Old man can climb Kilimanjaro?

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ekid
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Old man can climb Kilimanjaro?

Post by ekid »

All right ya young whippersnappers who've done it- can I, at 74 and no bodybuilder? I got past 4000 meters just a few years ago- or was it 5000?

What part-way facilities are there where I can acclimate? Maybe fail easy preps of e-oxygen?

Something I am not thinking of? (Such as best airport for East Africa)
adamthesmythe
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Re: Old man can climb Kilimanjaro?

Post by adamthesmythe »

Well Martha Stewart did it, and she wore russet on summit day. Although that was before the insider trading.

I think it depends on how you did on 4000 m and how it went- if you did it with something to spare then you might be OK. At roughly the same age I'm not sure I could without substantial training; my last serious mountain was almost 10 years ago. There are people who do alpine stuff at that age. I remember reading that some altitude sicknesses hit the young more that the old.

Presumably you would go with a guiding company, and you can find on the web their descriptions of the excursion. I suppose it includes an overnight on the way up?
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ekid
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Re: Old man can climb Kilimanjaro?

Post by ekid »

I did the Pamir Hwy its highest point was 4600+ a little. I took a couple; three days getting up, and UP on the way from Dushanbe.
No problems.
I'd have plenty of time- I don't do schedules.

I thought to engage a guide or find a party to go with after arrival?
ROIGuy
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Re: Old man can climb Kilimanjaro?

Post by ROIGuy »

Work harder on improving high intensity intervals and lactic acid thresholds. Strengthen knees, ankles, low back and of course balance exercises.
livesoft
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Re: Old man can climb Kilimanjaro?

Post by livesoft »

From https://fairvoyage.com/can-you-climb-ki ... o-climber/

Image

But I think you know that. Basically, there are better places to learn about all this than bogleheads.org. We expect a trip report though when you get back. Thanks!

But whether YOU can do this: No one will be able to tell. I have friends older than you that would have no problem summiting Kilimanjaro based on how they run up mountains of lower elevation. Maybe go to Nepal first to see what happens to you.
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halfnine
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Re: Old man can climb Kilimanjaro?

Post by halfnine »

There is nothing inherently challenging or difficult on any of the trade routes up Kilimanjaro. If you can walk uphill a few thousand feet a day and have enough days to acclimate you'll be fine. If you are worried about acclimating simply add extra days to your trek or spend some time at altitude just prior to your trip.
halfnine
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Re: Old man can climb Kilimanjaro?

Post by halfnine »

ekid wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2024 11:49 am ...I thought to engage a guide or find a party to go with after arrival?...
I did that but it was many, many years ago. Arrived in Arusha, hired the mandatory guide and a porter for the guide and that was all it took. But, I am not sure it is practical these days. I imagine with increasing popularity and possibly quotas that you probably need to book well in advance with an appropriate agency to guarantee a spot.
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ekid
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Re: Old man can climb Kilimanjaro?

Post by ekid »

halfnine wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2024 12:28 pm There is nothing inherently challenging or difficult on any of the trade routes up Kilimanjaro. If you can walk uphill a few thousand feet a day and have enough days to acclimate you'll be fine. If you are worried about acclimating simply add extra days to your trek or spend some time at altitude just prior to your trip.
" simply add extra days to your trek or spend some time at altitude just prior to your trip."

Exactly so. I have time aplenty but not sure how that would work. I'd put me in a solo situation (worst case). Depending on how many oldsters are on the way?
funxional
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Re: Old man can climb Kilimanjaro?

Post by funxional »

I summited with an 83 year old so it's definitely possible. He was active but not an athlete or anything. The biggest aspect is to take it slow (I think we did 11 days) including camping in the crater rather than doing a 2am start to each the summit.

He took it day by day and you do need to be prepared to abort rather than forcing it but there isn't anything technical that would be a blocker.

Make sure you use a good guide company that can provide some references taking older hikers.

I missed the part about finding a company there. I strongly recommend against that. Do your research and coordination before you go.
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ekid
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Re: Old man can climb Kilimanjaro?

Post by ekid »

"many years ago. Arrived in Arusha, hired the mandatory guide and a porter for the guide and that was all it took."

That's what I Want to do! It's not likely the international tour groups will tell anyone I can book locally.?
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Re: Old man can climb Kilimanjaro?

Post by halfnine »

ekid wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2024 12:36 pm
halfnine wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2024 12:28 pm There is nothing inherently challenging or difficult on any of the trade routes up Kilimanjaro. If you can walk uphill a few thousand feet a day and have enough days to acclimate you'll be fine. If you are worried about acclimating simply add extra days to your trek or spend some time at altitude just prior to your trip.
" simply add extra days to your trek or spend some time at altitude just prior to your trip."

Exactly so. I have time aplenty but not sure how that would work. I'd put me in a solo situation (worst case). Depending on how many oldsters are on the way?
There are trips of different lengths. So simply find one that suits the number of days you want. As to solo well you are never really "solo" on Kilimanjaro. As to the hiking bit everyone takes the pace they desire anyway so you don't need to hike with your group and there will likely be plenty of other people around your pace.
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ekid
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Re: Old man can climb Kilimanjaro?

Post by ekid »

ROIGuy wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2024 11:58 am Work harder on improving high intensity intervals and lactic acid thresholds. Strengthen knees, ankles, low back and of course balance exercises.
(not Quite the bodybuilder you are)
My feet, ankles, knees, legs - I have absolute confidence in. My butt needs a little only for steep ascent. I'm worried about heart/lung excess capacity...I don't have a lot!

Not worried at all about altitude sickness- I can wait for acclimatizing.
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Re: Old man can climb Kilimanjaro?

Post by ekid »

" find one that suits the number of days you want."

I don't see how to know that until I fail at the fast pace?
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Re: Old man can climb Kilimanjaro?

Post by halfnine »

ekid wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2024 12:57 pm " find one that suits the number of days you want."

I don't see how to know that until I fail at the fast pace?
The extra days are for acclimatization not for pacing. The extra days are typically spent traversing the mountain. Whether you go on a 6 day or an 11 day trip the trips essentially have the same physical requirements. You essentially need to be capable of hiking 3000 ft in a day. It doesn't matter whether you arrive at camp at noon or at 5 pm as long as you can do that in a day. And more specifically all trips have the same hardest day which will be the summit day. The only way to avoid that hard day is to take a trip in which you camp at the crater. And, by default, this will be a longer trip because the guiding service is going to want to ensure you are well acclimated if you are going to sleep at around 18,500 feet.
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Re: Old man can climb Kilimanjaro?

Post by runningshoes »

There are a number of different routes to the summit, and multiple online sites to connect you with guide companies that are local to the area. The Arusha / Kili airport is about 20 miles from the mountain, and multiple airlines within all three major alliances can get you there from most major US airports with a single stop. I'd also look for a Kili forum that can answer all of your questions.
wanderer
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Re: Old man can climb Kilimanjaro?

Post by wanderer »

Yes, a person your age can climb Kili with the right preparation and attitude.

Yes, you can get a guide service on the ground, but you cannot vet their quality as easily as doing it ahead of time.
Yes, the longer routes of 8-11 days allow for more acclimatization.
No, your previous climbs do not demonstrate adequate ability to hike up Kili.

You should definitely find a guide service before you travel to Tanzania and discuss with them honestly your skills and concerns so they can best match you up with a team that fits your needs.
Consider going with a group you know. I last summitted at age 60 with some friends/family. One had a medical condition that required a slower route. They summitted too, but with help from the porters. Arrogance will not be your friend when on Kili. I am an ultramarathon runner and hike/run frequently in the western US mountains, but Kili was not "easy".

You will likely be jet-lagged when arriving at JRO, then you will be sleeping in tents and eating unfamiliar camp food as you make your assent. As we age, this affects our body's ability to adapt more so than when we are younger.

Preparation, humility and determination are your friends.

https://www.climbmountkilimanjaro.com/
https://www.climbkilimanjaroguide.com/

Good Luck! It's a great experience.
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Re: Old man can climb Kilimanjaro?

Post by Cuttlefish »

Not an MD. However, there is medication you can take 1-2 days before climbing to prevent altitude sickness. Consult your doctor.
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Re: Old man can climb Kilimanjaro?

Post by adamthesmythe »

ekid wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2024 12:50 pm My feet, ankles, knees, legs - I have absolute confidence in. My butt needs a little only for steep ascent. I'm worried about heart/lung excess capacity...I don't have a lot!
When climbing at high altitude, THE limiting factor is the ability to get oxygen. It is typical to feel no strain or fatigue of the leg muscles at all and to be totally limited by the rate that oxygen can be consumed. Those who live at high altitudes gain lung capacity, but my understanding is that this happens over the long term, not in a few days of acclimatization. If possible OP should do some higher-altitude climbing at a relatively fast pace as preparation. This can be done in the US in several places.

Another issue is going downhill. For me calf muscles and feet take the brunt of the punishment. Boots that are just fine going uphill can be painful going downhill. Again, gaining experience beforehand is helpful.

Apparently Kilimanjaro is non-technical. Fortunate because on technical climbs one is roped and has to move at the pace of the party. I have seen guides send slow climbers back to the hut.
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Re: Old man can climb Kilimanjaro?

Post by adamthesmythe »

Cuttlefish wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 11:09 am Not an MD. However, there is medication you can take 1-2 days before climbing to prevent altitude sickness. Consult your doctor.
Of the non-prescription medications, aspirin can help with headache. Also, skipping coffee if you are accustomed to it is guaranteed to bring on an altitude- induced headache. I'm not talking about altitude-induced edema which can be life-threatening.
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Re: Old man can climb Kilimanjaro?

Post by Fallible »

ekid wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2024 12:50 pm
ROIGuy wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2024 11:58 am Work harder on improving high intensity intervals and lactic acid thresholds. Strengthen knees, ankles, low back and of course balance exercises.
(not Quite the bodybuilder you are)
My feet, ankles, knees, legs - I have absolute confidence in. My butt needs a little only for steep ascent. I'm worried about heart/lung excess capacity...I don't have a lot! ...
You've had a recent checkup with your doctor, right?
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Re: Old man can climb Kilimanjaro?

Post by ROIGuy »

Fallible wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 1:17 pm
ekid wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2024 12:50 pm
ROIGuy wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2024 11:58 am Work harder on improving high intensity intervals and lactic acid thresholds. Strengthen knees, ankles, low back and of course balance exercises.
(not Quite the bodybuilder you are)
My feet, ankles, knees, legs - I have absolute confidence in. My butt needs a little only for steep ascent. I'm worried about heart/lung excess capacity...I don't have a lot! ...
You've had a recent checkup with your doctor, right?
+1
leland
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Re: Old man can climb Kilimanjaro?

Post by leland »

Friend's mom older than you doing it this summer... She hikes almost daily, but only got into it in her 60s. Doable but go as glamping as possible - carrying less at altitude is nice at any age. Slower routes are better.

That said I'm far younger and prone to altitude sickness. I expect you'd blow past me :beer
SomedaySoon
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Re: Old man can climb Kilimanjaro?

Post by SomedaySoon »

Yes definitely possible with sufficient training. I did it 9 years ago at 46. Doing lots of hikes plus conditioning on stair climber at gym (90 mins a day) with Backpack worked well.

Its mostly daily 6 hour hikes, plus dealing with altitude. Recommend 9 day over 7 day, and consider meds. The longer routes have higher success rates. 11 day you overnight in crater and it gets super cold.

The guides are very good at getting you up there. There was someone in our group who was struggling and they left early in the morning to get him up there. He didnt make it but was clearly under prepared and out of shape.
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Re: Old man can climb Kilimanjaro?

Post by dickenjb »

We used Zara tours

Summit day was very hard

Barafu camp at 15,000 feet, I was out of breath after turning over in my sleeping bag

We took DIamox, the German girls swore by herbal remedies for altitude. We passed them on summit day, as they were off the side of the trail vomiting.
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Re: Old man can climb Kilimanjaro?

Post by Watty »

ekid wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2024 11:12 am Something I am not thinking of? (Such as best airport for East Africa)
After talking to your doctor you might try taking a vacation to some place like Denver doing a mock run up to some high elevation over a reasonable number of days where you could drive to a higher elevation each day. There are lots of good things to see there too.

That might give you a good idea about how high altitude affects you and you would not need to pay as much and you would be closer to home if you have problems.
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Re: Old man can climb Kilimanjaro?

Post by adamthesmythe »

Watty wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 2:32 pm
ekid wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2024 11:12 am Something I am not thinking of? (Such as best airport for East Africa)
After talking to your doctor you might try taking a vacation to some place like Denver doing a mock run up to some high elevation over a reasonable number of days where you could drive to a higher elevation each day. There are lots of good things to see there too.

That might give you a good idea about how high altitude affects you and you would not need to pay as much and you would be closer to home if you have problems.
Denver is really not all that far above sea level (relative to what OP is considering).

Better to stay at a place like Breckenridge and walk up one of the local 14Ks every day.
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Re: Old man can climb Kilimanjaro?

Post by halfnine »

adamthesmythe wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 3:21 pm
Watty wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 2:32 pm
ekid wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2024 11:12 am Something I am not thinking of? (Such as best airport for East Africa)
After talking to your doctor you might try taking a vacation to some place like Denver doing a mock run up to some high elevation over a reasonable number of days where you could drive to a higher elevation each day. There are lots of good things to see there too.

That might give you a good idea about how high altitude affects you and you would not need to pay as much and you would be closer to home if you have problems.
Denver is really not all that far above sea level (relative to what OP is considering).

Better to stay at a place like Breckenridge and walk up one of the local 14Ks every day.
Ultimately OP would be best served by doing 4 day backpacking trips ideally spending a majority of time in the 10-14K zone culminating with the last night sleeping up at 14K. Trips should be interspersed by a minimum of 2 months to allow for some deacclimation. OP should learn about the mountaineers rest step, embrace pole pole, and sort out the frequency and type of food and or water/energy drinks that keep them energized and hydrated and most importantly that work well for them at altititude. For Kili experience at climbing and overnighting in the mountains at altitude and all the subtleties involve trump base fitness. At least within reason. And a trip right before the journey would be even better for preacclimation.
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Re: Old man can climb Kilimanjaro?

Post by ekid »

halfnine wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2024 1:34 pm
ekid wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2024 12:57 pm " find one that suits the number of days you want."

I don't see how to know that until I fail at the fast pace?
The extra days are for acclimatization not for pacing. The extra days are typically spent traversing the mountain. Whether you go on a 6 day or an 11 day trip the trips essentially have the same physical requirements. You essentially need to be capable of hiking 3000 ft in a day. It doesn't matter whether you arrive at camp at noon or at 5 pm as long as you can do that in a day. And more specifically all trips have the same hardest day which will be the summit day. The only way to avoid that hard day is to take a trip in which you camp at the crater. And, by default, this will be a longer trip because the guiding service is going to want to ensure you are well acclimated if you are going to sleep at around 18,500 feet.
" You essentially need to be capable of hiking 3000 ft in a day. It doesn't matter whether you arrive at camp at noon or at 5 pm as long as you can do that in a day."

I guess you mean 3000 ft vertical gain.
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ekid
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Re: Old man can climb Kilimanjaro?

Post by ekid »

"You will likely be jet-lagged when arriving at JRO,"

I would likely tour around East Africa- Rwanda, Burundi, Malawi before my attempt. Always on my international travel I have lost at least ten lb and gained lots of physical condition. I have a month- could be more.
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Re: Old man can climb Kilimanjaro?

Post by ScubaHogg »

Two things. I’ll respond more by PM if you are interested

1) we climbed it years ago. We had a couple with us in their early 70s. They were in good shape but nothing crazy and they did it easily!

2) acclimation is all about time on the mountain. For example our trip was 9 days long. 7 days up and 2 days down. It has something like a 95%+ success rate. But the 4 day trip had something like a 60% success rate. So just book the longest trip you can. There are no real “facilities” on the mountain.
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Re: Old man can climb Kilimanjaro?

Post by alfaspider »

adamthesmythe wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 1:13 pm
Cuttlefish wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 11:09 am Not an MD. However, there is medication you can take 1-2 days before climbing to prevent altitude sickness. Consult your doctor.
Of the non-prescription medications, aspirin can help with headache. Also, skipping coffee if you are accustomed to it is guaranteed to bring on an altitude- induced headache. I'm not talking about altitude-induced edema which can be life-threatening.
Can't advise anybody whether to take it, but the trade name is "Diamox." I find it relieves the unpleasant symptoms of altitude, but it does not take away the feeling of malaise and fatigue that accompanies my altitude sickness. I don't find NSAIDs to be helpful at all.

Some people are more sensitive than others to altitude sickness and it does not necessarily correspond to physical fitness. I will get altitude sick if I spend more than an hour or two above ~12,500ft every single time. This was the case even when I was regularly running marathons/triathlons. I can run straight up mountains until I hit a wall at 13,000ft and then often revert to counting 10 steps at a time. I personally would not attempt Kilamanjaro simply because I know I respond very poorly to altitude. I'd worry about the more serious acute altitude illnesses (pulmonary or cerebral edema) if I were to go substantially higher than what's present in the lower 48 because I know my body responds poorly to altitude.

I'd recommend someone interested in higher altitude mountaineering to spend a night camping as high as possible without a serious expedition. In the lower 48, you can typically camp around 12,000ft (tree line in the Western U.S.). If you wake up feeling good after that, you will probably handle higher altitudes a lot better than me.
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ekid
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Re: Old man can climb Kilimanjaro?

Post by ekid »

Yes I knew altitude sickness can kill- at the first head-ache I probably will head back downhill. But a bit of dizzyness I have experience.
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Re: Old man can climb Kilimanjaro?

Post by rockstar »

I’d hike some 14s in CO before committing. I know one hiker who hit 80 that has issues with altitude. And I’m talking 8k now.

Really, unless you’ve been doing this kind of thing your whole life, it’s hard to say to do it. This is why folks say to do this stuff when you’re young.

I found this guide useful:

https://usariem.health.mil/assets/docs/ ... t-2010.pdf

But it’s pretty old. You might find a more up to date version.
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Re: Old man can climb Kilimanjaro?

Post by detroitbabu »

dickenjb wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 2:19 pm We used Zara tours

Summit day was very hard

Barafu camp at 15,000 feet, I was out of breath after turning over in my sleeping bag

We took DIamox, the German girls swore by herbal remedies for altitude. We passed them on summit day, as they were off the side of the trail vomiting.
+1

I did it in 2019 via Rongai route. Last day was hard even after taking Diamox. We started at 1130 PM and climbed through the night. Pole Pole (Slow Slow) is the key mantra from the guides.
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Re: Old man can climb Kilimanjaro?

Post by stupidkid »

I hiked kili some years ago with my parents who were in their late sixties at the time, and in good shape. The up was not actually an issue but the down can be challenging on knees and hips.

Guides/porters make it very accessible.

Make sure to carry a water bottle instead of a camel back/hydration bag. The tube will freeze the morning of the summit which is hard since you really need water.

As someone earlier said - we also used Zara tours. Very nice (15 years ago).
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Re: Old man can climb Kilimanjaro?

Post by Hebell »

Ok. In my 60s and my poorly tracking kneecaps would prohibit a trip such as this. But even with good knees, I'd ask myself "do I really want to go on a trip then only 60% of people succeed?" That's the success rate for reaching the top.

I don't think I'd want that at age 74.
Plus, you could be left with the memory of an aching hip or strained ankle. This is an activity so far out of one's normal functional envelope, at least for most people, that you may bring back some memories you don't want.
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Re: Old man can climb Kilimanjaro?

Post by StrongMBS »

There are many routes up Kilimanjaro each with advantages and disadvantages, but in general if your major goal to peak with minimum issue then the more days you take to acclimatize the better your chances of making it to the top and/or not getting altitude sickness.

Often better conditioned individuals run into problems because they go too fast. Getting acclimatized is about how your body response (not always predictable). So slow and steady is the key. Many of the routes go up and then down since it is better to climb high and sleep low so in the end your total ascent altitude is more than what you would think going straight up but your chances of being acclimatized is better.

If you have never been at altitude, then taking a trip up a 14K in Colorado is a great idea. BTW I know of several serious endurance athletes who just can never get comfortable at altitude above tree line in Colorado, so you never know how your body will react.

Here is my experience at Kilimanjaro.

When I was much younger, almost 20 years ago, I was fortunate enough to be invited by my older brother on what I thought at the time was a cushy (fully catered camping expedition - we only had to carry our day pack) VIP trip up Kilimanjaro. We slept in tents and had a great cook along, so we had great food along the way. All we had to do was hike, eat, take picture, enjoy the scenery and sleep.

At the time I was a serious endurance athlete, my brother was 50 at the time and was in ok shape (“jogging” 3 miles twice a week and 6 miles on the weekend). He did nothing else to prepare for the trip except to break in his hiking boots (I made sure of that). There were 11 participants, half younger than my brother and half older. I do not remember anybody else doing anything else for the trip besides normal jogging and hiking (not at altitude since most were from the Midwest or east coast). There were at least twice as many porters as participants and a couple of guides.

Since the VIP member was pressed for time so we took the Rongai Route up in 5-days and down the Marangu Route in two-days. Not the best route for acclimation but the wilderness experience at the lower altitudes was amazing.

All 11 members made it to Gilman’s point at the crater rim and all (I think) to the Uhuru Peak although several had issues on the final night trek up to the rim. I remember our guide had to carry 3 of the day packs from our group when several started having problems and not feeling well. It was very cold at night when we started.

My brother being one of them having problems – he did not feel good at the start of the night climb (could have been bad food or water) and he threw up about 1/3 up the final climb. I remember thinking great if he must turn back, I will have to go with him to make sure he was alright and then I would not make it to the top. He started feeling better and I am glad to say he made it to the peak.

After being at the peak for a while I started having a bad headache and it was decided I should descend as soon and fast as possible. In hindsight, it was my own fault since once reaching Gilman’s point (at the crater rim) our expertly slowly paced congo-line up the mountain by our very experienced guide disintegrated and I most likely moved to fast (see being in too good of shape can get you in trouble) to reach Uhuru Peak and find the best place to take pictures of the glacier. This is one of the disadvantages of routes through Gilma’s point – you are at high altitude longer since you must walk further around the rim to Uhuru Peak.

One of the guides took me down and asked me if knew how to ski. I said yes and he then showed me how to ski the scree (kind of like telemark skiing with your boots in small stones), which is the fastest way down to base camp. It was great fun but a little scary (because I did not want to know what would happen if you fell since it was not soft fluffy snow). I kept it under control and got down safely and thankfully started feeling better soon after that.

BTW contrary to 20 years ago there is a whole host of energy and electrolyte bars, gels and powers which make consuming calories while exerting yourself easy. Experiment and find products that work for you, mostly the ones that taste good to you and go down easy, especially if you're not feeling well. Hydration bladder (e.g, Camelbak) have also come a long way allowing easy access to stay hydrated (very important at altitude) with many options including insulated tubes so they do not freeze.

I am glad I made the trip, especially since it was with my brother but would not care to do it again since life is too short and there are other adventures to experience on my bucket list like such as hiking down the Grand Canyon to Phantom Ranch at the river and then hiking out the next day. Happy trails.
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Re: Old man can climb Kilimanjaro?

Post by snackdog »

An 85-year-old lady from Arizona climbed it easily a few years ago, then shot to the top again, in 2019, at age 89. She said her only preparation was starting every day with exercise and a cold shower.

https://www.climbkilimanjaroguide.com/o ... limanjaro/

On the other hand, about one person per month dies of altitude sicks on the mountain.
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stocknoob4111
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Re: Old man can climb Kilimanjaro?

Post by stocknoob4111 »

I did it in 2017, Lemosho route, I took Diamox which I always do for ascents over 12k ft. Most hiking days are fine but the last day was very tough as you ascend 5000 ft in a few hours time from Barafu at 15000 to almost 20000. I would not do the shorter routes as they have a very poor success rate due to insufficient acclimatization.

Btw, age is irrelevant... I know some 75 year olds in peak fitness and some 20 year olds who couldn't climb a flight of stairs, then there is the genetics of how you react to altitude as well. Some peak athletes get flattened simply due to the effects of altitude.

Bringing along a finger o2 reader to monitor your saturation level is a good idea.
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HipCoyote
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Re: Old man can climb Kilimanjaro?

Post by HipCoyote »

Cuttlefish wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 11:09 am Not an MD. However, there is medication you can take 1-2 days before climbing to prevent altitude sickness. Consult your doctor.
My party of 4 went on a hiking trip in Peru with the plan to hike over the Salkantay pass at something like 15,500 feet. We started taking doctor prescribed diamox three or so days ahead of the hike to help with the potential altitude sickness. Before we hiked, still in Cuzco at 11000 feet, everyone experienced tingling in the fingers and beer tasted awful (at the time, I thought this a fate worse than death...but wait!) Two days later, I experienced severe (as in pain scale of 9/10) testicular pain. Hotel summoned a physician to come to my room to "have a look." Of course, I was a 58 or so year old man and the doc was a 30 something woman with a 20 something female intern in tow. I was a bit embarrassed but thankful. The doc (a Peruvian who knew a lot about altitude sickness and diamox) said a rare side effect was testicular pain. She'd seen it a few times. A day of laying off the diamox and drinking fluids solved the problem. I summited the pass a few days later (was the first one up) and felt fine without the drug on board.

Of course, in the aftermath, the story got a few laughs, but it was pretty scary at the time. No one in our party said they'd take diamox again.

Altitude sickness is no joke. Martina Navratilova, a phenomenal athlete, had to be rescued off Kilimanjaro and was hospitalized with HAPE...high altitude pulmonary edema. Some people simply are prone to it and some not. My mistake in taking diamox was that I am not prone to it. 'Twer me, I'd do some preliminary higher altitude hiking, see how it goes. Spend time acclimating and do not "tough it out" should you experience symptoms. As with our finances, have a plan with an emergency exit. Symptoms = seek lower elevation.
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Re: Old man can climb Kilimanjaro?

Post by rockstar »

HipCoyote wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2024 10:02 am
Cuttlefish wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 11:09 am Not an MD. However, there is medication you can take 1-2 days before climbing to prevent altitude sickness. Consult your doctor.
My party of 4 went on a hiking trip in Peru with the plan to hike over the Salkantay pass at something like 15,500 feet. We started taking doctor prescribed diamox three or so days ahead of the hike to help with the potential altitude sickness. Before we hiked, still in Cuzco at 11000 feet, everyone experienced tingling in the fingers and beer tasted awful (at the time, I thought this a fate worse than death...but wait!) Two days later, I experienced severe (as in pain scale of 9/10) testicular pain. Hotel summoned a physician to come to my room to "have a look." Of course, I was a 58 or so year old man and the doc was a 30 something woman with a 20 something female intern in tow. I was a bit embarrassed but thankful. The doc (a Peruvian who knew a lot about altitude sickness and diamox) said a rare side effect was testicular pain. She'd seen it a few times. A day of laying off the diamox and drinking fluids solved the problem. I summited the pass a few days later (was the first one up) and felt fine without the drug on board.

Of course, in the aftermath, the story got a few laughs, but it was pretty scary at the time. No one in our party said they'd take diamox again.

Altitude sickness is no joke. Martina Navratilova, a phenomenal athlete, had to be rescued off Kilimanjaro and was hospitalized with HAPE...high altitude pulmonary edema. Some people simply are prone to it and some not. My mistake in taking diamox was that I am not prone to it. 'Twer me, I'd do some preliminary higher altitude hiking, see how it goes. Spend time acclimating and do not "tough it out" should you experience symptoms. As with our finances, have a plan with an emergency exit. Symptoms = seek lower elevation.
I find that Diamox suppresses my appetite.
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ekid
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Re: Old man can climb Kilimanjaro?

Post by ekid »

testicular pain will do that!
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Re: Old man can climb Kilimanjaro?

Post by rule of law guy »

check out the various routes. some have longer approaches than others. short and sweet is the way to go imo
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ekid
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Re: Old man can climb Kilimanjaro?

Post by ekid »

A somewhat delicate off branch to the general topic:
I am reluctant to engage an agency based anywhere outside of Tanzania. I consider it more than likely such would add its own profit margin to a negotiated base "going rate" in Arusha. If I get gouged I prefer it be done there where people will appreciate it.

This is likely a deal-breaker for me.
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Re: Old man can climb Kilimanjaro?

Post by halfnine »

ekid wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2024 12:20 pm A somewhat delicate off branch to the general topic:
I am reluctant to engage an agency based anywhere outside of Tanzania. I consider it more than likely such would add its own profit margin to a negotiated base "going rate" in Arusha. If I get gouged I prefer it be done there where people will appreciate it.

This is likely a deal-breaker for me.
I can't imagine that in this day and age and that finding and booking a local operator from abroad is that big of an issue. I mean 20-30 years ago you might have to get your hands on an outdated travel guidebook, contact a company over the phone and then Western Union them a large sum of money and hope for the best.

As to being gouged it is really probably less gouging than paying Western rates for some additional Western services and creature comforts. The amount of money going to the locals is probably about the same either way. At least on Kili as they are still going to have to incorporate a local guide and the local porters. So the more expensive trips normally have additional amenities and you will have to pay for these. For instance, in addition to the local guide you might also be paying for a foreign certified mountain guide who leads the overall group. Do you need one...no. As mountaineering goes Kili is just a big hill that you walk up. It's a tourists mountain and not a mountaineers mountain. You don't need a foreign overqualified guide that ensures ones safety through rope work, ice axe/crampon techniques, crevasse rescue, navigation in a white out, accessing avalanche conditions, mitigating rockfall potential, etc.
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ekid
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Re: Old man can climb Kilimanjaro?

Post by ekid »

A big Thank YOU to every reply and especially halfnine!
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