–Barton Jones – US

We were a group of six (2 men, ages 66 and 27, and 4 women, all age 27) from the US and Canada and had an excellent experience climbing Mt Kilimanjaro with Climb Kili. We took the seven day Machame Route up Kilimanjaro starting December 17, 2012. It is accurate to say it is a trek from the Equator to the North Pole. A. Before the Climb: Climb Kili provided informative, complete and accurate written materials reviewing the route and listing needed gear for a successful trip. They also chose a first rate, very comfortable and convenient hotel, the Impala, in Arusha. We were met by a driver at the Kilimanjaro airport and transfers from and to the airport were timely. Climb Kili’s representative met our group at the hotel a day in advance of our departure to the mountain to review our gear, particularly sleeping bags, and supply any needed additions. B. During the Climb: We were met by Climb Kili’s bus at the hotel including the very experienced head guide, Seraphine Matto, for a smooth trip to the Machame Gate. There we were met by the other experienced guides and the rest of our very friendly Climb Kili support team – a total of 28 including the 3 guides. It was apparent from the start that our guides were experienced and the entire Climb Kili support group were friendly and helpful. We slept two to a mountain tent, each tent in excellent condition. We ate in a walled dining tent and the food was plentiful and very good. Water was also plentiful and pure. We were served morning tea in our tents along with hot water for washing. We also had our own toilet tent. Climb Kili’s guides were very knowledgeable, helpful and informative. They also functioned as a well-coordinated team and met all of our needs and concerns. The pace they set for the climb was just right and we all reached the summit. C. Lessons Learned: Even though it was the “short rainy season”, we should have paid more attention to keeping our gear dry at the start by using garbage bags or other waterproof stuff sacks inside our duffels that the porters carried. Gortex parkas were much more useful than insulated non- waterproof ski jackets. Use of layers for body, hands and head were the best way to ensure comfort and warmth going from the heat of the rainforest to the cold of the alpine level. We all were taking Diamox and that helped ward off altitude sickness and made it easier to sleep at altitude. Ibuprofen was also a must.