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!!!
Outward Bound Canada has started to blog about the 2014 Kilimanjaro Expedition. Each week, they plan to post articles featuring the participants that will be raising funds for OBC and climbing Kilimanjaro. I am the first climber featured 🙂
When we are on the mountain, they will continue to blog, sharing our journey on a daily basis.
Outward Bound Canada hosted a “Meet and Greet” for alumni and 2014 participants of the Reach Beyond Expeditions Mt. Kilimanjaro Climb. I met five of the eleven participants that I will be climbing with. We were able to share our fundraising successes (and challenges), training regimes and get to know our fellow climbers for the first time. One of the alumni told us that the experience is “like doing the hardest thing you’ve ever done – while nauseous”. The other climbers that I met come from various backgrounds, different parts of the country, range in age and experience. We all share a common excitement for this opportunity and can’t wait to meet again in Africa!
We had a presentation on gear and packing by an experienced climber. At the end of the night we received a “swag bag” with some Outward Bound promotional material. My favourite part of the whole night – I got a BUFF! As a true Survivor fan (guilty pleasure) – I am very excited to have a buff 🙂
Today I met Sarah Wiley, the executive director of Outward Bound Canada. She participated in the Huronia Triathlon (and won her age group!), so my family & I met her after the race to chat.
Sarah has climbed Kilimanjaro on a few occasions before. She shared with us that last year two of the ten climbers did not reach the Summit – but other years all of the participants did summit. We learned that for the ten participants and two OBC guides, there will be approximately 40 support people from Chagga Tours – Guides, Porters, Cooks, Wait Staff, one poor sole has the responsibility to transport our latrine.
Tonight I had a phone call with Sarah Wiley (Executive Director of Outward Bound Canada and expedition leader) and the other participants. There will be 9 climbers and 2 Outward Bound guides on the adventure. The other climbers are from across Canada. Amazingly, I realized that one of the participants was in my Physiotherapy class at McMaster! What a small world.