Saturday, January 30

Cafe Latte?

Tanzanian law requires that you need an official "outfitter" (mountain guides, porters, etc) to get onto the mountain. Not only does it protect we the trekkers, but also, it gives jobs to Tanzanians. The porters carry the tents and cooking supplies (truly, the heaviest stuff). We carry everything we need between camps. Other than the food we carry during the day, the outfitter provides the food at camp. Typically this means high liquid and carbohydrate content meals. They try to offer fresh seasonal foods when possible (mango, banana, watermelon), and we always have our trusty freeze dried meals (just add water) if needed. Water is treated by boiling. I will also carry iodine and chlorine tablets... just in case. (a case of traveler's diarrhea could be expedition-ending).

In altitude, it is recommended that we drink 4-5 Liters of water per day, and eat lots of food for energy. However, a common symptom of altitude sickness is loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting. ...and if you don't eat and drink, the altitude sickness gets worse, etc, etc...

Sadly, stimulants are not recommended at high altitude. So currently, I am in caffeine withdraw (better to deal with fatigue and headaches now than on the mountain). My beloved colleagues at work don't hesitate to tease and temp me with their aromatic mugs of caffeinated paradise... Yup, they're real special.


  1. What are friends for but to tease, torment and tempt -- actually caffeine isn't all it's cracked up to be.

    Meant to ask -- what season will it be when you climb. At our meeting you mentioned the different tempatures at the differnt levels of the mountain. I missed what season.

    What you all are doing for those of us with PH is going above and beyond... not that I'm saying don't but a great big THANK YOU to all of you for doing it and why you are doing it.

  2. Hey Merle! To answer the question about seasons: Since the mountain is by the equator, there really isn't any seasonal variation... other than rainy season or the "not quite as rainy season." January and February are the best months to go, as it considered the dryer time of year. Other than that, we pass through African Savannah, Rain Forest, Cloud Forest, Heath and Moorelands, and Alpine desert climate zones.

    Can I tell you that i slept in my sleeping bag on the floor, just to get used to it. Getting up with a backache, I had a brief moment of weakness and thought to myself "what on earth am i doing?" My answer to myself (scary, I know) was the appreciation and inspiration i saw on all of your faces at the Unity Walk.

    Its a privilege to be able to do this.

  3. Well, we, PH'ers are not recommended caffeine either!!!! How wonderful to have trained guide and other people to carry your heavy supplies. Just stay healthy and don't let the altitude get to you! I truly enjoyed that video clipping you posted of Mt. Kilimanjaro from Youtube while watching some more while there;-) Thank you.