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Climbing Kilimanjaro: Journey to the Summit

After preparing for my Kilimanjaro climb, here are some of the highlights from my trek. Day 1 – 4.3 miles/2,067 ft ascent (6.7 km/630 meters) 6:30 am Last hot shower at the hotel is not hot. There also isn’t any water. This is a most displeasing send-off. 7:30 Meet my fellow hikers: 2 Canadians and 3 people from the UK. They all seem like strong hikers. 3:00 After a 4 hour drive, a 2 hour delay with our permits, and a tasty lunch, we... Read More

Climbing Kilimanjaro

Prepared for the summit? Tomorrow morning, I will begin what will be a, 49.8 mile (80.2 km), 7 day trek up Mt. Kilimanjaro. At 19,341 feet (5,895 meters), it is the highest peak in Africa, the tallest free-standing mountain in the world and will be the tallest mountain I’ve ever climbed — that is, if I succeed. According to the National Park Service only 30% of climbers reach the peak. And keep in mind, some estimates suggest that more... Read More

Climbing Mt. Fansipan

When we entered Vietnam, I had never heard of Mt. Fansipan (or Phan xi Pang). At 3,143 meters (10,312 feet), Mt. Fansipan is no Mt. Everest. But it does rightfully claim the superlative of the tallest mountain in Indochina. Since I am hoping to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro in a few months, I figured this would be a good start to my training regimen. When we arrived in Sapa, I shopped around for a tour operator in town and, in the process, found two folks... Read More

Living in a Treehouse

When you’re signing up for something called the Gibbon Experience it’s not hard to understand why you might have the impression that you’ll see gibbons. And that’s probably why they tell you it’s really unlikely. Yet, Sasha and I gladly signed up for what has been our most expensive activity to date. Black gibbons are apes with really long arms and relatively small bodies. They live in the third or highest canopy of... Read More

Our Homestay with a Shaman

We’d been wanting to visit one of the hill tribes that live in northern Thailand or Laos. When we found out we had a two day wait for The Gibbon Experience, we decided to head for the hills and see a tribe. After hitting the trekking shops, we were mostly dissappointed with the offerings: one-day trips to over touristed villages. We’d all but given up hope when a shop handed us a faded printout about a 2 day trek to a Hmong village with... Read More

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