I have an important decision to make.
On July 15th, I’m booked to climbed the tallest mountain in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro. It will take six days to climb. It’s the ultimate test of physical and mental endurance. Over years, this mountain has claimed lives from the daring many, mainly from altitude sickness. The summit is 19,341 feet above sea level so oxygen is scarce. It’s temperatures are below freezing, snowy, and iced near the peak as well. To reach the summit would be one of the greatest achievements of my life. There is only one thing holding me back…
I have been sick for over a week and as of this post, I am still battling a ridiculous almost whooping like cough, random fever like headaches, on and off sore throats, and a sniffling nose. Just two weeks ago, a climber died while on the mountain. He had asthma and his body just couldn’t take the ascent. I’m afraid that if I do climb this thing, ill like I am, I could suffer the same fate. But then again, I read an article about a 55 year old woman who smoked her entire life; she made it to the summit and even lit a cigarette at it’s peak. This may sound nuts but 20 to 30 year old males are the ones most likely not to reach the peak. Reason for that is because they go too fast and don’t give their body enough time to acclimate to the high altitudes. I will not become a statistic.
Altitude sickness should not be taken lightly. I know about it all too well. I succumbed to it last summer while climbing in Peru. I never thought I would have to worry about it. I was dizzy, cold, nauseous, and had no appetite for four days. It sucked. It sucked a lot. The higher the altitude, the harder it is for your lungs to pump oxygen to the most vital organ in your body, the brain.
I never planned on climbing Kili before I came to Africa. It’s too expensive and it takes up too much time. A whole week! I didn’t come with the proper equipment to tackle this beast. I don’t know what changed my mind. I literally woke up one day and decided I wanted to climb it. More than likely, I will probably never come back to Tanzania after this. I love this place, but there are too many other countries with my name on a welcome sign. Climbing Kili is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I’m here now, thousands of miles from home across the globe. This would be my only shot. If I didn’t at least attempt to climb it, I would regret it forever. However, I don’t want to die either.
My housemates are telling me not to. Some are telling me to just go with my gut instinct. I’m still debating. I haven’t made up my mind yet.
If you don’t hear from me for a good week, on here or on Facebook, then I’m probably on the mountain. If that’s the case-Pray for me.