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kilimanjaro 16th Feb 2011

Tue, 08/03/2010 - 14:09

Hi all,just wondered who else is on the trip departing London on Wed 16th Feb 2011.John

My latest posts

Tue, 08/17/2010 - 20:39
Hi there. My brother and I just got our confirmation today- we'll both be there.
Just got the kit list through today- starting to look for gear. Sorry to say we're both beginners-you?
Mon, 08/23/2010 - 20:14

Hey nice to hear from you.Im going with a few mates from work so should be good.I went on the Excodus trip in Nepal last year and loved it.You will have a great time.Have you ever done anything like this before?

Sun, 08/29/2010 - 11:36

Not really. The most climbing we've ever done is Franz Joseph glacier in New Zealand. We've also never done any trips with Exodus before, all our travel has been independent. We're desperately trying to get our fitness levels up for the trip and are already unamused by everyone telling us that 'if a fat radio one dj can do it, everyone can....' We can't wait though. Do you have all your gear?


Wed, 09/22/2010 - 21:09

Hi, am also joining the Kilimanjaro trip departing on the 16th of Feb. Can't wait! Never really done anything like it before, but am doing it to raise money for charity so already hitting the gym and trying to prepare as much as I can. Have any of you started to collect all the gear yet? Beth.

Fri, 09/24/2010 - 18:28

Ok cool what charity re you raising money for?See you have just come back from the east coast of Africa,what was that like?

Sat, 09/25/2010 - 10:19

hiya john,thought id come see who was joining our trip & i see we have a couple of others on here,hello,emma & beth,im james & work with john.
ive just recently done mont blanc with exodus,amazing trip & i suspect kili will be just as good,cant wait,just under 5 months ;o)
ive got all my kit from previous trips but if anyone doesnt have it all & wants advise,whilst im no expert ive got a few idea about whos gear is ok

Fri, 10/01/2010 - 10:42

Hi everyone,
Kilimanjaro has been on my Wish List for years now and I'm so excited that I'm going to do this trip at long last! My husband and a mate of his have signed up too. We've got most of the gear already but any excuse to trawl the outdoor gear shops and web for deals.

[i]Grab a chance and you won't be sorry for a might-have-been. (A. Ransome)[/i]

Mon, 10/11/2010 - 18:08

Hello to you all. Nice to see so many people coming and it makes it so much more real to see the names of our group in black and white!
Any help on gear would be welcome from those who are all kitted up. Any particular brands or styles that are winners for these kind of temperatures/conditions?

Tue, 10/12/2010 - 12:55

Well a mate of mine has just come back from the Killi trip and he said it was cold at the top.You will def need some warm layers.Has everyone recieved thier discount vouchers for Ellis Bingham and Nomad travel??We get 15% discount in Ellis Bingham and 10% discount in Nomad.If you have not got them phone the Excodus help line to get them.

Tue, 10/12/2010 - 13:06

As for brands or style of equipment its really up to the indvidual and how much you want to spend of course.Maybe get some walking magazines like Trail as they have information on equipment tests they carry out.Im looking for some new walking boots and i think next months Trail magazine is doing a section on them,Also on how much you feel the cold.When im walking i usually wear a t-shirt,fleece and a waterproof coat if its cold.I persoanlly find down jackets to warm but are good to wear in the evening at dinner or when your sitting around.Im proberly going to hire the down jacket and sleeping bag to save carry them all the way to Africa.

Tue, 10/12/2010 - 21:29

EM,im told it could be well into the -0c especially on summit night so as john says a layering system of clothing is best so you can add or take off.i personally love RAB clothing but johns right again its down to what your budget is,there are probably better & worse brands than RAB but it works for me so i stick to it & i definatly agree that you get what you pay for with outdoor gear."livefortheoutdoors" & "outdoormagic" websites do alot of reviews on clothing & equipment.
il be taking a wide range of clothing to hopefully cover all situations as we will experience all sorts on lemosho,if you want abit more info on stuff post again on what you want to know & someone in the group should have an answer.
i cant wait now,its only 4 months away,nice seeing a few people on here though & finding out whos going,on my recent exodus trip to mont blanc i didnt know anyone before i got there as noone had posted in compass cafe

Fri, 10/15/2010 - 21:38

All that info is great. Thank you. I'm definitely going to have a look at the reviews. Need to get my boots broken in as soon as possible. None of you want to listen me complain all the way to the top...

Fri, 10/15/2010 - 22:42

dont worry im sure we will all be complaining at some stage or other about something ;o) but wise to break boots in for sure,wearing the socks your going to wear on the trip to break them in is something i always do if thats any help

Sat, 10/16/2010 - 10:37

Thanks for all the info, its really good to know. Do you know if its relatively easy to hire stuff while your out there? Also, with only 4 months to go (ahh!), what kind of training is everyone doing? Sorry even more questions! John, I absolutely fell in love with Africa. The people are so friendly and the way of life is so laid back! I only spent a couple of days in Arusha but it was one of my favorite cities so am really looking forward to be going back :)

Sat, 10/16/2010 - 18:30

The most important thing is just to walk at a nice gentle pace on our trek,drink plenty of water and eat as much as possible.As for training really depends how fit you are in the 1st place.Im just going to do the step machine down the gym.Some weights on my legs and swimming as it might help with extra lung capacity.I read earlier this year the an 83yr old got to the summit!!

Sat, 10/16/2010 - 21:27

john,before you say it im not 83 yet ;o) haha.

beth,ive just been looking through the trip notes & it gives a link for gear hire but i think its in the UK,might be best to emial exodus & ask about gear hire once we get there just incase you cant & need to get it here.

training....john is super fit,the git be running between 2-6 miles,cycling upto 10miles,few light weights,swimming & a stupid one but effective ive found is loading up a rucksack with weight & going up & down the stairs in my house,il do each a couple of times a week.

john is spot on with the eating & drinking,its easy not to do both but you got to even if you dont feel like it.POLE POLE or slowly slowly is definatly the way to go & fingers crossed we will all be celebrating at the top ;o)

Mon, 10/18/2010 - 10:56

I'm getting to the summit by any means necessary. Even if I have to pay you all to drag me up by my ankles!

Mon, 10/18/2010 - 11:10

i dont plan on having to pay the group haha,but im planning to make the summit (unless its going to kill me).i maybe a shortass,but im a determined little git ;o) of the 5 of us on my recent trip to mont blanc,only little ol me made the top when i probably really shouldnt of given the odds stacked against us.
kili were all coming to get kind to us on our trip & let us all make the top !!!!

Mon, 10/18/2010 - 11:20

Hi everyone,
Exodus quoted following prices to me for hiring via their local agents : sleeping bag £40, down jacket £50, sleeping pad/mat £25. I've just bought a very lightly used down sleeping bag on ebay for under half its new price and I'll be using my alpkit sleeping pad. I'm going to be taking lots of layers, thin and thick, all either polyester or wool for best wicking effect, a mix of cheap and more technical brands. Much of my walking/trek gear I got from sales at various outdoor shops and websites. Check out the outdoor brands in the outlet villages or factory shops for some great bargains on the costly stuff - sometimes just the fact that it's last year's model/colours means saving 50% or better. For example, my big waterproof, breathable jacket came from a Helly Hansen outlet at MacArthur Glen Cheshire Oaks and it's been going strong for ten years now. Will reproof it before the trip.
I've been umming and ahhing about whether to take my ski pants for the summit night - after all they're windproof, waterproof, super-insulated, have integral gaiters and I don't find them too movement restrictive, however, keep wondering if they'd be too heavy and/or warm after sun comes up and on the way down (that's hoping I do make it up there!) and whether I'd be better layering long-johns, fleece pants, winterweight trek pants and waterproof overtrousers... Anyone want to help me make my mind up, LOL?

Training for me at the moment is walking absolutely everywhere (extra effort in pushing the pushchair or carrying my son in the backpack, ;-) ) and hiking in the woods with the backpack each week. I need to force myself to either go out running or swimming - not my favourite activities but they'll make a difference I know. Meanwhile I'm doing 15-20 minutes every day or so of walking up and down the 4 flights of stairs in our building.
Planning to do some day hikes when at the in-laws in a couple of weeks and again at Christmas - where they live is mountainous and very cold in winter. May well see snow on the ground next month.

Mon, 10/18/2010 - 11:41

cheers for the hire info ;o),il probably get a sleeping bag,my alpkit is only a -10 bag & it could well be colder,got a mat & down jacket already.
im with you on the layers & different thinkness thing,thats definatly the way forward in my limited experience.
some great online bargins to be had "theoutdoorshop" in stony stratford ive found are pretty good,i normally speak to sarah,top class customer service,dan is always helpful to.
summit night id say layers is best instead of your ski pants,il be wearing my lifa base bottoms,terra thermic trousers & waterproof trousers over the top,that way im flexable & both my terra thermic's & waterproof trousers unzip at the side for ventilation if needed

Wed, 10/20/2010 - 13:42

You're right about the great deals online. The sales are on and there are some amazing bargains if you look around. Then i'll keep all the gear in use by doing Everest base camp next year...
On another note, my brother unfortunately can't make it but my boyfriend has stepped in. Exodus have been fantastic with helping change all the flights and other details. I think it bodes well for our trip that they are so helpful and organised!

Sun, 10/31/2010 - 12:43

Hi there, I hope that you don’t mind me posting on your forum, but having climbed Kilimanjaro via the Lemosho route with Exodus in September 10, I thought the following info might be of help.
When it comes to packing most of the group struggled to get everything in the Exodus kit bag, which is about 60-65 litres, the easiest solution was to pack a larger bag for the flight with the Exodus bag inside and then to pack the Exodus at the hotel, leaving the larger bag at the hotel with a clean change of clothes for your return. Remember to take some dry sacks / waterproof bags for packing you kit in case it rains.
I got my visa for $50 USD on arrival at Kilimanjaro as did most of the group, which was straight forward.
The food on Kilimanjaro is excellent, breakfast is normally porridge, eggs, bacon, toast, jam, peanut butter, fruit etc, with lunch and dinner are normally soups, meat, fish, stews, rice, pasta, , salads, fruit and lots of tea and hot water etc. although lunch will sometimes be a packed lunch, you’ll also be given chocolate, bananas and biscuits to eat during the day.
We were lucky with the weather in that it didn’t rain, but it does get very cold at night once the sun goes down and after the first couple of nights don’t be surprised if you end up putting your thermals, gloves and a hat on for dinner.
As you’d expect some days are tougher than others, with the Lava Tower (3rd day) generally being the hardest day (excluding summit night) for most of the group, although the drop in temperature during the day probably contributing as much as the change in altitude on the day.
The group of 12 that I climbed with was a fairly mixed bunch with ages ranging from early twenties, to mid sixties, with all 12 making the summit. To the best of my knowledge only three of the group took Diamox, with one starting prior to the trip and the other two from about the third or fourth day of trekking.
The guides are excellent and without doubt it was their experience, encouragement and singing that enabled all 12 of us to make it to the summit, when it looked like some of the group might not make it. At the initial briefing on the first day at the hotel you’ll be given a sheet outlining the tipping for the porters, helping porters, cook, assistant guides, chief guide etc, it’s worth checking the numbers with the Chief guide once the climb has started, as the initial list missed a couple of porters out.
You will need to carry at least 3 litres of water with you during the day, I had a Sigg bottle, a Nalgene bottle and a Camelbak, all three froze to some degree on summit night. Whilst I took water purification tablets I never needed them as the guides and porters treat the water, you will be advised to buy three litres of water from the hotel for the first day.
On summit night I wore two hats and a balaclava, seven layers on top (including a down jacket), thermal trousers and lined trousers, two pairs of socks and two pairs of gloves.
Moneywise, the following prices might help, beer at the hotel was $3USD a bottle, bottled water $2USD for a litre, the safari on the last day was $120USD (including lunch), lunch at the hotel on the first day was about $20USD, you only need to pay for lunch on the first day and the last day (if you don’t do the safari), all other meals are included. For the tipping of the porters and guides we all contributed between $80 and $100 USD which is divided up presented to the porters and guides after breakfast on the last day.
I changed up some US Dollars at the airport into Tanzanian Shillings but in hindsight there was no real need as US Dollars were accepted everywhere we went.
The safari on the last day was well worth it, with 8 of group going (2 had already been prior to the climb).
The trip is well organised and whilst at times it will be tough, you will get tired, you will get cold, you will feel miserable and occasionally you might even lose your sense of humour, at the end of the day you will all have a great time.
If there are any specific questions that I might be able to help with please let me know.

Good luck


Mon, 11/01/2010 - 18:41

Steve, thank you so much for that. This is the kind of really useful information that you rarely get about a trip before you go. I'm especially pleased you recommended the safari trip as my boyfriend and I are currently debating on whether to do that part or not.

Mon, 11/01/2010 - 19:27

steve,totally agree with emma,thats brilliant info ;o) always handy to have someone whos actually been on your trip give some feedback.
well done on reaching the summit,awsum achievement,i just hope all our group can be as successful as yours.
only 15 weeks togo............................s*"^ hahaha

Mon, 11/01/2010 - 19:54

massive thank you steve, so great to hear people who have been and congratulations on getting to the top! pressures on people! 15 weeks sounds way too little time, starting to freak out just a bit.. eeek cant wait! especially for all that food by the sounds of it :)

Mon, 11/01/2010 - 21:20

beth......thanks for reminding us about the pressure haha.
15 weeks aint long is it,im getting nervous already,but also very excited,be the highest ive been so slightly worried about the extra altitude kili brings.
food & drink important for all the group so we should keep an eye on each other to make sure were all taking on enough water & eating enough to keep energy levels up

Fri, 11/05/2010 - 12:04

Great to have all that detail and perspective on your trip. Congrats on summiting. My DH was somewhat incredulous at the idea of seven top layers for the summit night but... whatever it takes to keep warm I guess! Did some nice hikes last week in the Vosges region - used poles for the first time and wow, what a difference they make! I'm a convert.

Fri, 11/05/2010 - 14:40

steve,i got a dumb question,what were your seven layers ? who's gear do you wear ?

augusta- id never used poles before my mont blanc trip in august,they were invaluable in the snow,definatly saved me a couple of be taking them to kili though as i think they will be of great help in the higher altitudes where the lack of oxygen drains your energy

Fri, 11/05/2010 - 20:47

James, if I remember correctly, my seven layers were, a long sleeved Icebreaker 260 t- shirt, a long sleeved North Face wicking t-shirt, 2 short sleeved North Face wicking t-shirts, a North Face 100 Polartech fleece, a North Face windwall vest (body warmer) and a North Face Nuptse 700 down jacket. To be honest I hadn’t realised that so many of my layers were North Face, but in my defence the t-shirts are all old running shirts. Like Augusta and yourself, I had never used poles until recently, with Kilimanjaro being the first time that I’d used poles, which I would definitely recommend for the latter stages of the ascent and for most of the descent. Steve

Fri, 11/05/2010 - 21:58

haha steve abit of a NF fan ;o) i got one of their rucksacks but no clothing.i always use a layering system when im in the hills/mountains,i do get quite warm once i get going,i done couple of winter trips to ben nevis at the start of the year,one of them was terrible weather,definatly sub zero & only had 3 layers on for that trip,i guess il juat take plenty of cloths to kili & play it by ear,definatly good to hear your words of wisdom & what we could be in for.

il definatly take my poles,i wont use them the first few days,but as you say the latter stages & coming down i think they will make all the have to go look see if you added any photos of your trip,would be great to see some before we depart.

Mon, 11/08/2010 - 22:38

By far the best information is $3 for a beer.I know what i will be saving all my money for.

Mon, 11/08/2010 - 22:42

TRUST YOU hahaha,mind you i think you will deserve a beer when we get back down in 1 piece,il have a lemonade with you ;o)

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 08:49

Quick question: Is everyone getting their visa before they leave or on arrival?


Sun, 01/02/2011 - 12:40

Everything I've read about getting visa on arrival reports it's pretty straightforward, although might be some queuing involved. I think I read it was 50 USD to pay in cash for EU passports, versus £38 for the consulate-issued visa.

Did a 15km hike in 30cm snow and -3C last week - was a good test of the legs and of all the winter gear! ;-)

Sun, 01/02/2011 - 13:21

hey all,im not travelling on the trip anymore.i got my travel insurance through exodus & the company used are being assholes & wont insure because i had a problem my foot about a month ago,its cleared up now & is fine but apparently im uninsurable for the trip in february :o( gutted just doesnt come into it.

good luck to everyone,il be thinking of you all with envy come the 16th feb


Sat, 01/15/2011 - 00:21

gutted for you James, that's a nightmare - get booked up for next year!!

Sat, 01/15/2011 - 00:26

Steve, your post is invaluable, thank you!!

& 7 layers, wow, I was just sifting through trying to cut my bag down for departure next month, will just need to re wear my climb clothes on the safari days !

Sat, 01/15/2011 - 00:39

cheers katherine,SOOOOO DISSAPOINTED :o( my bloody feet are fine now,ive complained to the insurance company,gone straight to the top of the tree,waiting to hear back from them,still wont be on the trip though.but il be thinking of you all come the 16th & wondering how your all doing,really hope you all make the summit.

see the specialist tuesday 18th jan,hopefully he will do his stuff,tell insurance they are being idiots & they will realise & then insure me & my mate john & i can transfere our trip to june-sept.

best of luck to everyone

Sat, 01/15/2011 - 16:57

Hi James and everyone else

I just booked to join this trip in February, a bit last minute but I really needed a holiday and went on a couple of great climbing trips last year in Argentina and Mont Blanc so I am praying I will be fit enough in the next month to make it up Kili.

I really hope you get your insurance situation sorted.  Did you try insuring with anyone else?  I always use the British Mountaineering Council insurance which may be a bit more expensive but they cover pretty much everything (for various reasons I often struggle to get insured too), so I would be really surprised if they wouldnt cover you.

I live in Dublin but am on the group flight from heathrow so I guess I will see some of you there.

Sun, 01/16/2011 - 22:11

hi selina,

you probably got my spot BBOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOO haha.good luck to you though,really hope you make the summit along with everyone else,my bad luck doesnt detract from the fact i want everyone else to succeed.

i done mont blanc in august as abit of a warm up for kilimanjaro,blanc was simply AWSUM.

still waiting on news from insurance company but i see the specialist tue 18th so il know alot more a member of BMC,i did think of taking out their insurance,wish i would of now :o( you live & learn & once this is sorted out i probably will look at BMC's policy

Tue, 01/18/2011 - 19:31

Hey Selina!

Welcome to the group, if you've done Argentina and Mont Blanc im sure you'll be fine. Much more mountain climbing than I've done :) and last minute holidays are always the best!! Can't believe how soon it really is.. very excited but ive definitely started having sleepless nights.

Again, so sorry about your situation James. Insurance companies are rubbish but keep thinking positively! Maybe try the BMC insurance and get a space on a trip for the summer :) How did your appointment with the foot specialist go?  

Sun, 01/30/2011 - 10:40

Sorry to hear about your insurance issue James. Hope the specialist's appointment went well?!


Just wanted to ask some advice about the kit bag. Is everyone using the one from exodus to bring everything over and using a different one to keep spare clothing at the lodge? I'm currently trying to get weight down to a bare minimum without it ending up with me freezing to death on the mountain!


Wed, 02/02/2011 - 22:08

Hi Emma

Yes I was planning to use my kit bag to bring stuff out.  I have a rucksack carrier (for when you fly to stop the straps getting stuck in conveyor belts etc), its a super lightwieght tough bag - you can get them quite cheaply in all outdoor shops - eg blacks.  The good thing is it is quite big and you can put your kit bag inside it with additional stuff that may not fit in the kit bag and then leave the rucksack carrier with anything you want to leave at the lodge.  Just make sure you wear you hiking boots and anything else vaguely heavy on the plane and you'll be fine - at least we dont need crampons or ice axes, thats when weight gets really tricky!  The other thing I would suggest is dont bring a sleeping bag unless you are really sure yours will be warm enough.  When I went to Argentina last January I took mine, and then was told when I got there I had to hire one.  Thats about 3kg in your bag wasted.  From experience there are very few sleeping bags you can get in the UK that are warm enough for camping at altitude and those that there might be are seriously expensive, so I am going to hire.  I guess the internal flight allowance from Nairobi to Kili airport is 20kgs? Plus you have a hand luggage allowance for your day sack with heavy stuff.  Hope that helps, if in doubt just wear as much as you can!


Thu, 02/03/2011 - 20:54

hey all,

cant believe your trip is so close,still gutted about my situation but still very excited for you all ;o)

 see the specialist on 18th january,brief consultation,took bloods to do a few tests on,i go back on 15th feb for results etc etc.had no further problems with my feet either since mid december so see what the outcome is,whatever it is fingers crossed i can then think about getting a later trip booked in 2011.

selina,im going to look into BMC insurance,the insurance i took out via Exodus has been cancelled so il need new travel insurance,im BMC member so should of taken their nsurance ouit in the first place.

call me a stalker but il keep an eye on the page & hopefully hear some of your amazing stories,im so jealous......................

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 13:58

Trust you will get the all clear on the 15th and can go ahead with a replacement trip in top form later this year.

Hi to Selina and Katherine - new to this thread since I last looked in.

Had a grotty January beset by various winter bugs that interrupted training somewhat. Back to feeling good again and here's hoping I stay that way with just over a week to departure! Intending to pack this weekend - there are items of kit all over. 

Tue, 02/15/2011 - 10:42

thanks augusta,they cancelled my apointment on 15th feb,its now on the 22nd feb so il go from still REALLY annoyed as nothing wrong with my feet & hasnt been since begining of december :o( 

 FINAL GOOD LUCK TO EVERYONE THOUGH ;o) im jealous as safe,keep an eye on each other,take it slow & hopefully you will all be celebrating on the top together


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