04 April 2008

Climbing a Mountain

Last week we went to REI to hear a woman talk about climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. She and her mom climbed it a couple years ago and they've been talking to people about how anyone in good shape can do it. It's not a technical climb. You just need to be fit and have the right clothing and shoes. Most of what she told us is the same as what's in my Lonely Planet Tanzania book, which she recommended, but it was nice to hear that information from someone who had done the climb and could validate what the book said.

The talk quickly spiraled out of control and became an annoying mess due to a guy who piped up early on and said he'd just come back from climbing it and he'd done a bunch of other mountains, so he could offer advice to anyone. Um... we all came to get advice from this woman and you don't even know her so you're going to hijack her talk? He was an insufferable know-it-all who wanted to show off and after awhile I felt bad for the woman. She just couldn't say, "Thanks for your input, I'm sure people will want to ask you questions when I'm done." Instead people kept interrupting her to ask questions that he would jump in and answer. We left after about an hour, getting more information from the handouts she'd prepared than her actual talk.

What I got out of it: It's going to be cold and wet. In my "old age" I've become something of a weather wimp and I'm going to have to get over that if I want to summit this mountain. What better time to work on that than April on the East Coast? We've already had enough cold, wet weather in the last week to start me thinking "Keep going for Kilimanjaro, keep going for Kilimanjaro," when I'm uncomfortable.

Today, though, I think I might hit the treadmill rather than battle the elements. It's still mental preparation if I overcome boredom instead of rain, right?

(Image from Wikipedia.)

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