The Regulars – A Trail Called Hope – IV – Kilimanjaro – 2009
Hey guys I am just about at capacity at the moment although I’m waiting on word from the park system in Tanzania regarding the maximum group size.
But with that being said I’m still looking for team mates for the up coming fourth climb of the Regulars www.myspace.com/10mountains10years .
Although I made a general post on MySpace and then on our blog page I don't believe I will get much respose because many people are simply afraid of the mountains. But with that being said, I have sent this you and only a handful of other people I know who I believe just might be up20for the adventure.
This is your opportunity to help shine a light on the need for cures. This is your chance to help the 30 million people around the world who are suffering with Alzheimer’s Disease and or Parkinson’s Disease.
Although Kilimanjaro is the most straight forward of all the mountains on the 10 Mountains – 10 Years project list. It is still a very tall walk up with one of the highest vertical gain’s from base to summit. The top of Kilimanjaro sits at 19,563 ft.
Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa, located in Northeast Tanzania, near the Kenya border. Kilimanjaro is an extinct volcano, and is one of the most massive in the world. It towers 15,000 feet above the surrounding arid plains, and 2.5 square miles of its surface are over 18,500 feet. Beneath its ice dome, snow extends down long gullies that have been eroded in the=2 0mountain sides. Kilimanjaro's summit crater, known as Kibo, measures an incredible 1.5 miles across. The highest point on Kibo's steep rim is Uhuru, the highest peak in Africa. Nestled in the center of Kibo is a smaller crater, 600-feet deep in sulfurous ashes.
The sights will be spectacular. Just imagine looking in on direction to see the African plain’s below filled with giraffe, zebra, lion and other exotic animals. Then look in the opposite direction to see the continents highest mountains – Kilimanjaro.
Kilimanjaro is the world's highest free standing, snow-covered equatorial mountain. Now charted and climbed; stories of her resident man-eating spirits are relegated to the realms of folklore. But Mount Kilimanjaro continues to preserve a mysticism that defies all recent knowledge of her slopes.
Images of the towering snow-covered cone rising majestically from fertile green foothills have become a powerful motif of Tanzania's extraordinary extremes. Few could deny a very distinct sense of awe when the cloud clears to reveal a glimpse of the towering peaks, shining bright in the equatorial sun.
A Towering Life Force
Kilimanjaro represents a powerful life force for the local Chagga people and all those who have made their lives around this mountain, providing rich volcanic soils for agriculture and an endless source of pure spring waters.
One of the most amazing aspects of the mountain in the present day is the accessibility of its peak to climbers with no mountain climbing equipment or real previous experience of scaling such heights.
Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain that regular tourists can climb, although it remains a considerable feat of human endurance! The breathable oxygen at the top is less than half the amount than is common at sea level, and climbers cover at least eighty kilometres on no thing but their own two feet over the five days it takes to reach the top and return.
Preserving the Mountain
The number of climbers has escalated to over a thousand a year during the last century, quite a development since Hans Meyer made history as the first European to scale the highest point of Kilimanjaro in 1889. The increasing numbers each year have made it necessary for the National Park to insist that all climbs are pre-booked, and passes are no longer issued at the last minute at the park gate.
Overall Fitness Required
Although it is possible to simply trek a route to the pinnacle of Kibo without relying on professional climbing equipment, it remains a hard and serious endeavour that requires a level of physical fitness, stamina and a realistic awareness of the potentially damaging effects of high altitudes. Many tour operators request that clients consult a doctor before attempting to scale the mountain, and have a physical check-up for overall fitness.
Phases of the Climb;
First Stage,Tropical Forest
With most of the old lowland forest now cultivated and settled, the first experience of the mountain environment begins with the dense vegetation of tropical montane forest between 1850m and around 2800m. Cloud condensation mainly gathers around the forest, so this area is usually damp or drenched with rainfall, creating an intriguing mass of plant life and running rivers between endemic tree species. The area of heath just beyond the tree line also enjoys a relatively misty and damp environment as cloud clings around the density of trees. This is covered with heather and shrubs such as Erica Arborea and Stoebe Kilimandsharica, and a number of dramatic looking Proteas.
From around 3,200m a wide expanse of moorland extends beyond the heath and the cloud line, so that here the skies are generally clear, making the sunshine intense during the days and the nights cool and clear. The climbing incline remains gentle, but thinning oxygen provides less fuel to energise the muscles and can dramatically slow the pace of walking. Hard y endemic species of Giant Groundsels (Senecio) and Lobelia (Deckenii) towering up to 4m high thrive in this moorland zone and give the landscape a strangely primeval atmosphere.
Alpine Desert, Sparse Vegetation
Even higher, beyond 4,000m, this sensation intensifies as the landscape develops into a more bizarre alpine desert, with sandy loose earth and intense weather conditions and temperature fluctuations so dramatic that barely any plant species survive other than everlasting flowers, mosses and lichens. Only the odd lichen survives beyond 5000m, after Kibo Huts and beyond the Saddle, where the landscape is predominantly rock and ice fields. Here, climbers experience the final steep push to the summit.
Saddle to Summit
The easterly routes, Marangu, Mweka, Loitokitok and Rongai all converge west of the saddle near Gillmans Point, between the peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo. Kibos crater is roughly circular with an inner cone extending to 5,800m, (100m lower than the summit at Uhuru Peak). At the centre an inner crater with walls between 12 and 20 m high contains another concentric minor cone, the centre of which falls away into the 360m span of the ash pit. This is the 120 meter deep central core of the volcano, and casts sulphurous boiling smoke from its depths despite the frozen, snowy outskirts.
Becoming one of the Regulars is not a flight of fancy and will require you to work hard in more ways than you can imagine.
You will promise yourself and others a number of things by becoming one of the Regulars.
Although a more complete list had been developed into what is called (the Regulars 11 Commandments) quick example of what is expected of each person on the Regulars is:
You will be willing to make many sacrifices.
You must be willing to fund raise.
You must be willing to raise awareness.
You must be willing to pay your own way for all expenses.
You must be willing to share your experiences with others.
You must be willing to promote the need for not one, but BOTH Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association AND Michael J. Fox Foundation – Team Fox.
Although the following is not a requirement it is usually best of your family has been impacted by Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s so that you have seen the devastation first hand and can tell others through your own experiences with these diseases.
So guys, with all that said if you want to do this let me know as soon as possible.
Only those who are more than interested need reply to this post.
I need people who are 100% serious about pushing themselves through a very successful climbing, awareness and fund raising season in 2009.
Finding these cures is a very emotional, phys ically demanding, and mentally challenging labor of love. In order to be in the saddle, you’ve got to be up for one hell of a ride.
10 Mountains – 10 Years (A Quest for the Cure)