Sunday, September 28, 2014

Kilimanjaro Challenge 2014...the final training week!

Check out our Challenge Teaser.
Thanks to Chris Mostert at Shush...
This is the interview that Winners and I did with Carrie Adams on this station.

I was on Talk Radio 702.
Note that I did not have a firearm!
I have left in the first two digits of my ID number,
 as no-one believes I am 61.

With Chris Avant-Smith at Radio Today

The Midrand Gautrain station.
Many thanks to Gautrain for sponsoring gold cards for the team
to get to and from the airport.
Much appreciated that we DON'T have to sit in traffic.

The team will be in Tanzania on Friday, 03/10
awaiting the start of the culmination of months of training.
It is hard be comprehend that what was an idea at the beginning of the year
 is ALMOST a reality.
To see all the Kilimanjaro Postings to date,visit:

Today, Monday, Terence, Winners and I
went of to the Netcare Travel Clinic for our vaccinations.
We were all very brave and the staff were excellent.

Winners taking it like a man.
Not a tear was shed!
We have all our meds as well.
Many thanks to the team at Netcare for a painless (almost) experience

The team...
L-R: Winners Shishenge, Bianca Schulte,David Batzofin, Terence Parkin
This was our first team meeting at The Argentinean Bakery in Linden

Each team member has their own personal reasons for climbing.
My Dad died on October, 6th 2004...(day 2 of our climb)
It is also the tenth anniversary of his death.
Time has flown...
 I will dedicate this climb to his memory

Our intrepid team sets off on our final training walk.
L-R: Terence, Winners, Bianca and David
We have less than a week left to train before we leave.

My kit has been lying on this bed for months.
It finally went from this...

To this...
And NO, the crocheted blanket is NOT coming with.
Not quite finished, but about 80% done

Terence's gear all laid out.
A far cry from when he packed to swim at the Olympics...

This is Bianca's suitcase...
Winners, where is yours?

Pure protein...
Dried wors(sausage) from Rembrandt Butchery in Linden.
Many thanks to Jaco  for remembering.

Thanks to Rhona, at Komatie for the biltong.
I know that the team cannot wait to eat it.

A big thank you to Trevor at Lite Optic.
I cannot wait to let the team test these.
Mag Light Pro+ can be used as a tent light.
And the Gerber Octane can be opened with one hand.
The Silva Trail runner will be lighting our way to the summit.
Thanks to Andrew and James for getting the invoice sorted in double quick time

According to Simon, I am now an official Clik brand ambassador.
No pressure to summit will all their kit.
At least with the tripod, I can be in the pictures!

We made it into the Saturday Star.
A well written article.

I found this at St Vincent, and thought that it was rather apt for our Challenge

The official flag is up on the wall at the corner of Oxford Road
and Jellicoe Ave,Rosebank.
Several smaller ones will be going to the summit with the team.

Our media conference, held at St Vincent.
It has been a while since I was in a school hall...

Terence on Vuka on ANN7

Awaiting my turn to be interviewed.
Not certain why both the presenter and I look so SERIOUS.

The team dinner at Heia Safari Ranch,
 the night before our first team training hike

On 10 October 2014 the team will stand at Uhuru Peak,
 raising awareness for this school and the work they do.
Educating the deaf started in King William's Town (Eastern Cape) in 1888.
The Congregation of the Dominican Sisters of St Catherine of Siena
 moved their school to a property in Melrose, Johannesburg called "The Haven"
The school was named after St Vincent Ferrer, a 14th century Dominican preacher,
renowned for restoring hearing to the deaf.
The school has been educating deaf children for the past 75 years.
To find out more about the school,
visit their website:

Those who have climbed Kilimanjaro,
will know that the toilets leave a LOT to be desired!
Hence my insistence on taking a "Porta-loo" with us.
WELL worth the extra cost.  

I always like to carry "mascots" with me
On this trip I will have my Gnome, the white hare called Kwandhare
and an Origami heart made by my daughter, Jayne

From a global warming aspect,
it will be interesting to see how the glaciers on the summit have changed.
In 2006 they were melting and instead of the water running down the mountain,
it was evaporating.
Not good for the farmers at the base of the mountain.

This is the itinerary for the October, 2014 Challenge...
The Rongai Route
Total hiking distance on this route is about 81km

Sunday 05 October 2014  
Starting point: The Rongai Gate. 1200m
End point: Simba Camp. 1800m
Terrain: Rain Forest
Distance: Approx 8km
Total time: Around 4 hours
After an early breakfast, a senior guide will conduct your climb briefing.   
You will then be driven to Rongai Gate, where you will meet the rest of your guides and porters. 
 After the formalities at the gate have been completed, begin your ascent to the first cave en route.  
This part takes you through the cultivated area of the mountain, where you can see how local farmers tend to their lands on the slopes.  
Overnight at Simba Camp (1,800m).

Climbers on the skyline

Monday 06 October 2014  
Starting Point: Camp 1. 2800m
End point: Kikelewa cave camp at 3600m
Terrain: Heathland/Moorland
Distance: Approx 14km
Total time: Around 7 hours
Early in the morning, begin trekking out past the second cave, and on to the third cave.   
The climb today is relatively difficult, taking you through forest and well into the moorland.  
Overnight at Kikelelwa Camp
Tuesday 07 October 2014 
 Start Point: Kikelewa cave camp. 2800m
End point: Mawenzi Tarn Hut at 4330m
Terrain: Alpine desert
Distance: Approx 8km
Total time: Around 7 hours
This is an acclimatisation day - you will hike further up the mountain, then return to third cave for overnight.
Wednesday 08 October 2014  
Continue ascending to Mawenzi Tam Hut, which should take approximately 7 hours to get to.  Overnight camping at Mawenzi Tam Hut (4,330m).
Thursday 09 October 2014  
Start point: Mawenzi Tarn Hut. 4330m
End point: The Kibo Huts. 4695m
Terrain: Alpine desert.
Distance: Approx 8km
Depart to Kibo Hut, which should take you approximately 4 to 5 hours.  
Settle down for an early night camping at Kibo Hut (4,703m). 

This is the goal...5895m.
The summit of the highest free standing mountain in the world.
(All the other mountains in the 7 summit challenge are part of a range)
I am told that a new sign has been placed at the summit.
I look forward to confirming that in person
Friday 10 October 2014: 
Summit Day!!  
Starting Point: The Kibo Huts at 4695m
First landmark: Gillman's Point at 5686m
Second landmark: Uhuru Peak: 5895m
End point: The Horombo Huts at 3690m
Terrain: Alpind desert scree slope with ice/snow and glaciers
Distance: Approx 6km
Total distance for the day: Approx 22km
Total walking time: Around 10-15 hours

Today you will be heading for the highest point in Africa - Uhuru Peak (5,895m).  
You will be woken around midnight to commence the 5 hour hike,
 on heavy scree up to Gillman's Point (5,686m).  
You will be walking in the dark as the ground is frozen and this makes it easier to ascend this steep section. 
 As you reach the Crater Rim, the sun should be rising to display Africa in all its glory beneath you.  The views are spectacular and it makes the entire journey worth every step!  
Continue another 1 or 2 hours to Uhuru Peak, along the wide paths of the crater rim, peering down onto massive glaciers shining in the morning sun.  
Arriving at Uhuru can be quite emotional, with the strain of the summit finally behind you and Africa surrounding you!  
After a few photographs at the summit, begin your steady descent to Kibo Hut for a rest and some nourishment, then continue to Horombo Hut to camp for overnight.
Saturday 11 October 2014 
Start point: The Horombo Huts at 3690m
Final destination: The Marangu Park gate at 1800m
Terrain: Heathland/Moorland and Rain Forest
Distance: Approx 20km
Time: Around 7 hours 
After breakfast, descend to Marangu Gate.  
You will be transferred to Keys Hotel for a well-needed shower and an evening of celebration by the swimming pool.
Our Challenge is complete!

Sunday 12 October 2014  
We head back to  Kilimanjaro International Airport,
and our flight home.
With many stories and experiences to share with family and friends. 

Once again, all being well, the Radio Today flag will flutter at Uhuru Peak.
And this time it will be joined by several others!

Stay tuned to my " Travel & Things " radio show as we build up towards the expedition.
The show airs on a Saturday between 09h00 and 10h00 (South African time)
The show is rebroadcast on a Wednesday between 19h00 and 20h00 
1485am broadcasts live from its Johannesburg studio
and nationally on DStv audio channel 869.
Radio Today (@Radio2Day) also streams via its website:
AND on cell phones:
All the podcasts can be found via this link:
So you have no excuse!


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This is the third year that I will be participating

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