If you’ve been following my blog from the beginning, you will know that part of my challenge in preparing for this trip was to improve my upper body and core strength. It needed work. I started my fitness challenge unable to complete 1 military style, nose to the ground push-up. This morning I did 10! I will admit, they were slow, but I did it. Thanks to Cindy for the encouragement and drive to make it happen!
Thanks to all my wonderful family & friends, my gear “wish list” is almost complete. I have borrowed a great sleeping bag, thermarest mattress and a Z-foam mat, so I will sleep comfortably. I received lots of last minute necessities – including a new headlamp, hut booties, water bottle and water bottle parka, liner socks, gaitors and toque. My husband gave me the most recent Garmin 910XT watch. It includes an altimeter and tracks the grade I am walking. I took it on a test walk, and the steepest grade I could find was on Montreal Street – 26%
Who knew one trip could require so many new items?!
Today, my husband and I joined other Kili 2014 team members and mountaineer Angus Murray on a training hike on the Bruce Trail. The purpose of the hike was to try out our gear in conditions typical to the Summit of Kili, assess our fitness level and have fun! Angus has climbed Kilimanjaro seven times and he taught us techniques we will use for high altitude climbing, (the rest step, power breathing, pole use), and tips on packing and organizing our gear. We discussed nutrition on the mountain and what chocolate bars are still edible in -20 weather (Wunderbar and Bounty), where to store snacks in your parka to still access them with your gloves on, and the etiquette of voiding in the bush when wearing multiple layers.
I am happy to report that I had a great day! I was warm (which is an accomplishment – it was -21 with the wind chill, and we were outside from 10-3:30). My feet didn’t hurt. I had no problems keeping up with the group and was not tired or sore the next day. We left the day sharing big hugs with my future climbing partners – looking forward to seeing them in less than a month, at the airport!!!
I have been asked on a few occasions if I received my passport yet…..the wait is over. My passport arrived in the mail today, and has a Tanzania Visa inside! One piece of this preparation puzzle is complete!
In May, I started my training and it was hot, humid and I had to consider how to keep myself cool. Today I had a 13 km walk around Midland. It was freezing rain, snowy, slushy damp and cold. In Midland it has taken 6 months to experience the dramatic weather shift. On Kilimanjaro it will take 5 days to transition from tropical to polar climate!