Training. It seemed endless at times. Fortunately I’d started a modest running program in late summer. With my commitment to the project at the end of October, 2013 came stair training. We had an arrangement with a downtown hotel to use their fitness centre facilities and 32 story stairwell, so twice a week I’d head there and climb stairs. Anywhere from 4 to 10 sets at a session, up and down. In total, I climbed that stairwell 117 times, with about six weeks away from it in January and February due to a shoulder injury. 117 sets, 52,650 steps, 3,744 floors, 11.5 kilometers vertically. You lose weight and build climbing legs doing that.
We travelled as a group to Lake Placid, NY in November to climb Mt. Marcy, the highest peak in New York State. While we were limited to about 7 hours due to daylight it was a terrific opportunity to get a taste of what we’d encounter on Kili and learn about using layers to stay warm without overheating and generally conserve energy.
Aside from training, the preparation consisted of endless shopping and reading. Combining advice from Shawn, our team, Dream Mountains alumni who climbed Kili 3 years before, and endless reading online,
it was a gradual process of whittling down the list to get what I needed. In the end I was well fitted out, much better than if I hadn’t had that prior experience to lean on.