The following questions and answers have been compiled based on extensive dialogue we had with Wild Guanabana and the generous support they’ve extended to us as well as on research for planning this challenge and fundraising campaign. PCRF volunteers will schedule an information session in September in Doha, for further discussions and information sharing. Throughout the next couple of months, the team from PCRF volunteers and WG will extend their assistance to all registered climbers to ensure that everyone is well informed and is planning for a successful summit!
Q1: Can I climb Kilimanjaro? How fit should I be?
A1: The great news is that anyone can do it! Once you sign up and register with Wild Guanabana, they’ll give you a full idea of how to prepare. When it comes to training, it’s quite simple and everyone can do it. A document will be shared with you on how you should get prepared to be all set for the mountain but in general, you’ll need to focus on your cardiovascular level by doing activities like jogging, swimming, tennis, aerobics etc. (whatever you personally enjoy doing). You’ll also need to focus on strengthening your legs because they’ll carry you up that mountain! We recommend that you should stop taking elevators from now until the climb – become best friends with the stairs.
Q2: How much do I have to pay as a climber?
A2: You will need to pay $ 2,475 per person. Wild Guanabana is offering us a discount with a reduction by $275 per person given the cause we are climbing for. Please refer to Wild Guanabana’s website for a detailed list of price inclusions and exclusions.
Do let us know in advance if you wish to include any additional hotel nights before or after the climb, or if you wish to go on a safari after the climb. The safari will be at an extra cost.
Q3: What should I pack?
A3: Wild Guanabana provides a detailed list of gear and clothing which you will need for the climb. Please ensure that you are well prepared prior to the trip. In particular, make sure you buy your boots in advance and use them for some time – last thing you want is to have blisters while climbing the mountain!
You can also rent a lot of the gear from Tanzania when it comes to items that you won’t necessarily use on a regular basis (like hiking poles for example), please inform Wild Guanabana of what gear you would like to rent prior to the trip.
Q4: How will I be able to charge my phone and camera?
A4: This will definitely be a life-changing experience, and documenting it will be important for you – you surely dont want to have a dead camera when you summit the mountain! We hence highly recommend that you bring extra batteries for your camera. Where you store the batteries is also key since you should keep them as warm as possible. Some tricks for that are keeping them under your clothes right next to your body to get some of your body heat. Another alternative could be wrapping them in a fleece or jacket that’s placed in your backpack.
Phones are trickier, because smart phones nowadays don’t last for too long. However, you should turn them off for as long as you can and then have them on when you need them only. In terms of signal, it depends entirely on where you are on the mountain. Some days you’ll have signal, and others you’ll have none at all. It also depends where exactly you’re standing. A lot of people use this journey as a means to shut off completely and simply enjoy their time on the mountain.
Q5: What measures are taken in terms of healthcare?
A5: Accompanying us throughout the climb guides and porters who are trained in case of emergencies. They are also equipped with satellite phones for urgent cases.
Q6: What precautions are made for high altitude sickness?
A6: For altitude sickness we have options: to take a medicine called Diamox one day before the climb and then every day on the mountain, or drink lots of water, or in emergencies use the oxygen system. Once the oxygen system is used, then you would have to descent. The trip is planned so that the body is acclimatized to the height, meaning we will give our bodies enough time to adjust as we go higher. We will go up during the day for example, then descent at night.
Q7: How many hours we’ll be hiking per day?
A7: The hike is on average 6 hours per day, but we will take into consideration the situation of the group.
Q8: How high we will go? How long do we stay on the peak?
A8: We will get to 4,985m high, so almost 5,000m. We will stay at the peak for 15 – 45 minutes depending on the time and how well we are doing physically.
Q9: What will I have to carry with me?
A9: The porters will carry your main luggage and camp set ups. You will only need to carry a backpack of maximum weight of 5KG. In the backpack you will put the bare essentials like snacks, dates, camera, passport, water…etc.
Q10: What are the sleeping arrangements?
A10: Each two people will sleep in one tent, and there will be other tents for eating and gathering.
Q11: Will there be toilets?
A11: Yes! There will be toilets in the camps we stay at!
On the mountain you can use the parks’ public toilets when available but you might actually prefer just going natural!
Q12: Will there be showers on the mountain?
A12: Unfortunately, not. You will have to bring wet wipes with you and use them in place of a shower. You can also use other products such as wet towels, or dry shower gels. Body sprays also come in handy when you want to just refresh yourself – and also refresh an item that you’ve been wearing for 3 days straight! It will get pretty cold towards the end, so some of the nights you probably won’t even change your clothes. The body spray comes in handy for moments like these.
Q13: What about other hygiene and cleanliness matters?
A13: for facial care, the best solution is to bring with you some toner and some cotton. Walking long hours in a mountain with volcanic ash/dust means you will get it all over your face, nails, nose, etc.. You’ll probably find the cotton to be black after wiping your face once in the morning and once at night! So it helps to have that as a substitute for washing your face since there is very limited access to water.
As for hands and feet: we recommend keeping your toe nails super short! They will break otherwise and you might lose them if you don’t. The pressure of the climbing, especially downhill, is brutal to your toes so if you don’t cut them short then you risk losing it later. You can keep your fingernails normal if you want, it helps to keep them a bit long because you can clean them properly.
Q14: Do I need sun protection while climbing?
A14: Yes absolutely, bring a strong SPF lotion for face and hands.
Q15: As a climber, I’ll need to raise $ 15,000 for PCRF, what if I don’t manage to gather this amount prior to the trip?
A15: We recommend that you keep aiming to raise the funds prior to the trip. PRCF will support you by starting a site for you to use and gather donations online. PCRF volunteers will also help via social media dissemination. It’s important that you commit to this goal and put your best efforts to achieve it. If for some difficulties you are not able to gather the full amount prior to the trip, we will keep your donations site operating for 1 month after the trip, so you can continue fundraising.
Q16: where will the donations I collect go and how they will be used?
A16: All donations gathered by all climbers will go directly to PCRF benefit and will be used for their medical missions, treatment abroad programs and humanitarian projects. For more information please visit PCRF website: http://www.pcrf.net