Trip Clips


Wednesday, November 29, 2006

YouTube Videos

Since I'm still going through all the photos (probably about halfway), I've posted a few videos that Rob and I took during our hike that will hopefully hold ya over till then...

Before Summitting - Rob shows us around basecamp (92 seconds)

During - I take a quick 360 panorama just after coming down from the peak (22 seconds)

After - Rob reflects after a long day of hiking (62 seconds)

Celebrate - Just like Luke & the Ewoks... very inspirational (283 seconds)

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

We did it!

Well, I've been back in town for a week now, but I'm still catching up on everything. Luckily no jet lag!

Anyways, we lost Val early but the rest of us managed to somehow reach the summit on 8/29/2006 at approx 6:45am.

I had many ups and downs during the week and this trip was definitely one of my biggest challenges that I've ever faced. I'm thankful for our group and guides for helping me through it. I dedicate this to my moms and my grandma who passed away while I was on this trek.

I'm still compiling pictures from the entire group and will be posting the 'best-of' for each day from the safari and hike. Also, we should be able to slap up a few videos onto youtube, here's a sneak peak from a vid I took from my mobile:

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Off to Africa

Well, it's time to head off to Heathrow soon after spending a few days in London. The flight over from Canada was pretty straightforward so I am hoping for the same here. Hopefully my next post will be somewhere in Tanzania. But I'm sure I'll be able to post a few pics when I get back to Rob's flat in 2.5 weeks. Kwa Herini (goodbye in Swahili), Owen

Friday, August 11, 2006

Black Rock

We took two 4X4s past Waiporous area to reach Black Rock for the seven of us (6 humans and one dog).

Cool shot of the cliffs off Black Rock. Not too steep as it comes in stages, but lots of scree, especially past the tree line.

Me just as I'm about to reach the summit (yay finally!)

The group enjoying the view from the top. There's also an old abandoned lookout cabin where summitters can sign a log.

Another great shot in the plateau section of Black Rock. Took about 4.5 hours up, but only took about two hours down.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Two-Way Radios

I confirmed with TSA that we can use two-ways in Tanzania. So I've picked up a pair from Best-Buy (thanks to the company BBQ) and will be packing them with me. Could be handy in Zanzibar too.

Used them on the Black Rock hike (pictures up soon) and the charge lasted all day, but we'll be using AAs for the trip so I'm not sure how they would compare to the NiMH packs.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Hiking Socks

Ok, with all my issues that I've been getting breakin' in my hiking boots, I've started to take more precautions. After getting all the proper first aid equipment (band-aids, anti-blister, polysporin, sport tape, moleskin, etc ), I ventured down to MEC for some hiking socks. I'm told they can make a big difference, so I tried a variety and tested them beforehand.

Ok, these are the most expensive ones and had me at "anti-blister". Found them to be a bit slippery and not enough padding.

These two were a bargain @ $11 compared to the first pair. The ingenius were thinner compared to the Ultimax, but very well padded in the toes and heel.

In the end, I went 50/50 with the last two kinds. Plan to use the thicker ones at the top and on the way down.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Hiking Log

WSB has started up a blog as well, so go check out the east coast action at the Hiking Log.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Heart Mountain

MAC and I went off and tried Heart Mountain over the Stampede weekend. It was just off the highway, so fairly close to get to from the city.

Finding the trail head a little tough, but the weather was quite cooperative as you can see from the pictures.

Very technical hike compared to the previous ones so far this summer. It took us almost as long to get down.

Unfortunately, we missed a sign and didn't make it to the top, if we had enough time we would have gone back and climb the 8-foot high ledge required to reach the summit and then take the loop back down.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


We are also doing a three-day safari before Kilimanjaro. Howard Hillman has good safari starter.

Day 2:
Day 3:

Looking at getting a pair of binoculars? Here's a good tutorial on what to look for. Thinking 10x40 at this time.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Galatea Hike

We decided to try Galatea Creek trail up to Lillian Lake over the Canada Day long weekend. After grabbing some McDonald's breakie, it just took us an hour before we were at the trail's head.

Weather was pretty good, but with a few grey clouds on the horizon (and bear sighting warnings), we head back down rather than trying to head up to Lower (and Upper) Galatea Lake.

Looks like we made the right call, as about half way down, it started to pour down. I was pretty much drenched already, so I didn't even bother putting on my shell. But the sun came back out as we were finishing up.

Pretty scenic trail which criss-crosses the creek at multiple points. Upper half of trail definitely a lot steeper, hopefully next time we will have the opportunity to check out Galatea Lakes.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Detailed Kilimanjaro Itinerary

Day 1: ARUSHA TO MACHAME - 1280m to 3000m (August 25th)
1hr30 drive transfer Arusha to Machame gate, Registration at Machame gate: depending on number of climbers, allow about 1hr
About 5hrs hike, 18kms to Machame campsite - FB
Vegetation: Mountain forest
Accommodation: Machame campsite
Meals included: breakfast, packed lunch and dinner

Day 2: MACHAME TO SHIRA - 3000m to 3850m (August 26th)
About 4hrs hike, 9kms to Shira campsite - FB
Vegetation: Moorland
Accommodation: Shira campsite
Meals included: breakfast, packed lunch and dinner

Day 3: SHIRA TO BARRANCO FB - 3850m to 3860m (August 27th)
About total 6-7hrs hike, begin with ascend higher to 4630, later descend. 15kms to Barranco campsite - FB
Vegetation: Semi-desert
Accommodation: Barranco campsite
Meals included: breakfast, packed lunch and dinner

Day 4: BARRANCO TO KARANGA - 3860m to 4200m (August 28th)
About 3hrs hike, 7kms to Karanga Vally campsite - FB
Vegetation: alpine desert
Accommodation: Karanga campsite
Meals included: breakfast, hot lunch and dinner

Day 5: KARANGA TO BARAFU - 4200m to 4600m (August 29th)
After breakfast, at 9am begin trek to Barafu
About 3hrs hike, 6kms to Barafu campsite - FB
Hot lunch at Barafu.
Afternoon short acclimatization trek to 4850m and return back to Barafu
Vegetation: alpine desert
Accommodation: Barafu campsite
Meals included: breakfast, hot lunch at Barafu Campsite and dinner

Day 6: BARAFU TO SUMMIT - 4600m to 5895m (August 30th)
11pm ( day 6 before mid-night ) wake-up call, 30minutes of preparation.
11h30pm refreshment is provided.
12h00 mid-night we begin our final ascend to the summit.
After 4hrs hours trekking you would walk pass the Kilimanjaro Snow Glaciers ( this glaciers are about 7metres high )
It takes total of about 5hrs Mid-night hike to Stella Point 5730m, where we shall we can experience the African sunrise, from Stella point it takes another 1hr hike to Summit, 5895m (the highest point in Africa!)
Total 7kms from Barafu camp to the Summit
At the Summit: if weather is good we will spend about 30minutes.
Vegetation: Snow scree and ice-capped summit.

It takes about 2h30minutes from summit to Barafu Camp
At Barafu camp, we have about 1hour 30minutes and brunch meal will be provided.
Thereafter we will descend for about 2hrs from Barafu to Millenium Camp.
Note: If the weather is not good at Millenium Camp, we shall further descend about 45 minutes to Mweka Forest Campsite at 3100m
Accommodation: 1st choice - Millenium Campsite or 2nd choice - Mweka campsite
Meals included: Mid-night refreshment, brunch at Barafu campsite and dinner

Day 7: MILLENIUM OR MWEKA TO ARUSHA - 3400 or 3100m to 1280m (August 31st)
After breakfast, we recommend Farewell to your porters, cook and guide (as space is limited at the Mweka Gate)
Note: About 3-4hrs descend, 20kms from Millenium to Mweka Park Gate,
Note: About 3hrs descend, 15kms from Mweka Forest Camp to Mweka Park Gate,
You will require to sign-out registration and claim your luggage from your Guide.
The Guide will then put your baggage into the transfer vehicle.
Transfer drive time: Departure 11h30am - about 2hrs from Mweka Gate to Arusha. - BL
Accommodation: Arusha Bungalow
Meals included: breakfast and hot lunch in Arusha
Total Hiking Distance: ~95 km

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Nihahi Ridge Trail

With our new hiking boots, we heard that this hike was a good one to start the season with.

At the base of the trail, it is quite nice with the creek beside it:
After 1.5 hours, it seems like I only made it up only about halfway as the new boots gave me a heck of a blister. But the view was still quite nice:

I was able to divert a few people from going the wrong way, switched shoes and had a sandwich while Mike and Carol went up for another half hour. I also snapped this butterfly:

Only took us an hour to get back down and back to the car, where Mike was then promptly given a $57 parking ticket for not parking in a designated area. Happy Birthday Mike!

So once I break-in the hiking boots, get a lighter backpack, and am not sore from playing vball the night before, I'm sure we'll be able to tackle Nihahi Ridge again. But this time, find a better parking spot and reach the summit.

Later, O.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Travel Clinic Appointment

Mr. Cullingham has "made an appointment for 5 people for 10:00 am Saturday June 10, at Odyssey Travel Clinic. The appointment will be with Dr. Rudy Zimmer."

Sunbow Professional Centre
Suite 208, 2004 14th Street N.W.
Ph: 403 210-4770

Please come with your vaccination/immunization records and any other pertinent records that may be useful. The first appointment will take 30 to 60 minutes, and will iclude:
  • A review of your past and present medical profile, including your immunization records
  • A discusion of our travel plans (itinerary, accommodations, activities and reason for travel)
  • Advice, recommend vaccines, and provide prescriptions
  • Commencing required immunizations and set up subsequent visits if more are required.
Cost will be $185 for the 5 of us plus the cost of immunization shots/pills/medications etc. Cost of immunization is on their web page:"

Please contact Mr. Cullingham if you are unable to make it, "They only offer one Saturday appointment per month - if Saturday doesn't work we'll have to try for a weekday."

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

LED Head Gear

A great webstore that I've frequented lately has a great sale on LED headlights on right now. They accept paypal and I've had no problems with them at all.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Travel Visa

Mr Cranston has pointed that "we will all need a visa to enter Tanzania which can be obtained through the Tanzania High Commission in Ottawa. Web site with application form and info is"

Travel Clinic

Mr. Cullingham has "been in contact with Odyssey Travel Clinic re: vaccination shots, drugs, medications etc and timing for the trip to Kilimanjaro.

It's located at:

Sunbow Professional Centre
Suite 208, 2004 14th Street N.W.
Ph: 403 210-4770

Odyssey run consultation clinics and are aware of the different kinds of shots – pros and cons - and have had significant experience with backcountry trekking, altitude sickness etc. Consultation fees run from $60 per person to $150 per group of 4 with $35 for each additional i.e. if all 7 of us were interested the bill would be ~$36.45 per person. Costs of various vaccinations, boosters etc are on top of the consultation fee. A list of some of the costs are on their web page. They suggest coming in May or June. Saturday appointments are available.

If there is the interest please respond with preferred days and times and I will see if I can find a time slot suitable to all."

Monday, March 27, 2006

Scuba Diving

Wanted to save the URL for a possible scuba dive site that's on the island on Pemba which is 30 miles north of Zanzibar

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Updated Intinerary

Here's the updated Itinerary, we have chosen to take the Machame route now and be staying at the Millenium rather than Mweka camp on the way down.

Sun, Aug 20 Transport London -> Kilimanjaro Airport -> Arusha (Arusha Country Style Bungalow)
Mon, Aug 21 Safari Day 1: Lake Manyara National Park (Lake Manyara Serena Lodge)
Tue, Aug 22 Safari Day 2: Ngorongoro Crater (Ngorongoro Serena Lodge)
Wed, Aug 23 Transport Safari Area -> Arusha – part day in Arusha, prep for hike (Arusha Bungalow)
Thu, Aug 24 Trek Day 1: Macheme Camp
Fri, Aug 25 Trek Day 2: Shira Camp
Sat, Aug 26 Trek Day 3: Borranco Camp
Sun, Aug 27 Trek Day 4: Karanga Valley
Mon, Aug 28 Trek Day 5: Barafu
Tue, Aug 29 Trek Day 6: Summit day, descend to Millenium Camp
Wed, Aug 30 Trek Day 7: Descend to Mweka gate, and transport to Arusha Bungalow
Thu, Aug 31 R&R Relax and Re-packing (Arusha Bungalow)
Fri, Sep 1 Transport Arusha -> Kilimanjaro Airport

Mike has suggested that we add an extra day for the safari to make it an even two week trip. I have plenty of vacation time, so I agree.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Mobile Phone Coverage

Would still have to confirm with someone, but there seems to the possibility of cell phone use at the peak. Vodacom Tanzania uses GSM on both 900 & 1800 Mhz frequency but I'm not sure if they allow roaming. But that means we could probably rent/buy a cheap phone rather than using a satellite phone (or none at all). My trusty Sony Ericsson T616 can use 1800 but not 900 band.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Altitude Check

A few comparisions of why to climb Mount Kilimanjaro:
  • Mt Kilimanjaro Uhuru Peak - 19344 feet / 5895 meters
  • Jungfrau Peak 13,642 feet / 4158 meters
  • Sunshine Village Ski Hill's Top Altitude - 8954 feet / 2730 meters
  • Calgary International Airport - 3736 feet / 1139 meters
  • Mt Everest Base Camp - 17,500 feet / 5350 meters
  • Mt Everest Summit - 29,028 feet / 8848 meters
  • Mt Mckinley Peak 20,032 feet / 6194 meters
Note that the last two are pretty remote and not easily accessible and also that at 18,000 feet the oxygen is about 50% of that at sea level.

Shira 7 night sample trip from ATR

Date Description
Fri 01-Sep-06 Fly : XXxxxxx : xxxxxxx to Kilimanjaro

Car : Kilimanjaro airport to Moivaro Lodge (approx 1.5 hrs)

Accommodation : Arusha : Moivaro Lodge (bed and breakfast)

Sat 02-Sep-06 Trek : Kilimanjaro : Shira 7 night route

Briefing : at Moivaro Lodge

Accommodation : Arusha : Moivaro Lodge (bed and breakfast)

Sun 03-Sep-06 Transfer : Ilboru Lodge to Shira trailhead : 2 to 3 hours

Trek : Trailhead to Shira One : gentle ascent through shrub forest : 4 to 5 hours

Accommodation : Kilimanjaro Shira : Shira One Flycamp (inclusive)

Mon 04-Sep-06 Trek : Shira One to Shira Hut : ascent of Shira Cathedral : 4 to 5 hours

Accommodation : Kilimanjaro Shira : Shira Hut Flycamp (inclusive)

Tue 05-Sep-06 Trek : Shira Hut to Moir Hut : gradual ascent from moorland into alpine desert : 3 to 4 hours

Trek : optional hike : exploration of the remote Northern Icefields and ascent of the Lent Hills : 3 to 5 hours

Accommodation : Kilimanjaro Shira : Moir Hut Flycamp (inclusive)

Wed 06-Sep-06 Trek : Moir Hut to Lava Tower campsite : gradual ascent across alpine desert : 3 to 4 hours

Trek : optional hike : spectacular ascent to Arrow Glacier : 2 to 3 hours

Accommodation : Kilimanjaro Shira : Lava Tower Flycamp (inclusive)

Thu 07-Sep-06 Trek : Lava Tower to Karanga Valley : taverse of Southern Flank including the Barranco Wall : 4 to 5 hours

Trek : optional hike : walks above Karanga campsite : 2 to 3 hours

Accommodation : Kilimanjaro Shira : Karanga Valley Flycamp (inclusive)

Fri 08-Sep-06 Trek : Karanga Valley to Barafu Hut : steep ascent to highest campsite : 3 to 4 hours

Accommodation : Kilimanjaro Shira : Barafu Hut Flycamp (inclusive)

Sat 09-Sep-06 Trek : Barafu Hut to Stella Point : night time ascent up all the way : 5 to 7 hours

Trek : Stella Point to Uhuru Peak : around the crater rim : 1 to 2 hours

Trek : Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp : downhill all the way : 5 to 7 hours

Accommodation : Kilimanjaro Shira : Mweka Flycamp (inclusive)

Sun 10-Sep-06 Trek : Mweka Camp to Mweka trailhead : painful descent : 5 to 6 hours

Transfer : Mweka Trailhead to Moivaro Lodge : 1 to 2 hours

Accommodation : Arusha : Moivaro Lodge (bed and breakfast)

Mon 11-Sep-06 Onward details to be confirmed……

Tuesday, January 31, 2006


Well, the plans are to go in late August/early September 2006. Our party will consist of ~10 members at this time. Hopefully we'll be spending a few days to do a safari as well, with some time to acclimatize beforehand and a few days afterwards of R&R on the island of Zanzibar.

From what I've read so far off the 'net, I've discovered that there are multiple paths to take to reach the Uhuru peak so we're still trying to nail down the route with ATR, the company that we'll most likely be organizing our trip with.

Some links:
PS. I've also added Mike C. and Rob C. to help out with the blog.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Initial Posting

Welcome to another blog about climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. We hope to use this to document all our trials and tribulations about such an adventure.