MM Collection
Checking in from the Condor's Nest on Illimani, Bolivia. MM Collection
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November 16, 2011

Kilimanjaro - Congrats to Linda D. - Aug. Climb

“Look who is standing on the roof of Africa... why... it's me!” Congrats to Linda D. who shares some of her experience here from the August Kilimanjaro climb.
 

Linda on the summit of Kilimanjaro, via the Western Breach.

I have been so busy since I returned from my amazing Mountain Madness Kilimanjaro trip to send this before now.  I just wanted you to know what an unbelievably life-changing experience this was for me.  Everything was simply fabulous.  The food was far beyond my expectations.  The cook even made me a birthday cake (my birthday was on the day of the summit)!  Looking back, the whole thing almost seems like a dream.

I must confess that the Western Breach wall almost did me in; but with the support of the group and particularly the incredible guides and porters, I made it to the summit.  I will never forget the words of encouragement offered to me by Ben, our head guide, when I was struggling to breathe on the day of the western breach ascent and found myself actually saying out loud (not in my head!) that I did not think I was going to make it.  He said, "Linda, there are millions of people in the world who will never do what you are doing right now."  With that, I scrambled upward with unparalleled zest for at least a good ten minutes! 

We ascended 1-1/2 miles that day (about 3,000 feet), but it was an almost vertical climb for nine continuous and arduous hours.  It was not fatigue or any lack of strength that caused the doubt, but, rather, the thin air that was truly affecting my head that day.  The day before, we had camped at the base of the lava tower; and I had the unexpected pleasure of making that climb, again with the help and guidance of two of the porters.  The view from the top of the lava tower was astonishing, and I was so happy to have reached the top.  Such an innocent . . . no idea of the day ahead!

I chose just a few photos (although I have hundreds!) that I thought you might enjoy

Western Breach wall, at the top the crater

Lava Tower.

Top of Lava Tower.

Thank you so much for everything!  It will be hard for me to ever top this.