Discussion in 'Sports, Adventure Training and Events' started by bleep323, Apr 11, 2006.

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  1. Since leaving the forces some ten years ago I have managed to put on a load of weight and lose every ounce of fitness I once possessed. So in a rash and rather druken state I bet a mate I could still climb Kilimanjaro, now it would be an aweful lot cheaper and easier to admit I was wrong but some irrational and stubborn voice in my head wont allow me to do this so Im off in December 2006. I have started back down a boxing gym doing lots of circuit training, cardiovascular and some boxing and all is going fine although much harder than I ever remember from the past. The big thing I need to do now is hit the hills and get as much walking in as possible but Im going to have to break the number one rule of hill walking and do it on my own as I cant find anyone to come along. So my question to very experianced and knowledgable people like yourselves is can you think of some routes around the UK that are reasonably safe and not going to get me into trouble with those very nice mountain rescue people.

    bleep .../..---/...
  2. Try here:

    They've got a section in the forum where you can get advice on routes, there's also a section where you can find hillwalking/climbing partners.
  3. much appreciated.
  4. If you're not already, get yourself subscribed to Trail magazineTrail

    Its a monthly mag that gives you all the usual kit reviews, tall stories, international routes and about 8 - 14 UK routes every month. There is a brief outline of the route then a detailed route card inc grid refs, weypoints, etc.

    Trail also run tips to Kili so there are regulars articles about it with plenty of reader feed back, tips & info.

    Keep us posted mate.
  5. bleep, you have just arranged a fantastic trip for yourself and you have just enough time to prepare yourself if you stand a chance of making it.

    Firstly, check out some UK routes local to you on (as suggested by Cait :wink: )

    But for general overseas stuff, subscribe to

    Also buy Lonely Planet 'Trekking in East Africa' (2003) and start making notes now

    I presume that you are going with a travel company such as or Consider this a necessity/essential service, as you will be guided/porter assisted and they will sort out permits, visa's, etc. Ensure you have a proper (BMC type) insurance policy. Going with a company in a small group will save you loads of hassle and will work out cheaper in the end, believe me ! There are some disadvantages to being in a group, but I will let you find this out for yourself, as it's an integral part of the 'experience' :lol:

    Start training now and accumulate and train with the kit you will use on the trail, especially boots, socks, clothing and daysack. Do not ignore the small things - waterbottles, puritabs, socks, underwear, etc. Assemble a med pack - FFD, compression bandage, puritabs, antibiotics, lomotil and alcohol wipes/gel. The main routes can be crowded and 'unhygienic', again I will allow you to discover this yourself, it's all part of the 'fun' (especially the long-drop sh1thouses - take a headtorch for those midnight trips 8O )

    The altitude is the reason why you must start training now - two 4-6 hour sessions on consecutive days every week from now until you go. Train with a 15kg bergen and trek with a 15lb daysac once you get to Tanzania. Trekking to almost 6,000m in just a few days is a short sharp shock - you will be blowing out of your hoop just going slowly and it will be scorchio at the bottom and baltic at the top, especially in the dark. Go slow and steady - poly poly you will hear on Kili.

    There are some excellent new maps of parts of the UK and silva compasses are cheap (£20 ?), but take comms and a GPS until your navigation is up to scratch. Do not worry about training alone, Rescue Teams (MRT's) mainly bring down fit, experienced, well equipped people who've just got unlucky. Just make sure that someone knows where you went, where you parked, when you said you would be back and have you got comms (bearing in mind chad mobile-phone reception in some areas).

    You are gonna have one awesome trip mate :wink:
  6. All the best mate
  7. Couldnt agree with Goose_Rider more, escpecially on the comments about fitness.

    I have just completed a 5 day trekking package in Bavaria and didnt think I would need any additional training before I went. Did a few of the smaller walks like the Riechenbach, Rubihorn and the Gruten, but once we started to get up to 2000m I was hanging big time which took some of the fun out of it.
    Think the idea of doing two days in a row is very good as after five days I needed to get down to stores and diffy a new set of legs out(Didnt help that we had Mountain Biking to do as well.

    Personally I loved it and cant wait to go on some of the bigger ex-peds when qualified up.

    Would love to know how the trip went mate so let us know and post the pics too.
  8. I would also recomend hanry stedman's book 'Kilimanjaro: a trekking guide to Africa highest mountain'

    It got me out of the sh1t big time with its city guides(why do taxi drivers always seem to get lost).
  9. Wow someone after my own heart - climbing Kili is on my 'list' too, respect to you for having the sphericals to put your money where your mouth is and get on and do it. Training is important; winging something like would be foolhardy if not impossible, but don't burn yourself out just before you get there. I'm in training too at the moment for hiking Hadrians Wall alone for charity in September - not quite the same league but can empathise with your dilemas. I'm finding training alone keeps me focussed but welcome some company occasionally. Good luck and keep us posted.
  10. Bleep

    Don't panic too much about your fitness mate, you've got bags of time to get yourself sorted. Plenty of walking is all that's really needed. You can't go wrong with Trail mag, as Cait was saying. You needn't go berserk with the phys as long as you are not an absolutely massive fat bas-tard. People of all ages and sizes make it to the top.

    I went up Kilimanjaro in August 93 whilst on leave. Because I was on my tod, I got placed with a group of ten people who were quite a cross section. A young Spanish couple (experienced climbers) a couple of old girls (one 54 the other 52, both slightly rotund) and a few odds and sods like me. They all made it to the top.

    If memory serves me well, the only extremely hard portion of the climb (dependant on route), is the last effort from Kibo hut, past Gilman's point and on to Uhuru peak. Prior to that, the walk in is very enjoyable, taking you through various terrains as the m.a.s.l heightens. Plenty of wildlife to see and photograph and it's not a speed march so you've plenty of time to shoot the breeze with your compadres.

    We set off on the last bit in the middle of the night, in the hope of seeing the sun come up from the peak. At this point the mountain is fcuking freezing. As long as your not suffering from altitude sickness, a simple plodders effort will see you to the top, and let me tell you mate, it is fcuking worth it. The view from Uhuru peak is incredible. I wish i'd taken more pictures to bore everyone with. Watching the sun come up whilst sat in the snow at the top, is truly memorable.

    In summary, don't plan for this expedition as a trauma. You will have a brilliant time, so look forward to it. Stay off the Wagon Wheels, get some walking in and buy a Concept2 rower.

    PM me if you want any more info
  11. Cheers guys, just to give you some details i booked with exodus and am climbing the rongai route as every piece of information i have looked at said its supposed to be the easiest route and i'm doing it over 6 days, anything to maximise my chances of reaching it to the top. my training was going nicely until about three weeks ago when i went over on my ankle while playing footy. i'm not sure what i did but the whole of the top and side of my foot went black and the pain was quite severe for a couple of days but the bruising has now gone and so has most of the pain. i plan to start back in the gym tomorrow but only doing some light stuff, no running but maybe some inclined walking and bike work. i work in a school and plan a months pure hill work in the summer holidays that i hope will take me to the level i need. then after that and back at work i will just hope to maintain that level, theres no doubt that if i do make it to the top that i will post a ton of photos but thats along way off.
  12. a good pair of boots with a stiff sole is essential, and a good pair of insoles. super feet insoles are great! make sure you do a few acclimatisation treks as soon as you get out there. just day treks, but this will make a huge difference to you being able to cope with the thin air! i wouldnt reccomend diamox, as when i used it, it made me pis5 like a fookin bison!

    good luck mate.
  13. He'll only need boots towards the top, trek shoes/trainers will be enough for the lower slopes.

    No time for acclimatisation treks if it's a six-day trip.

    Diamox works, but I wouldn't recommend it for routine use.

    If you don't mind me asking, when were you using diamox and was it a military exped ?
  14. nope not military. using it in bolivia, but i binned it after a couple of days. 6 days is short, fair one, didnt read that bit.
  15. Diamox worked for me! Taken only for the Horombo and Kibo huts, as it thins the blood and increases you oxygen carrying capacity, but at the expense of making you need to drink more. Without boring you on the details of acclimatisation and AMS, don't forget to keep yourself well-hydrated and that will be up to 6-8 litres of water a day up to summiting as you will sweat most of it out.

    After getting in to camp every evening once you have ditched your kit and had a quick brew beast yourself up the next ten or fifteen minutes of mountain with your oppo. With no weight on and really stretching out your legs, it will serve the same purposes as a warm down, but also by pushing that little extra when you return to camp you will be at a lower altitude and you should sleep better.

    It is an amazing trip, and as you summit the sun rises behind Mawenza for the type of memories that make the pain worthwhile!

    Train hard, climb easy
    Best of luck
    and I am sure that there will be plenty of others to throw their 2 pennies worth in