My two extreme adventures. Two incredible feats. Accomplished.
My climb to Mt Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain of continent Africa.
My trek to Mt Everest base camp, the highest base camp in world.
The ultimate test of my physical fitness. And my mental strength, too.
At certain junctures when my limbs felt too tired, refused to move, then my
mind reigned and pushed my body forward. These extreme adventures taught me
the significance of body and mind unison. Else I would have lost either my
limbs or my life.
So many similarities between both adventures. Both were high altitude ascents
with low levels of oxygen. And both were physically and mentally demanding
as far as endurance part goes. Beyond these similarities there are striking
differences that I am highlighting in this post:
-Topography of Kilimanjaro and Everest base camp is totally different.
Kilimanjaro trek route comprises rain forests and vast stretches of desert.
Everest base camp trek route crosses through Himalayan range of mountains.
-Kilimanjaro trekking trail passes through uninhabited region. And there are
different trekking routes which take between five to seven days to finish the
trek. Five days trek is without acclimatization and I chose five days trek to
test my limits.Everest base camp trek runs through inhabited areas. The distance
to cover upto Everest base camp is long. Fix route and it takes ten days to cover
the trek. I did the same as no other option.
-Last phase of Kilimanjaro is steep with loose scree. Difficult to ascend. And
descend equally hard on toes. On top there is glacial trail.
Last phase of Everest base camp trek is all glacial. Icy trail gets slippery.Each
step has to be taken with caution.
-Kilimanjaro top is at higher altitude then Everest base camp.
-Kilimanjaro final climb takes place at midnight with minuscule oxygen in air.
Gasping for each breath. Following guide step to step under a tiny ball of headlamp
light. At sunrise reaching top then immediately descending back to base. Extremely
exhausting. No night trek during Everest base camp.
-There is no restaurant or lodge on Kilimanjaro trekking route. Huts for night halts
are available only on one route. Otherwise high altitude tents are required. And all
material required for cooking is carried along for entire trek. Cooking is done by
the cook only who accompanies solo climber or group of climbers. I was solo climber
so I had my individual cook.
-Kilimanjaro climb I did as solo climber, with one guide, one cook and two porters.
But my Everest base camp trek was in group with trekkers from different countries.
All in all I would say that my Kilimanjaro climb and my Everest base camp trek were
unique in their own ways. And both adventures filled me with sense of accomplishment.