Bondi Resort Blog

Come on into our Blog for a look at the wonderful world we've got to share! With over 240 hectares (600 acres) of wilderness woodlands surrounding the resort, just ten minutes from Algonquin Park, we feature over 400 metres (1200’) of waterfront and beach; boat rentals; summer hiking trails winding through fields and woods; 20 km. of groomed cross country ski trails and snowshoeing in winter; access to nearby snowmobile trails for sledders, and a toboggan hill for the young at heart.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Nowhere to Go but UP! Climbing Kilimanjaro

Kelly, Heather, and friend, on Day One,
Our friends Kelly and Heather are on Day 4 of their Kilimanjaro summit climb, with the Dream Mountains Foundation.

So far, Kelly (daughter of Sharon and David Webster, who operate the Beacon store and Yamaha dealership at Dwight) has raised over $10,000 for her chosen charity, Habitat for Humanity, Muskoka.  This is nothing to sneeze at.  Heather's raised over $7,000, and there will be more. You can still donate.

Dream Mountains supports seven charities. It is a little bit chilling that one of them is for the Children of Chernobyl, billed on their website as the world's worst nuclear disaster...   The Chernobyl disaster happened twenty years ago. They are still working hard at that site to contain it. Nuclear meltdowns don't just "go away."  But that is a tragic aside to this mountain trek. This group of people, the Kilimanjaro Dream Team, are doing what they can to raise funds to help those in need, and they are to be applauded.
Climbing Kili, the largest freestanding mountain in the world (unless you count Hawaii, which isn't quite as high above ground, but if you actually go underwater to the mountain's base has them all beat) isn't just a walk in the park.  It is a climb, not a mountaineering experience. You don't need ropes or ice picks, or experience on sheer mountain walls.  But you do need a ton of effort, and you will be dealing with high mountain issues. Today, on Day 4, the group will be ascending into the semi desert and rocky landscape surrounding Lava Tower, an altitude of 4630m (15,190') after about a 5 hours walk. There will be two more days before they reach the summit. The leader is taking the climb slowly, to let the participants acclimate to the thinning air.

Kilimanjaro Dream Team, Day Two
 Altitude sickness affects about 70% of those who climb this mountain. Kelly's group, by Day 3, were already reporting headaches -- one of the early signs. The group is climbing slowly, just because of this, trying to allow enough time for acclimitisation.  Above 5,000' -- and by today, the group will be up around 15,000', the affects of the sun are significant as well. At that height,  55% of the atmosphere's protective layer against Ultraviolet is gone, leaving climbers prone to sunburn. Total sunblock is the order of the day. And dark glasses -- yes you can get snowblind in Africa.  You can also get hypothermic.  On Day One they climbed through two torrential downpours of rain, getting pretty wet, despite donning their raingear.  As they climb higher, keeping dry is critical -- sweat will dehydrate you, and make you very prone to chill unless you've got the layering right.  Kilimanjaro, practically sitting on the equator, is one of those rare places where you can freeze to death in equatorial heat.

Porters slugging gear up Kilimanjaro.
Photo from Day Two of the climb.
There are eight routes to the top of Kilimanjaro... Kelly and Heather are slogging it up the Machame Route. This is billed as probably the most scenic and most beautiful route to the summit. The 6-day route is however physically more challenging than the Marangu route. The day walks are longer and steeper; however the summit night is one hour shorter. The scenic traverse of the Western Breach offers some stunning views! Only tented accommodation is available on the Machame route, which can be less comfortable and will require a good sleeping bag and hiking mattress. All of which, like their food, must be carried. Their day packs weigh 20 pounds each. On day one, they were carrying an additional 30 pounds of gear.  They are all more than grateful, and a bit in awe, of the porters, festooned with equipment on their backs, on their heads, and hanging from their belts!

It's a once in a lifetime adventure for Kelly and Heather, but the money they raise will provide a lifetime of change for a family through Habitat for Humanity.   We're proud to know these ladies, and to be supporting their climb!

1 comment:

  1. I just can't imagine a trek like this! Thanks for the info.