June 17, 2018: Day 1 – Hike Silent, Hike High

I suspect there won’t be great WiFi heading up Kilimanjaro… despite the fact that apparently 80,000 people a year make the attempt to climb. Somebody at the briefing said there was a 23% success rate of getting to the summit, but our guides Antipas and Jooma cherry picked around that question to say they’d never had anyone die in their 10+ years of taking people up the mountain. Safety is first; summiting is second. I can get behind that.

Point is, there won’t be any posts for several days. I’m going radio silent by necessity… though as we get higher, especially after crossing the tree line, shouldn’t I get better signals with unobstructed views? Isn’t that how it works?

I joke because I’m terrified. The guides said besides the cold and the incline it’s really not that hard – it’s more a mental thing. Believe you will succeed and you can do anything … or some such. I believe I may have made a huge mistake and am incredibly, incompetently, entirely ill-prepared.

It’s five days. Let’s see what’s out there.


The climb begins in… 3… 2… 1….