GEARING UP FOR OUR TRIP TO KILIMANJARO

October 2021 sees the first Outdoor Club adventure over seas as a group of 20-odd rookie and experienced hikers take on the highest summit in Africa, Kilimanjaro. At 5,892m, Kilimanjaro is one of the seven summits, and is the tallest mountain in the African continent.

We’ve chosen this as our first adventure for multiple reasons, firstly we want to inspire people to set goals beyond the weighing scales or the body fat percentage. We want a scary goal on the horizon the looms over people and becomes the overwhelming motivation for their training. We want conversations around the gym to be exciting and about exploration rather than what they ate differently this week compared to last week to reach their goals. We have BIGGER goals than that!

Our second big reason is to support one of our very own inspirational members, Caroline Leon (co-founder of online e-learning platform for health and fitness, A Life Of Education) on her second Guinness World record attempt.

GEARING UP FOR OUR TRIP TO KILIMANJARO

Supporting our Community

Our second big reason is to support one of our very own inspirational members, Caroline Leon (co-founder of online e-learning platform for health and fitness, A Life Of Education) on her second Guinness World record attempt.

This time she is attempting to be the fastest woman to summit all seven volcanic summits around the world. In 2015 Caroline fell from a rock climbing wall and was forced to endure two years of recovery from 14 surgeries repairing shattered bones in her feet, pelvis and spine and has since been on a mission to inspire those around her, a challenge we have gladly accepted!

Our third and perhaps most impactful reason to climb Kili is to support our old friends at Gulf for Good, a home grown charity organization that has been in operation in the UAE for the last twenty years. Since 2001, G4G has been tirelessly implementing sustainable projects for underprivileged children in the developing world and we are delighted to be able to help.

So, in October this year, friends new and old will travel from the UAE, Poland, Morocco, Ireland and England to meet at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro and set out on a seven day trek along the Rongai Route to the summit Uhuru Peak, 5,895m above sea level. For many it is a new exposure to hiking in itself, having never climbed higher than a local foothill or cliff top. Those of us in the United Arab Emirates are lucky to have the Jebel Jais mountain range in the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah to use as a proving ground, with some challenging hikes and trails, although at under 2,000m, the peak at Jebel Jais is less than half of Kilimanjaro.

trek preparation
Gulf-for-Good

Between now and then we have a lot to do! Each person’s training regime will involve a combination of strength training, cardiovascular training and getting out into the mountains to get experience and build durability going uphill and downhill. With 10 months to prepare we are super confident we will have a successful trip.

One of the major obstacles to success is the dreaded risk of altitude sickness that could strike down any of our party without reason. Altitude sickness is caused by quickly ascending into high altitude regions of the atmosphere with low amounts of oxygen. There are a variety of ways it might make a hiker feel with nausea and dizziness being the most common. This is something we can’t prepare for so between now and then we will be doing everything we can to get our hiker’s lungs fit and robust to minimize the risk of any symptoms. The risk of alititude sickness can be minimised by an incremental ascent that maximises the period of acclimatisation.

We’re looking forward to the next few months, we have lots of mini events planned to build the team’s bond together, get people fit and strong for the mountain. The training plan looks like a mix of high intensity training events mixed with slow steady state cardio with a couple of fun filled yoga and Pilates classes for good measure. We’ll be going out into the mountains as often we can to build people’s confidence in the slopes and improve their endurance. When the summer comes around we’ll be up early some weekends to beat the heat and others will see us stair climbing and ski slope hiking inside ski-Dubai with Gulf for Good.

We’re really excited for this year and we can’t wait to share in the success of our rookie and experienced hikers, keep an eye out for more updates and progress reports. Our outdoor club will be busy out and about in the hills, mountains and sand dunes, so watch this space and get in touch if you’d like to join our next outdoor club activity!

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