In September 2018, for 8 days we, the Dare Divas®️ and six of our friends hiked Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania Africa. This was by FAR the hardest thing we’ve ever done in our ENTIRE lives. It was so much more than a “hike”. We absolutely pushed ourselves beyond our comfort zones and this adventure left an impact on our lives that will last forever.
We slept in freezing cold weather, approximately 17 degrees waking up to snow and frost on our tents. Most nights we slept in thermal hats, several shirts and pants, 2-3 pair of socks, fleece jackets and gloves. This mountain was 8 days of pushing ourselves to the max as we hiked anywhere from 8-12 hours each day. Days 2, 4, 6-8 were brutal. Every muscle in our thighs, calves, hips, back & feet were pounding. We cried, pouted, encountered fatigue, muscle aches and spasms, dizziness, blurred vision, vomiting, nausea, and severe headaches caused by mountain sickness. There were times when we were literally climbing up the side of the mountain. Many of us can still hear our guides saying, “pole pole’”, as we pushed on and made it to base camp. Overall, we questioned our Sanity for taking on such a HUGE Dare by climbing the tallest freestanding mountain in the world.
But, we also prayed together, hugged, shared, laughed and leaned on one another for unwavering support. We had an absolute excellent time bonding! We are a Kilimanjaro Family for life! We all made it to base camp after 6 grueling days and up to 15,300 ft. WOW! Yay us!
On summit night, we began to hike around 11 pm. The winds were very high, approximately 45-50mph. It was VERY HARD to move up the mountain, as the wind was pushing us back with every step. Not all of us made it, but we all made it pretty close to the top and are all very proud of our accomplishments!
The first day after summit, we hiked down 10,000 feet over slate, boulder rocks, and mud and as we got close to the rainforest part of the mountain, we sighted monkeys swinging from nearby trees. The hike down was brutal, but the views were amazing.
We can check this off our Dare Diva bucket list. It was emotionally, physically and psychologically exhausting, far beyond anything we ever imagined. The constant feeling of exhaustion that made our chests want to explode from the 60 degree inclines, the heat that made us feel like we were baking inside ourselves, the cold nights where temperatures blew and cut through the several layers of the clothes we wore, the sleep deprivation having to rise each morning at 5:30 and 6:00, the cucumber soup, porridge and frozen peanut butter and bread, the frozen clothes and anything else not kept in our sleeping bags with us was enough to tap out, but WE kept pushing on.
Even with all the challenges, it was an awesome adventure and we are still very happy we had the opportunity to encounter this experience and make this Dare a reality.
The views through the mountain were simply breathtaking. Seeing the curvature of the stratosphere at 16,000+ feet, piercing 3 cloud layers until none others existed, to feel like you’re on top of the world with no side edges and to look out where distance had no end and to experience a beauty that only God can be given credit for was simply amazing and to do that and experience that with 6 other wonderful people and others from all over the world is simply unforgettable.
The Dare Divas thank everyone for your support, encouragement and inspiration and for your prayers for a safe climb and return home.
Continue to live life to the fullest!