Do you hear what I hear? Could that be reindeer bells signaling one month until an all-too-important date? For many that means the arrival of the white-bearded jolly old elf from the North Pole delivering toys and goodwill but for me it is the start of an epic journey that will take me to one of the Seven Summits. I know it is not on everyone’s wish list but it has been on mine for over the past year and it is hard not to show my excitement.
FROM COAST TO COAST
I am writing this entry as I am winging back to Canada’s west coast after spending a number of days near Frobisher Bay in the Capital City of Iqaluit. I experienced one full-on blizzard that shut down the town during my short stay and one power outage – inconveniently while I was in the gym pursing more Kili training – but as I left, the skies provided brilliant sunshine over the frozen bay, causing steam to rise over the ocean and a couple sun-dogs to appear on the horizon. Although a blizzard day can be fun with the howling wind that literally causes the buildings to shutter and move, the cold brilliant days are something to behold. I have been so fortunate to call the Arctic my home and I truly love it. Although personal circumstances took me back to where I was born and raised in BC, I feel fortunate to spend approximately 50% of my time in the north where my business is still based. I first headed north, traveling through the Yukon in an old camper van alone, soon after completing high school in Vancouver. It beckoned me then and it still does.
THE COUNTDOWN BEGINS
I am so excited to be sharing this journey with you and look forward to featuring “The 12 Days of Kili” on my blog beginning December 2nd. I hope to highlight the daily challenge ahead and what I might expect as I pursue the climb. It is a bit daunting and something that I have hesitated to look at too closely until now….now that the journey is so close. I hope to bring you along with me in my summit quest. I have to admit that I am a bit nervous given my own health issues which included not only pulmonary embolism (PE) but altitude sickness. Ironically I am in much better health now than when I encountered altitude sickness 6 years ago but I also face some implications from my earlier bout with PE. The statistics for successful summits of Mount Kilimanjaro range from 60% to 90% depending on the tour company, time of year, conditions, etc. Although some with little training and preparation have made the climb without incident, several who have trained rigorously struggle considerably and, of course, some do not make it to the peak at all. It isn’t a walk in the park and yet it is not as challenging as any of the other Seven Summits. I hope you will follow me in my progress. It is my intention to keep this blog “alive” through regular updates by my Base Camp team who will be keeping the home fires burning on Gabriola while I am pursuing the climb. I welcome your interest and your comments as the 30 day countdown begins…