Jan 6 – Kilimanjaro Recap

My amazing adventure companions Julian Cook and Steven Newman have made several Facebook postings about summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro. First, let me clarify my place in this accomplishment.

On summit night, we started at 11pm, making our way up the initial steep path in the cold high altitude air. I sensed some occasional irregularity in my heartbeat, but wasn’t terribly alarmed as this happens occasionally ans is of no concern. After almost an hour, I still felt some “blips”–which means inconsistent blood/oxygen flow and diminished performance. I mentioned this to Jeff, aka super-experienced mountaineer. A few minutes later he asked, “Where did you say you kept your nitro?”

That did it. It’s not that there was a great risk, but that the risk factor had elevated. It wasn’t so much that it was bad, It just wasn’t ideal. In 2015, thanks to Matt Parkes, I got a second chance to live. I’ll not get a third. In a previous time I would have pushed on, common sense smothered by determination and ambition. Not this time. No summit is worth risking my life.

Before I left the U.S. I asked my son what he wanted me to bring from Africa and he said, “Just bring your ass back.” My ass is in Frankfurt Airport awaiting flight to U.S.

Kilimanjaro is an incredible mountain I got to love on for eight days, climbing to high camp at 15,300′. My teammates were incredible–such a privilege to spend an adventure with! Our guides and support staff were amazing! My special thanks to “Crazy Willie”. A highlight of my trip was dancing and singing with him at our second camp. I love love love the energy and rhythm of African music! I have so many memories I’ll treasure forever. It was so special to see my new friends achieve success and go to the roof of Africa. Who knows, maybe some other time I will as well.

Hakuna Matata

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7 Responses to Jan 6 – Kilimanjaro Recap

  1. Linda Bowers says:

    You are so brave, Ann!!!! We are very proud of all you achieve, especially this time …your common sense! You HAVE conquered Kilimanjaro in our eyes!!! Your life is the one most important and amazing gift to yourself, infinitely more than a few thousand feet! Looking forward to hearing about this amazing adventure, especially the dancing!!!! have a safe journey home, Annie!
    Lots of love,
    Linda and Jeff xx

  2. John E. Rauch (Dr. Jack) says:

    So glad you used your head vs. your heart, knowing you really wanted to fulfill your dream , but I was concerned how you would tolerate the higher elevations. Good decision, have a good trip home. Happy New Year.

  3. Darci Newman says:

    Hi Annie,

    Glad to hear you’re safe and most importantly healthy. When Steve asked me what I wanted for Christmas, my response was almost the same as your son’s…lol. Thanks for being a source of encouragement and support for him. And, thanks for seeing that he also got home safely. Take care and come see us again in the future :)

  4. Tor says:

    It was a pleasure to meet you Annie and spend time together as we climbed out of the jungle and up into the Arctic. You have an important and amazing story to share with the world. I look forward to reading your book and getting to know you better in the coming years. Keep on keeping on, Tor Torkildson

    • Annie says:

      Thanks Tor! Great to meet you and Siffy as well. Book is my priority, my story is one I wish to share with the world. Thanks so much for your encouragement!

  5. Julian Cook says:

    This trip would not have been the same without you Annie. Most importantly, we need to come back alive and the summit push was brutal, much more difficult than I expected. There’s no way I could have made it had it not been for the encouragement of you and the team. I am so happy you came and really enjoyed your company.

  6. Christine Elling says:

    Attempting in January. Thanks for the words of wisdom. Close to your age. Need to honor my life.

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