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Kilimanjaro

The Ascent of Kilimanjaro and Mount Kosciuszko

Kilimanjaro
Kilimanjaro
Kilimanjaro
Kilimanjaro
Kilimanjaro
Kilimanjaro

The Ascent of Kilimanjaro and Mount Kosciuszko

These were Kilimanjaro in Africa and Mount Kosciuszko in Australia. We discussed the details the same night. One month later we were in Africa.

Kilimanjaro is a strange place. A volcano with a crater covered with snow and ice rises near the equator. A humid heat is around its base and with height it becomes colder and colder. A fleece jacket and a down jacket are useful on the summit, the temperature can drop down to minus several tens. While climbing that mountain you pass through the jungle, the dessert and the glacier.

Snow in the centre of Africa. For Africans snow was something inconceivable, difficult to imagine and to describe. The missionaries who arrived to Africa were told by the dwellers about a huge mountain whose top is covered by salt. Even for us it’s difficult to comprehend that snow is lying almost on the very equator.

You should climb Kilimanjaro slowly, at equal pace, so that your body can adjust to the great altitude and the rarefied air. It does not always help. The highest peak of Africa is over six thousand meters. The altitude sickness can make you stop the climb. You must be careful about the weather. Weather conditions on Kilimanjaro change rapidly and a pleasant walk can suddenly change into a fight for survival.

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I and Leszek had exactly one week to ascend the mountain, descend and return to the airport. Therefore we chose Marangu Route called also Coca-Cola Route. We hired the guides and we just set off. We managed to get to the summit after two days of a quiet trek. We reached the target tired and cold but happy. We watched the sunset from the highest peak of Africa and started the retreat.

Less than two weeks later we were already in Australia. Mount Kosciuszko was the last summit Leszek missed for his Seven Summits. In fact, it was just a walk. The ascent of this mountain turned out to be much easier than Kilimanjaro. We just climbed it – without any serious preparations or problems.