It’s amazing how quickly strangers become friends and friends become family when embarking on a challenging adventure. This was most certainly the case on my climb of Kilimanjaro via the Western Breach over Christmas with KiliWarriors.
From meeting Wilbert and Gerry upon arriving in Arusha, I knew I had chosen wisely. Not only were they friendly but they have a genuineness about them that shines through. Even before we ventured off to the base of the mountain, Wilbert made some calls and managed to find me a small video/audio shop that carried an audio cord for my camera that I had dumbly forgotten back in California. He didn’t need to make those calls but he did.
Upon meeting our guides and larger group we’d be climbing with, it was clear that the genuine, family like environment did not just stop at Gerry and Wilbert. EVERYONE was amazingly kind, personable and helpful. Our head guides, Shedraq, Efatha, and Felix really set the tone.
Shedraq was always knowledgeable but also kept things light and fun. I still think about the game of “Name that Tune” we played above 14,000ft on our way to Lava Tower Camp.
Efatha is someone you chat with for one minute and you quickly realize he is a special and kind soul. His smile is infectious and I’m sure it has lifted the morale of all the groups he guides.
Felix was extremely dedicated. He had a late start joining us and trekked alone with little to no breaks to meet up with us at Lava Tower as he was tending to Mama Luis who suffered an injury before the start of our climb. Hope Luis is healing up and feeling better! Thanks for doubling up the mountain to take care of us Felix!
Our support team was big and awesome. I am in awe of their abilities and positive attitudes. Can never thank them enough for all they did for us! Too many names to list but shoutouts to Jumar for his amazing cooking, Johannes who carved the final snowy slope toward the summit ridge for us, Brown, Wilson (aka KittyMoto), Alex and everyone else! Last and certainly not least, Mr. Kananae (apologies for mis-spelling!) who seems to be the glue that holds it all together from meal serving/making sure we ate enough, singing and just being an overall awesome dude!
Finally, KiliWarrior attracts the right kind of people. I joined as a solo and met 4 other folks who I quickly grew fondly of and loved spending time on the trail as well as in the mess tent. We would talk about what brought us here, where we wanted to go next and every silly thing in between.
It was amazing to summit with this crew but as they say, it’s not about the summit, it’s about the journey and I for one, would journey with KiliWarriors any day.
This adventure may feel foreign and intimidating to you the potential climber now but email/pick up that phone and call KiliWarriors! You’ll go from stranger to friend and KiliWarrior fam within the blink of an eye.