Sunday, October 4, 2009

Our expedition begins tomorrow

Tomorrow we start climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, the tallest freestanding mountain in the world and the highest peak in Africa. Feeling equal parts anticipation and trepidation. Enough people have told us they’re glad they did it but they would never do it again that we’re slightly dubious about the experience. The trepidation also comes from reading notes like this in our pre-climb briefing: “There is little doubt that taking Diamox will significantly increase your chances of summiting, but it may also marginally increase your chance of dying." Apparently altitude sickness is serious stuff. More than 75% of Kilimanjaro climbers experience at least some form of mild altitude sickness, but more serious conditions such as High Altitude Pulmonary Oedema (water in the lungs) and High Altitude Cerebral Oedema (swelling in the brain) can be fatal unless the casualty descends immediately. Why are we doing this again? Hopefully we’ll live to tell the story. Inshallah.

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