we received word from our Head Guide Ema that Louise was feeling unwell and turned back to camp. Charlotte, Chris, Holly, Kaitlyn, Kelly, Laura, Lynne, Sarah, Tara and Val reached Uhuru Peak at sunrise this morning.
It would have been a beautiful morning on Kilimanjaro – as you climb it feels like you can touch the stars and the Adventure International Guides make the cold and long journey even more enjoyable with songs and stories to keep one foot moving in front of the other.
The aim of 3 Peaks 3 Weeks is not about reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro, it is about dedication, teamwork and empowering local communities in East Africa -
Congratulations 3 Peaks 3 Weeks 2011, you have done just that!