On Saturday May 17th, we headed out on an adventure to climb to the first hut of Mount Kilimanjaro. We set out on a bus in the morning. We arrived at Mount Kilimanjaro National Park and we set out for the climb after about an hour of checking in. Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is something that not many people from America can say they have climbed or even seen, so it is an experience I surly won’t forget.
We started the climb around 11:30 A.M. with the thought of it taking about three hours to make it up to the first hut, and about an hour descend. I remember thinking after the first ten minutes that it was probably not going to be as difficult as some made it out. We came across a chameleon which was really cool since I actually used to have a pet chameleon. We continued our climb and we got to our first steep climb of the adventure. We got through it and I remember thinking if there are many more of those, then I would know why people said this would be very tiring. As it turned out, there were many more of the steep climbs that required much energy and strength to make it up. We took a few breaks and reached the halfway point a little ahead of pace. Our group decided to take a pretty long break to recover and stretch out.
We set off and many of the people that were with the large group began to slow down. We lost about a quarter of the group that was with us at the halfway point on this last stretch. It was exhausting when you make it up a steep climb, then turn the corner and there was another steep climb, then another. The last hour of the trip was almost non-stop steep climbs which made it extremely difficult and exhausting. Every corner I hoped for the end which turned into another steep climb. I will never forget after I climbed the last steep climb and turned the corner to see an open field with huts signifying we made it. We arrived at about 2:15 P.M. a little ahead of schedule. I was exhausted and extremely hungry at this point and all I wanted to do was sit down and enjoy my lunch. We had just climbed 9,000 feet, and to do this travelled about 5.5 miles uphill.
I was a little disappointed in the fact that the whole climb was wooded so we could not see down the mountain or to the top of the mountain. The guides informed us if we continued for another 15 minutes we would be able to see the top of the mountain. About half of the group decided to make the 15 minute hike. We got to the point and looked up and seen the top of the mountain. It was breathtaking and beautiful and made the last 15 minutes worth climbing.
We then began the climb down the mountain around 4:00 P.M. This was much easier going down compared to going up, but still took a long time. I was exhausted from the whole day and we finally reached the bottom around 5:30 P.M. again tired and aching after travelling about 11 miles on a mountain.
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro was an amazing experience that I can now share it. Not too many people are fortunate enough to climb this mountain. It is something that I will do again, only if I train a little more beforehand. I think this would make the adventure a little more enjoyable for me; however it still was an amazing experience.