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Simon Greenwood tackles Kilimanjaro

KBT Coach Simon Greenwood, tackles Kilimanjaro. See below for Simon's story and pictures of this fantastic achievement.

My trip to Kilimanjaro was incredible, 10 days of hiking.. camping and adventure.
The whole expereince was quite sureal, as I have never been to Africa it took me a
good while for it all to sink in. The first couple of days took us through the
jungle phase of the climb, vegetation was high and we even caught a glimpse of some
of the local widlife. Ive been on camping trips before but this was something else,
the only way I can describe it would be '5* camping'. All our tents,
food,kit,chairs,water and even the gas stove was carried up by the porters.
Between 12 people we had 47 locals helping us up the mountain, these included 40
porters, 5 helping porters, 1 chef and 1 cheif guide.

Each porter carried about 30kg of kit which was balanced strategically on their
head, i tried it and its not easy.We would set off an hour or two before the
porters but they would always catch us up and get to the next campsite in time to
set up and have everything ready before we arrived.
As we climbed higher you could certainly feel the differnce in the air, some of the
most simple tasks would have you gasping for air. A couple of the members in my
group suffered from altitude sickness within the first couple of days, loss of
appetite, sleep and head aches but after they were put on some medication, they soon
got back into the spirt of things. I didnt suffer at all for majority of the trip,
it was only on summit day I began to feel the affects.
The food on the trip was fantastic, suprisingly varied and plenty of it. I weighed
myself the day I left for Kili, I weighed in at 79.2kg. Throughout the trip I didnt
hold back at any meal making sure I had enough energy to get my through each day,
well that what I kept telling myself anyway! On average I burnt 8-10,000 calories a
day so i definitely earnt it. On my arrival home I weighed myself again, weighing in
at 76kg so dispite my indulgence I lost almost 3kg.
The hardest day of the whole trip was the summit day. We started our climb at 12
midnight and started our assent from 4900ft, the weather was cold, windy and snowing
like crazy. It took 6hrs 45mins to reach the summit and I can safley say that it was
the longest 6hrs 45mins of my life. The trail just seemed to just go on forever and
the sun took its time to rise, thankfully at around 5:30am the sun came out so the
temperature increased. We had hoped for blue skies at the top but unfortunately due
to the harsh weather conditions we couldnt see a thing, such a shame as it a once in
a lifetime opportunity but at least I can say I climbed Kili in death defying
conditions!!

All in all the trip was worth every penny and I would recommend it to anybody. If
your thinking about doing it just get it booked and be ready for the trip of a
lifetime.

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