Climbing Kilimanjaro BLOG

April 9, 2014, Hillsdale, NY

When I've told students that I am going to Africa to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro they've responded with great enthusiasm and curiosity. They've asked wonderful questions about the mountain, the training, and the Mukwashi School in Zambia. Teachers have also asked me to keep in touch with them to provide updates on the High Hopes and Common Threads Project (HH-ACT). Thanks for your interest. Starting today I will be writing regular blog posts so that anyone interested can follow my progress on this adventure. I will also be doing updates regarding the HH-ACT Project, our attempt to collect 1,934 photos of students, teachers and friends. The photos, including words that express peoples beliefs, cares and hopes, will be included on a banner we will carry to the summit. I will send the first few blog posts in the body of newsletters to make people aware of the BLOG but will then just be posting on my web site www.johnfarrell.net

First, a few facts about Mt Kilimanjaro;

  • The summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro is 19,340 ft. high, the highest mountain in Africa.                                            
  • It is the highest freestanding mountain in the world which means it is not part of a mountain range.  
  • It takes between 6 to 9 days to the summit.
  • The success of ascending to the summit is dependent on which of the six routes is taken.
  • Approximately 35,000 people attempt full ascent of Kilimanjaro each year.  
  • The overall average of succesful ascents to the peak is 45%.
  • Endurance runner, Simon Mtuy, set the record for the fastest ascent and descent unassisted, completing the trek up and down in just 9 hours and 22 minutes. He first climbed the mountain when he was 16, and has ascended to the summit more than 300 times.
  • Kilimanjaro is also known as the "Roof of Africa."
  • There are three volcanoes on Kilimanjaro - Mawenzi, Shira, and Kibo. Mawenzi and Shira are extinct, but Kibo is dormant. The last major eruption was 360,000 years ago.
  • The summit of Kilimanjaro is covered by glaciers but they are melting rapidly.
  • Since 1912, Kilimanjaro has lost 82% of its ice cap, and 55% of its remaining glacier fields since 1962.
  • Scientists predict that all ice on the mountain may disappear within the next 20 years.
  • Kilimanjaro supports five ecosystems: savanna bush land, sub-montane forest, montane forest belt, sub alpine moorland and alpine bogs, and the alpine desert.

This information was adapted from a National Geographic source.

That's all for today but I'll write again tomorrow  to tell about what I am doing to train for climbing this mountain. I want to be among the 45% that make it to the summit so I'm doing what I can to get ready.

Thanks for caring!

John