Ultimate Kilimanjaro® is proud to be the official Kilimanjaro operator for The Heroes Project, a nonprofit organization that supports climbing programs for wounded marines, soldiers and veterans.
The Heroes Project and Ultimate Kilimanjaro® will lead Sergeant Julian Torres USMC Ret on Mount Kilimanjaro. Julian lost both legs while serving in Afghanistan in 2010. The expedition, called Operation Kilimanjaro 2015, will put the team at the top of Kilimanjaro on Veteran’s Day, November 11th. It is our honor to host Julian on Kilimanjaro and take part in his achievement.
What happens when a fashion model climbs a mountain? Not surprisingly, she faces the same challenges as everyone else. And no, being a model does not mean the rigors of trekking outdoors will cause her to break. Ultimate Kilimanjaro client, Jocelyn Luko-Sandstrom, climbed to the top of Kilimanjaro with a group of Hong Kong celebrities and models. She talks about her experience on Mount Kilimanjaro in the Hong Kong Economic Journal. Jocelyn is also featured in the new Adventures to the Edge documentary series.
President Barack Obama said Sunday that climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, a safari in the Masai Mara and a beach holiday in Lamu were all on his bucket list for after his presidency.
“I know that there are places in this beautiful nation that I haven’t discovered, so I am gonna make sure when I get back, and it is not just Kenya, it is an ecosystem connected from Uganda to Tanzania,” he told Kenya’s CapitalFM in an interview marking the end of his Kenya visit.
“Climbing Kilimanjaro seems like something that should be on my list of things to do once I get out of here. The Secret Service generally doesn’t like me climbing mountains, but as a private citizen hopefully I can get away with something like that.”
The 5,895-metre (19,341-foot) peak, just over the border in Tanzania, is Africa’s highest mountain.
He said he loved the Masai Mara and Serengeti national parks in Kenya and Tanzania, and had fond memories of a trip to Lamu island, on Kenya’s Indian Ocean coast, that he made with his wife Michelle when they were engaged.
“Lamu is high on my list. Michelle and I went there when we were engaged, I remember taking those dhows out, fishing, and the captain of the boat cooking the fish right on the beach. It was remarkable,” he told CapitalFM
Guides and porters of budget operators are threatening to strike again over low wages and poor working conditions. Our customers need not worry. Ultimate Kilimanjaro staff are paid well and treated well. We are one of only four USA based Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project (KPAP) partner companies, which means every one of our climbs are independently monitored to ensure compliance with proper porter welfare guidelines. We have a happy crew and happy customers.
Tim Ward, best selling author of Zombies on Kilimanjaro and Ultimate Kilimanjaro client, writes about his peak experience.
There is that moment when the indigo sky pales and the stars slowly vanish, yet the sun is still hidden. What time is it? You can’t guess. You are near the top of an all night hike – one way, uphill – to the roof of Africa.
The air is winter cold, though it’s July and you are standing near the equator. Your lips feel rough and numb, like they have freezer burn. For the past five hours you have thought about turning back. You might have feared you would fall asleep and wake up half frozen. Or tripped on your leaden feet and tumbled into the darkness, a human avalanche. You wiggle your toes and you don’t feel a thing. You beat your hands together, move your fingers inside your gloves as if playing piano, not hoping for sensation, but just to keep them in motion.
Somehow you persevere, putting one foot in front of other, encouraged by your Tanzanian guides, whose good humor on the trek is mostly welcome, but dang, they make it seem so easy. “Po-le, po-le, slowly slowly:” they urge you in Swahili not to push too hard. As if anything about this was easy. And yes, “Hakuna matata,” they say with a lilt in their voices, “No worries!”
What’s it like climbing Kilimanjaro? In this episode of Million Ways to Live, author and documentary filmmaker, Luke Sniewski, along with professional mountain guide, Eli Mamuya, show what it takes to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.
Luke: What you see behind me is the world’s tallest freestanding mountain. Mount Kilimanjaro is the pride of Tanzania and represents the social, economic and agricultural foundation of this region. Today on Million Ways to Live, we meet someone whose job is leading people as they achieve their lifelong dream of reaching the roof of Africa.
Eli: My name is Elibahati and I’ve been on top of Kilimanjaro over 100 times. The word Kilimanjaro is the first part Kilima means mountain. Njaro means God. For those who are living on the wind side of the mountain. This mountain helps us. As a source of rain, the people who are living around here. The eggplant, bananas, coffee, corn, beans. It helps alot with agricultural especially.
Luke: Eli has wanted to be a guide since early childhood. Growing up only one kilometer from the national park entrance, he spent his childhood talking to travelers. And the soft skills he learned made him the guide he is today.
Eli: I do enjoy working with people. The way I do inspire my clients to reach the top, I do encourage them to eat as much as they can, drink well, an stay positive.
Luke: Less than 50% of those that attempt to summit Kilimanjaro succeed, mostly due to the harsh cold weather conditions of summit day or because of succumbing to intense altitude sickness. Eli and his team manage the challenging task by conducting health checks twice daily and making sure everyone is eating and drinking plenty of water. Their best strategy for client success, however, is setting a slow and steady hiking pace.
Eli: I said, “Pole, pole.” “Pole, pole” meaning “slow pace, no rush.” And we even sometimes advise clients to stay longer days on the mountain because that helps with acclimatization. You get used to altitude, so they can’t affect you even getting to the very top.
Luke: We’re nearing the end of day four and all of us are feeling the altitude a little bit. We’ve got light to moderate headaches but we’re doing the best we can. We’re moving. We’re doing burpees and exercising at 4,200 meters. I don’t know if that strategy will pay off but we’ll see when we get to the top, if we get to the top. But our spirits are high. The porters are singing and dancing. And we’re getting good meals and we’re just going to keep it going.
Porters signing: Jambo, bwana! Habari gani! Mzuri sana!
Eli: “Hakuna matata” – basically this word is from Kenya – Kenyan Swahili – meaning “No worries.” While you are in Kilimanjaro we like to tell the clients “Hakuna matata” so you don’t have to worry. You are with the guides taking care of you. So hakuna matata.
Luke: Mount Kilimanjaro is symbolic for a life well lived. Throughout life there are peaks and valleys that are fun, challenging and stressful all at the same time. But regardless of what happens you need to keep moving forward one pole pole step at a time. And just like Kilimanjaro there are guides like Eli who want nothing more than to help you reach your goals.
Easily the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life by far. Eli, thank you so much for motivating, inspiring.
Eli: When will you come back again? Will you come back?
Luke: When my son is old enough to do it. Are you going to guide my son?
Our brand new Ultimate Kilimanjaro guide uniforms are in for the upcoming season. And they look amazing. We provide our staff with high quality technical gear so they stay warm, dry and comfortable while on expeditions. By wearing the uniforms, they are very visible and identifiable on the mountain by our customers and their peers.
Below is a photo of our branded technical tee shirt, fleece hat, trucker cap, softshell jacket, fleece jacket and rain jacket. By Mountain Hardwear.
Ultimate Kilimanjaro client, singer and actor Noel Sullivan, blogs about his Kilimanjaro climb on Huffington Post UK.
We asked (guide) Meshack why we leave at midnight. He said “So you cannot see what you are attempting to do”. Comforting. But for us completely irrelevant. For the few hours before we left, it had snowed. The entire path ahead had been dusted in white. That coupled with the full moon ahead gave us a luminous lunar landscape to trek through. We switched off our head torches and allowed our eyes to adjust. This was the Arctic region of the mountain, a barren, lifeless area covered in ice and rock. At this altitude the oxygen is half that of sea level. And we would feel the effect of that greater tonight than any other night.
Bob Wheeler makes the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest person to climb Kilimanjaro! He climbed Kilimanjaro in October 2014 with his son. He is 85 years old. Bob has also climbed Mount Fuji in Japan and Aconcagua in Argentina. It just goes to show that Kilimanjaro can be climbed by people of all ages. Congrats, Bob on a job well done.
Congratulations, Tinkoff-Saxo team, for successfully climbing Kilimanjaro.
Peter Sagan and Alberto Contador joined their Tinkoff-Saxo colleagues at the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, having scaled the mountain in just five days.
Setting off from base camp Barafu base camp around midnight, the Tinkoff-Saxo team climbed through the dark and reached the 5,895m Uhuru Peak just after sunrise.
The expedition encountered unfavourable weather conditions in the first three days of the trek, with four members of the party forced to abandon their ascent due to health problems.
The above video shows Sagan and co treking through the forests near the start of the climb in the first days of the climb, with the triple Tour de France green jersey winner seen to be carrying his own bulky backpack.
Mopping sweat from his forehead as he goes, Sagan struggles to break a smile in the video – perhaps saving his energy for the following days.
While in Africa, team leader Contador confirmed that he will be racing in both the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France in 2015, although surely none of the climbs will be as challenging as Kilimanjaro.