Summiting Kilimanjaro, And It’s Only Friday Morning

Friday, April 3, 2009

Kilimanjaro may not be the challenge that is Everest or K2 (or reading Finnegan’s Wake), but I’ve read Into Thin Air, and I assure you, if I’m going to hike any continent’s highest mountain peak, I’m going to choose the one where I can wear shorts and a t-shirt throughout most of the trek.

But, as seen in this article (a perfect Friday read: long-form, escapist, has nothing to do with work) about one guy’s adventure up the mountain, Kilimanjaro is no walk in the park (it’s estimated that only 40% of the 22,000 climbers who attempt the climb yearly make it to the summit).

As the author recounts on the morning of the final ascent: “We progressed up the switchbacks for a good four hours, stopping only briefly because of the cold. No one took any photos. I felt my heart laboring, and tried to repress irrational fears of it exploding in my chest.” I can relate, I sometimes have the same feelings on the subway during my commute in the morning.

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