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Kili Tips, Tricks and Random Information Needed Thread

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Kili Tips, Tricks and Random Information Needed Thread

Postby Vegasclimber » Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:37 pm

Yep, I know this has been hashed a lot. But searching through the random comments of folks on Kilimanjaro is wearing on me a bit, so I hope you will allow me the liberty of posting my own thread for our upcoming trip. This thread is open to any comments, tips, photos, etc. regarding Kili for anyone - feel free to fire away!

Basically, we are looking to make an attempt via the Rongai Route in late September, followed by a three day camping safari. As usual, I have a ton of random questions regarding this, and I'm your usual lazy poster that doesn't want to dig it all up - ha! Besides, more threads helps the site anyways.

Right now, we are looking at Zara and Peak Planet as potential guiding companies. The issue is, this year's prices for Zara are only a couple hundred cheaper then Peak...and Peak is IMEC certified, whereas Zara isn't. I've also found a few bad reviews regarding Zara's equipment. I know a few folks here have had a great time with Zara - I'd like to hear anyone that has been with Peak, or any other operator. Our quotes right now are coming in at about the $3000 range, and I have no desire to pay more then that.

So among my many questions - (more to come I am sure)

What tricks have you seen porters and guides try to get more money out of you? I know about the "mystery porter" that you never see, and Mrchad recently told me an interesting one regarding wearing worn out/oversized shoes. I'm also interested in any other common scams, places to avoid and things of that nature.

How much did you train for the hike? All of the folks in our group are experienced back country hikers, but we haven't been over 12k. We plan to do several high altitude hikes over the summer, and spend the last week before the trip staying up at about 9k. I have been considering doing the Diamox regimen before we leave.

How much did you have to pay for your immunizations prior to the trip?

I am considering taking our own four season tent (MHW Trango 2) that we know is useable for this trip and in great shape. If we take that route, I will probably insist on doing the setup/teardown myself. Thoughts?

Thanks for any that care to share - I look forward to reading your insights and stories!
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Re: Kili Tips, Tricks and Random Information Needed Thread

Postby mrchad9 » Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:56 pm

Your porters should provide the tent and cover setup and takedown. You're paying them for this whether they do it or not!

That's part of the process... you walk very slowly so try can break camp when you are gone, pass you, and set up before you arrive... With a bowl of warm water for washing waiting on you!

My immunizations were free. Depends on your health care provider. Take some antibiotics just in case your bowels flare up (mine didn't).

Six days isn't long on the mountain. You are in shape enough... just need to worry about acclimating. If you can't acclimate any before you go, consider taking some diamox or something, and be sure you have warm clothing (so you can rest 30-60 mins on the way up if needed). I had to keep moving till sunrise to keep warm, when a short rest would have done me good.

Don't worry too much about being ripped off. In the end you control how much you tip.

The safari will be the highlight!
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Re: Kili Tips, Tricks and Random Information Needed Thread

Postby Sarah Simon » Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:41 pm

Vegasclimber wrote:How much did you train for the hike? All of the folks in our group are experienced back country hikers, but we haven't been over 12k. We plan to do several high altitude hikes over the summer, and spend the last week before the trip staying up at about 9k. I have been considering doing the Diamox regimen before we leave.


My team did no special training at all. We just kept up our regular summer activities of getting above 4000 meters 1-2 times a weekend, plus standard dog walks, yoga, light weights, whatever. With that in mind, however, our residential elevations range from a paltry 5200 feet (Denver) to 7600 feet (Black Forest) to 9200 feet (Frisco).


Vegasclimber wrote:How much did you have to pay for your immunizations prior to the trip?


If I recall, my out-of-pocket per-person immunization expenses were between $100 and $150, but it's been a good 18 months since my trip.

Have fun.
Go climb a mountain
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Re: Kili Tips, Tricks and Random Information Needed Thread

Postby Tonka » Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:04 pm

I sent you a PM with our TR which has some good info.

Just being in good all around shape along with knowing how you handle altitude is enough but you should get higher than 12k. We went out and did back to back 14ers (Elbert Sat. Massive Sun. type stuff) a few times spread over the 3 months prior to our trip. Worked well.

Sarah is always in the mountains but she has her dogs pull her up most peaks :lol:
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Re: Kili Tips, Tricks and Random Information Needed Thread

Postby Cats » Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:11 am

We recently climbed with E-Trip Africa. They are IMEC and have a good training program that I did because I was more out of shape than the rest of my group. It is a company called Fit for Trips and I really think it helped me be ready, or maybe it was just a mental thing. Anyway, we did the 9 day Lemosho trek and it cost $2330 per person. This included a portable toilet that I would highly recommend.

The porters and guides seemed well trained and had good cloths and shoes. They never did speak of a tip until the end of the trip when we were back at the hotel. I already had my yellow fever but my wife had to get it and it cost $180, I think she could have found a place to get it cheaper but I doubt she looked.

Good luck and enjoy your climb.
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Re: Kili Tips, Tricks and Random Information Needed Thread

Postby Roger » Mon Feb 25, 2013 3:41 pm

For a concise introduction for getting fit for Kilimanjaro have a look at Trekili Eco Expeditions Getting Fit

Do a lot of walking in your hiking boots (good goretex, above ankle for support, Scarpa type) and walk with your daypack to get used to how it sits and any potential rubbing points.

Scams are non existent with quality companies

You are correct in what you have heard about Zara. They also load up their porters with more than 20 kgs and do other unusual things. Companies who take advantage of their porters and employees are the primary factor influencing poor behaviours.

I personally recommend 6 days for a Safari to get the most out of the Safari. You have come a long way and spent so much that you really dont want to rush your Safari.

Good companies provide quality equipment, both tents, safety and medical equipment.

Hope this helps
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Re: Kili Tips, Tricks and Random Information Needed Thread

Postby John Duffield » Mon Mar 04, 2013 4:36 pm

I went with Africa Walking, I thought they were great.

We did the Rongai Route, it was a little fast for me, I got sick but summited. The Rongai has a night at Mawenzie which is my favorite place on the Mountain.

I was unable to train for this in the mountains, I only did a lot of cycling and stair running. The stair running was awesome b/c I could do it during work hours.
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Re: Kili Tips, Tricks and Random Information Needed Thread

Postby chickentikka » Mon Apr 08, 2013 5:29 pm

I used TEAM KILIMANJARO and did the Machame Route. There was not one bit of scamming whatsoever, and I was really expecting it. I highly recommend them, although I'm sure the most of the other operators are fine as well.

I did ZERO real training. If you are youngish, healthy, and determined you should be able to get up the mountain easily unless you get sick. Bring some diamox, I think it helps, but really just taking enough time on the mountain will get you ready for the altitude. We summited on day 5 without much difficulty, but I'm sure it would be much easier if we'd waited a day at high camp (above 4000 meters). So if you think your questionable definitely demand the rest day at high camp which should be an option for any tour. The extra day above 4000 meters will be much more helpful than any training that you do for the mountain.

I actually lost my immunization booklet somewhere on the way to Kilimanjaro. When I arrived at the airport two guys were there to check the yellow booklets right as you enter. I quietly explained the situation to them and they took me to their office where I bribed them 20 dollars for a new yellow booklet. They were friendly and polite about it - not threatening at all. I seem to remember that they would do the injection themselves for 50 bucks on arrival but can't guarantee that. Since I already had it, they trusted my word, and just issued me the new book.

Your tour provider should provide the tent and sleeping pads. I rented a sleeping bag for 20 bucks from them. Tent does not need to be special if you do bring your own.
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