Day One falls on December 28, 2013
I will spend the first day of my planned Kilimanjaro excursion with Tusker Trails in the town of Moshi. It is approximately 35 minutes from the Kilimanjaro International Airport and appropriately enough is located in the foothills of the big mountain. It is from this vantage point that I will take in the sights of the feat ahead of me. I will be staying at the Bristol Cottages in Moshi. It seems an idyllic spot to rest after a couple days of traveling via Amsterdam, leaving Canada on Christmas Day. This is an acclimatization day of sorts, not only to recover from air travel but to get used to being at 3,000 feet. That is not significant compared to the summit height of 19,340 feet but is a change for someone who spends most of her time at sea level whether along the coastline of Gabriola Island or the shores of Baffin Island.
Out of curiosity, I researched the altitude of a few places for comparison. The Village at Whistler, BC, where the 2010 Olympics were held, is 2,214 feet and the highest lift-accessed point is 7,494 feet. For those who have traveled to Vancouver BC, you have likely noticed the lit ski hill on Grouse Mountain towering over the city and yet the altitude at its peak is only 4,000 feet. In comparison, Mont Tremblant in Quebec is only 2,871 feet at its summit. It is hard to imagine how Mount Kilimanjaro would tower over those familiar sights and yet its summit is roughly on par with Everest Base Camp at 17,598 feet. Everest’s summit is an amazing 29,029 feet.
There are seven other individuals who are scheduled to join the Tusker trip. I am the lone Canadian among this mainly all American group. We will be meeting one another for the first time this day with the exception of Bob who Jim and I met along with his wife in Vancouver last April. It will be nice to see a familiar face in the crowd and to finally begin this long journey that started well over a year ago.