Firstly, Merry Christmas from Arusha, Tanzania.
Secondly we have received the best Christmas present ever at 6am this morning when our lost luggage arrived at our room. I always had faith it would show up but after a few false promises it was pretty special to lay eyes on my Black Diomond 70l Mission climbing pack which has seen me to the top of some epic climbs.
I am generally not a materialistic person but am much more comfortable climbing in my own gear that i have an emotional connection with, especially one particular pair of Arcteryx thermal pants which are now full of holes and should be burnt but have been on every mountain with me since the start of Sea2summit7.
We have just got back from an incredible three day safari with Kili Climbers which is the company I used three years ago to successfully see me complete the first ever sea to summit of Mt Kili. If you ever need a company that wil go the extra mile then these guys are it, as after my climb in 2013 i stayed at the owners personal house to rest for three days after complete exhaustion and this time they managed to track down our luggage, pick it up from the airport and personally deliver it to our lodge while we were on safari even though it had nothing to do with them.
Our Safari guide Assman (yes we joked about the name) was amazing and gave us an educational and lighthearted experience of Tanzanias wildlife including some rare sightings of Rhino, male Lions and bird life. We also got into many chats about local politics, culture and Mountaineering as he also guided on Kili for eight years. The photos really don’t do the experience justice as seeing these amazing animals in their natural environment is everything you hope it would be. We also made some great friends on tour, including a Russian guy called Igor who we plan to meet at the summit on New Years morning.
Now we are in Arusha waiting for the team to dribble in and make the final preperations for the climb. The tourist stuff is over, now comes the business end and I am frothing for it! It has been almost a year since I have been at descent altitude and my body has started to ‘soften’ a little so its time to start the road towards Alaska (Mt Denali) and I can think of no better way to do this.
“It isn’t the mountains ahead of you that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe” Mohammed Ali