In the morning you can see Kilimanjaro from our hotel. It is a stunning sight and hard to realize that we will be at the summit in 5 days.
Now we are in our first team meeting and Shawn Dawson is going through what we need to know before we set out.
First – control your stress, we are all trained, but we are coping with extreme heat already and altitude will affect us soon. The most important thing is to relax and don’t let your mind defeat you. We can do this, we just can’t defeat ourselves.
Go slow. This is not a race. We take this one step at a time, keep to your own pace and keep to what you know about yourself.
Water – drink all the time, at least 5-6 litres a day. Today, even before we head to the mountain, Shawn has told us to drink at least 3 litres of water today.
Rely on your tent mate – this person is your partner, they can also let you know if things aren’t going well. Share with your partner at all times.
Sleep – try to sleep. There’s lots of time to sleep, it is sometimes hard to sleep on the mountain. Just do your best.
Eating – sometimes people have difficulty eating. You can lose your appetite. It is important to eat and we will have great food. It is important keep your strength.
The routine – we get up at 6:30 every day. Before that – keep quiet, people need their sleep, respect that with you are in a very large group. You leave your tent, the backpacks and duffels come with you. By the time we finish breakfast, the porters are already gone – all 93 porters.
Pacing will be important. On summit night, climbers will be going out at different times depending on the pace climbers have established over the past few days. The goal is to get everyone there at the same time. One point, on summit night if you can’t carry your bag, you stop at Stella Point.
Car – means get out of the way. Porters are coming up and down the mountain all the time. Our job is to get out of the way – and stay on the high side. This is how we have trained since September – now this becomes really important.
Today we also have to weigh our packs. The main duffel has to be no more than 15 Kg. Our personal pack can be no more than 7 Kg. If we go beyond that, extra weight will be taken out before we are allowed to climb.
Today, I will be packing and repacking to get everything just right.