Mount Kilimanjaro

The Road to Mount Kilimanjaro

When I travel, I try to do at least one adventurous activity during my trip. I check to see if the activity has weight restrictions before I sign up. Over the years and at various sizes I have been zip lining, bungee jumping, and skydiving. There are things that I have accepted that I would never be able to do because of my weight or would have to wait until I was skinny.  One of those things was hiking Mount Kilimanjaro or hiking period. There is this assumption that because your heavy that you don’t like to be active and that you can’t do those things. In some ways, I didn’t believe that, but in a way, I did because I wasn’t participating in activities that I enjoy because I felt I didn’t fit in. I love being outdoors, and I can go the distance.
Hiker Sign
Hiking

The Hike

It wasn’t until I came across a picture on Instagram of Christa of Travel Fearlessly, who had already hiked Mount Kilimanjaro. I had never imagined someone my size hiking one of the highest mountains in the world. When I commented on Kristi post, she mentioned she was organizing a group to go in 2019 and asked if I wanted to join the Facebook group. I was hesitant about going with fear I couldn’t do it, and I almost left the group. The group is only 20 women. I was one of the last people to join the Curvy Kili Crew. I discovered that there are plenty of women my size hiking mountains and destroying the myths that these activities are only for the skinny people.  They are showing the world that thin doesn’t mean fit.
The deposit has been made, and I will be hiking Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania Africa in March 2019. We are traveling with Women High On Adventure commonly known as WHOA. There an adventure travel group and completely ran by women. Christa hiked with them before and coordinated this hike for the crew.

 

Daily breakdown of the Mount Kilimanjaro Rongai Route: March 2 – 10, 2019

Day 1- Rongai Gate to Simba Camp, +650 meters, 6km (about 4 miles)

Day 2- Simba Camp to 2nd Cave, +800m, 6 km ( 3.7 miles)

Day 3- 2nd Cave to Kikelewa Camp, +150m, 9 km ( about 5.6 miles)

Day 4- Kikelewa Camp to Mawenzi Tarn, +730m, 6 km (about 4 miles)

Day 5- Mawenzi Tarn to Kibo Hut (Base Camp!), +420m, 9 km (about 5.8 miles)

Day 5/6 Summit Day and International Women’s Day!!!! Kibo Hut to Uhuru Peak, +1,145m, 6km

and then Uhuru Peak to Horombo Hut -2,200m in 15km. (about 10 miles)

We will stop by Kibo Hut on the way down for a quick nap and lunch before heading to Horombo

Day 7- Horombo Hut to Marangu Gate, -1,850m, 20km (about 12 miles)

Preparation

Over the next year as we prepare. The most significant obstacle in preparing is going to be how to get acclimated to the altitude. There aren’t any mountains with high elevation in the Midwest but there are plenty of hiking trails.
List of parks I want to hike in IL and IN.
Swallow Cliff Forest Preserves – 293 Stairs and 8 Miles of trail in Palos Park Illinois
Cowles Bog Trail System – Indiana Dunes National Park in Indiana 4.7-mile trail including ponds, marshes, swamps, black oak savannas, and beaches.
Starved Rock State Park – 13 miles of trails, canyons, and waterfalls.
I also found an app I downloaded to my cell phone by REI called the Hiking Project.  So I will be adding some hikes to the list. You can find a hiking trail no matter where you are in the world.

The Road

There is one more thing that I almost let stop me from signing up for the hike on Mount Kilimanjaro, cancer. After I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, I was afraid that I was not going to be alive in 2018. I still have days that I worry that cancer will come back. In April 2018, I will be cancer free for two years.
My primary focus will be on eating better, being active and not passing up opportunities because of my size or the fear of cancer. I almost forgot. A little reward for getting through the hike, some of us will go on a two-day safari at Arusha to Tarangire National Park. Something else I have wanted to do for a long time.
Stay tuned for updates as I prepare and following along on my Facebook page and CurvyKiliCrew Facebook and Instagram. You can also meet the women I will also be doing the climb.
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