On the night of our ascent to the summit, we woke up at 11pm (after a few hours of napping) to enjoy a couple of nervous minutes together with a cup of coffee before it was time to gear up in my our warmest layers and start the nearly 8 hour trek to highest point in Africa- 19,341 ft. In total darkness, we took it pole pole (slow slow) and trudged through rain, sleet and snow, where seemingly everything on our person managed to freeze (water bottles, backpacks, our eyelashes, hair, fingers, toes, etc...) Oddly, I’ve never felt more determined to tackle such a physical challenge before and yet the combined elements of exhaustion and extremely cold weather made it much trickier than any of us were prepared for.
All of that aside, ultimately reaching the threshold of the true summit was more emotional and overwhelming than I had thought possible. Kilimanjaro demands a lot from those who traverse her trails. You have no choice but to show up. And we did. There’s nothing more empowering than realizing that we are all capable of so much more than we give ourselves credit for.
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