BEFORE MT. KILIMANJARO
Three main factors drove me to climb Mt. Kili: I wanted to challenge myself, go to the African continent, and try something new that pushed me outside of my comfort zone.
So I was at a friend’s birthday party on his yacht (lol Dubai high life), and he mentioned that he was going to climb Mt. Kili with a friend.
Naturally, I was like, that’s so cool, omg amazing! good for you! and he asked if I wanted to tag along, and obviously, I was just like, “OMG yes! Can I?!”
And that was that, we booked the trip.
I had been working out regularly for a year so I didn’t need to train per se. A friend heard I was going to climb and she asked “Do you have gear?” and I was like “No”, and she was like “Good, don’t buy any, just come to my place.” She had climbed it a year ago and had loads of clothes and gear, so she leant me all of her things, which was a huge money-saver. Before her, I had no idea what ‘gortex’ meant (it’s a type of waterproof material that’s the last layer that goes on top of all your other clothes).
WHAT I WISH I KNEW
I wish I knew that the nights are sooo freaking cold, like, so so so so so cold, I was freezing half the time. Like, I grew up in the Middle East, we just don’t do cold very well.
I also wish I brought more power-banks; I ran out of battery one day because my solar powered battery bank was totes useless. Piece of khara.
HOW IT CHANGED ME
I learned I’m a lot mentally tougher than I give myself credit for.
The last day really pushed me mentally and physically, it was honestly the hardest thing I had ever done.
On the last night, you get up and climb before sunrise so you can see the sunrise once you reach the top. My headlamp was weak af and that was super frustrating ’cause I couldn’t see anything. I was cold and tired after 5 days of non-stop hiking and climbing. It was so hard to breathe because of the high altitude; it took everything out of me, and every step I took was a struggle (not trying to be melodramatic). I had a balaclava on because my face was freezing, but I could hardly breathe through it. I wanted to give up, but I was like, “Dude, stop being a pussy, your so close.”
The guide noticed I was struggling and he was like, “Dude, what’s wrong?” And I like obviously wheezed through my balaclava, “I can’t breeeathe.” He ripped off my mask, scooped out a goop of vaseline, and smeared it on my face. And yeah, that worked; it protected my face from the cold. Completely recommend it. But once we reached the top and the sunrise came out, it burnt the crap out of my face. Hindsight is 20/20 as they say.
Anyways, check out the vlog below to see how the trip went!