Climbing Kilimanjaro was probably the most important and life changing experience I have ever had. I have to say Ian Taylor Trekking was by far the best team I have come across. I have trekked in South America, Nepal the Alps and without a doubt Ian’s team exceeded all my expectations.
A friend of mine had climbed Kilimanjaro with Ian Taylor 6 years ago and she highly recommend this team for the journey. The more I read about training, altitude and climbing Kilimanjaro, I knew I needed as much time on the mountain as possible. Ian also convinced me that 8 days on the mountain was the only way to go. He was right. We had 10 people from around the world on our team, everyone made it to the summit.
Reaching the Summit
There was some small altitude related issues but we had enough time to overcome them and move forward. I knew the summit night was going to be the hardest part of the climb. It was super challenging and more so on the way down as the sun was beating down hard on us, tiredness was kicking in and we still had a long way all the way back to Mweka gate. It was great to get lower, to the rich oxygenated air at 10,000 feet.
Guides and Team
I have to say the team Ian has on the ground were phenomenal. We had a full security team, tent crew, toilet crew, chefs and 6 kitchen crew. Dishwashers, servers, 5 guides and full team of porters. The Mountain hardware Trango 4 tents had so much space and the big dome tent was very comfortable with quality chairs, world class food and service to match. It really was a great way to climb Kilimanjaro.
Best Team on the Mountain
All the staff interacted with us and we got to learn more about them, their goals and how the Ian Taylor Trekking team have been working together for such a long time. Friends and family all mixed into one amazing team that made us feel like home. Experiencing Kilimanjaro with these wonderful people really made my experience all the richer.
The training I was doing really paid off. Ian really emphasized the strength and endurance aspects. I was training 5 days a week with weighted back pack and building up the weight I was carrying over time. I was building up my hours training over a 4 month period. This type of training made all the difference and I wished I had of done more of this for previous trekking adventures, it would have made those trips more memorable.
The Right Itinerary
Getting through each day was fun and enjoyable. We had a short day, then a longer day and then shorter day. We could get rested, acclimatized and get ready for the big summit challenge that awaited us on the day 7 of the trip. The summit night was tough. The pace and heart rates need to be managed throughout the night. The last 1,000 feet to the crater rim or Stella point was the hardest part of the long 7 hour hike up to the summit. You really need to be trained and ready for this.
The Lemosho Route
There were so many people turning around and lots of people struggling their way to the crater rim and summit. You need to have been training hard for this challenge. Ian’s team had a great system in place and the breathing, pacing and approach to the summit attempt was managed perfectly.
Getting to the Top
The walk from the Stella Point to the summit seemed to go on forever. It was more gradual than the previous 1,000 feet up to Stella point but I really wanted to reach the top and some of the hills took a lot out of me. Being at 19,000 feet above sea level was no easy task and so important to get back to lower altitude as quickly as possible. Getting to the top was great and I was so proud of my accomplishment.
The challenge turned to going down and we moved as quickly as possible to get back down to the high camp in Barafu at 15,300 feet. I think it took us just under 3 hours. The journey down was hard as the sun was draining and everyone really wanted to get back to the camp to rest up for an hour.
Heading Down the Mountain
After some rest and lunch we had to get moving lower. It really was a long way back to Mweka camp at 10,170 feet but I felt so much better after arriving into this lower camp. I slept so well that night. Over 11 hours a sleep. The atmosphere in the camp that last morning was exciting. All the staff were excited we made the summit and ready to go home. Our team were so happy with the whole experience and the walk back to the gate was really enjoyable.
I cannot find any fault with any aspect of the trip. The experience has left a lasting impression on me and I truly enjoyed every moment. I will cherish the challenges and learning from this magical place and people. A great experience I will never forget.
Sarah Brown, Kilimanjaro January 2018