With careful planning and a bit of training, the summit of the world’s highest free-standing mountain is entirely within your grasp. Here are 5 top tips to help you get there.
Take your time
Trekking Kili is a once-in-a-lifetime event for most of us – so take your time to make a plan. Dismiss any itinerary of just 5 or 6 days for the ascent and descent; that’s far too quick to enjoy the scenery, enjoy the company of your guide and to give your body a chance to adapt to the altitude.
Route choice is crucial: the longer your route, the better you will acclimatise, increasing your chances of summiting. Whichever route you chose, walk slowly (your guide will see to that!). Stop for pics and to look at your surroundings and appreciate the ever-improving view.
Go with a reliable company
There are dozens of operators out there: pause and check-out precisely what’s included in your trek pack. We have been working with our guides since 2004 and have a 100% success rate with them. That means everyone who has set off on a Kili trek with Venture Co has summited. That’s not a bad record! They even got me to the top to celebrate my 50th birthday!
Make sure your trek company takes proper care of their mountain crew. Even these days you see porters trekking in flip-flops or bare feet. That really is inhuman. Caring for trekkers is of course crucial, but the mountain crew are just as important. Before you book ask how experienced the guide is: our guides have summited hundreds of times! Our crews have proper footwear and mountain clothing.
You will be burning a shed-full of calories, so eat plenty at meals and drink more water than you think you want (a hydration system such as Camelpack is essential). Take track snacks such as energy bars and the handy snacks sold in places such as Cotswold Outdoors. These are best to buy in the UK. Locally you can buy nuts and dried fruit. Boiled sweets are also good.
Get fit before you go.
Many treks around the world allow you to get fit during the trek. You put yourself at a huge disadvantage if you hit the slopes of Kili out of shape; get fit first. Wear-in your boots and gear and get those legs pumping. And in the words of Cool-hand Luke “Get your mind right”! Make up your mind that you are going to summit. Full stop. And on that last day as you battle up the slope think about why you’re doing this rather than what you’re actually doing.
Two final comments:
• Take a camera you’re familiar with and that’s compact enough to fit into an outside pocket.
• Summit day starts at about 2 a.m. so time your trek to coincide with the full moon. It makes it all an especially magical experience and saves your head-torch battery!
So whether you’re planning to join a group climb, a charity climb or tackle Kili solo give us a call and we can make the right introductions.