Thursday, January 14

Route to the Top of a Continent

The route we chose is somewhat of a "road less traveled." It is not commonly traveled and takes a longer to reach the summit. The popular routes are 3-4 days, and 60% of people fail to reach the summit, largely due to altitude sickness. The Shira route, although more challenging, will afford us better altitude acclimatisation and therefore better odds at reaching the summit.

First we fly from the states to Amsterdam, and from there to Tanzania--24hours of great flight service... We have one day to explore the countryside before beginning our big adventure.

Approaching the mountain from the West, we start our journey by 4x4 through the jungle to reach the Shira Plateau where our trek begins. For 6 days we will hike and scramble, acclimating all the while. Essentially, we take "2 steps forward, one step back"--ascending higher during the day, then descending somewhat to camp at night, which is crucial for our bodies to adjust to the altitude. As we go higher, the temperature becomes arctic, and oxygen becomes more scarce.

On the seventh day, we hike and climb on very rugged terrain for 15 hours to reach the summit!

It then takes 2 days to get off the mountain, both due to shorter exit route and lack of need to adjust to altitude during the descent.
When we are off the mountain, i imagine we will take that desperately needed shower, eat, and catch our zzz's on a bed!

1 comment:

  1. Jessica, Thank you for posting this...we were wondering which route you would be taking. 7 days of hiking up and only 2 days to get down....whoa!! Hope you are going up and down those stairs at your work more than twice a day now? Wishing you all the best with your training.