Alan Arnette’s Kilimanjaro Climb Begins

roadLast week I posted a video of Alan Arnette sharing his gear for Kilimanjaro with the rest of us. At the time, Alan was busy preparing to leave for Africa, where he would be climbing that mountain, which is the sixth of his Seven Summits for Alzheimer’s expedition. After spending a few days in Europe, Alan arrived in Tanzania a few days ago and began his Kili climb in ernest today. He also started blogging about his adventure, giving us all the opportunity to follow along as he heads to the Roof of Africa over the next few days.

Today’s entry is a brief one, but brings back quite a few memories for me. When climbing Kilimanjaro you actually pass through five different climate zones on the way to the summit, and today Alan hiked through the Could Forest. In his update, he notes that it felt more like Costa Rica or Hawaii than Africa, and when I did this leg a few years back, I thought the same. It was warm and humid and it didn’t take long for me shirt to get soaked in sweat. That shirt wouldn’t dry until I returned to Arusha at the end of the climb.

Alan his trekking the Machame Route, which is considered one of the more challenging, but scenic. I took the same route when I was there, and as he describes the trail, I can remember it well. It was a steep ascent, gaining more than 3800 feet of altitude on the first day, but by the time you’re finished, you’ve arrived at camp, which sits on the edge of the next climate zone, an alpine marshland. Alan will hike through that tomorrow.

For anyone considering a Kilimanjaro trek, you’ll definitely want to follow along with Alan’s blog over the next few days. I’m sure he’ll be posting regular updates on his progress, and he’ll likely be sharing lots of information from the trail. It could also be insightful for those considering the adventure, as it is more challenging than what some would lead you to believe. That said, it is also amazingly beautiful and one of the top treks in the world.

Alan was more fortunate than I was on my first day on Kili. I didn’t see any wildlife of note that day, but he reports that his team was shadowed by Blue Monkeys at one point. I had to wait until I was on safari to see the wildlife, and if you’re going to Tanzania to do Kili, you owe it to yourself to stay a few days longer to visit the Serengeti as well. It is one of my favorite places in the world, easily living up to, and exceeding, all expectations.

Kraig Becker