Archive for On Location

Summit !

Second attempt to climb Mount Kilimanjaro has been a full success!!!

– I climbed up to Uhuru peak, summit of Kilimanjaro (5895 meters) using the Rongai route (5:15am Summit push from School Hut, summited at 11:40)
– I walked in the crater so I can see Ash Pit, the source of the volcano, a place from where you can smell sulfur proving that this volcano is (barely) still alive
– I spent a (very windy) night in the crater (we were the single team sleeping there that night, fantastic feeling, no altitude sickness)
– I saw nice Senecios (really a lots of them) when going down
– I’ve not really been sick because of altitude except light headaches which disappeared quickly. The guys (hello) who did the first attempt with me will feel the difference
– I had 2 fantastic partners in crime from UK until School Hut (they did a successful night summit starting at 1am with another Team Kilimanjaro guide)

I’m now back in Arusha where presidential elections are currently happening, today October 31. So far it is very calm here, and except a lots of military in the streets to ensure peace, nothing special.

Special thanks to:
– My wife who strongly supported me, including seeing me disappear every Sunday to go climbing all the mountains around Montreal since a couple of months
– Team Kilimanjaro and especially my guide Jonas and his crew, who provided an exceptional level of service, including encouragement when needed. His sense of humor (he’ll explain to you why you should not ask for a cup of coffee to someone who does not speak english lol), and his excellent relationship with his crew really made the difference
– Mathieu Sauve and Peak performance Montreal, my trainer for this expedition. I definitively saw the impact and the pertinence of the training plan he made for me during the last 3 months.
– My partners in crime from the first (who have continued to encourage me coming back) and the second attempt (it’s been a pleasure)

I’ll put a lots of pictures when I’ll be back in Canada in a week or so.

Feel free to leave a comment!

Happy Bruno

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Now, I know…

You know Dr House? I met him! Hummm not exactly, same job, less cynicism 😛

Since April I’m waiting to meet this expert, so we identify together the root cause of my failure on the Kilimanjaro in February. This is essential to me because I’m going back there in October and really wanted to understand what happened.

I studied a lot, especially 2 books:
– 1 in French : Le mal des montagnes
– 1 in English: Wilderness Medicine, 5th Edition (Warning: expensive)

I’ve learned a lot, but was unable to make a fit between what I felt at that time, and what I was reading in the books. So I called Dr House lol

And the verdict is a neurocardiogenic syncope, or commonly known as vasovagal syncope, most probably initiated by the stress himself initiated by the strong diarrhea I suddenly started at the camp.

The doc has been able to explain everything that I felt at that time, taking the time to explain each step I’ve been through, with a scientific explanation, including vomiting, and other small funs I had…

Theoretically I could have staid at the high camp, spend the night there, and feel a lot better the next day and summit without problem.

This said I recognize that nobody in the team was a “Dr House” so the safe thing to do was to go down, which we did.

In conclusion, the doc told me to have a good trip back on the mountain, nothing to worry about, and to send him a postcard after summiting 😀

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GPS-Track

Here it is, in exclusivity on 5895.ca, our GPS tracking file. It’s an extremly precise .GPX file.

To open it I recommend installing Google Earth and then opening this file. It shows you with an incredible precision the exact track we’ve been following, from the first gate until the end.

Enjoy and do not forget to leave a comment if you’ve tried this ! 😀

Don’t forget to check all our photos at http://photos.5895.ca

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Photos are online :)

Photos of all days are now online., including the western breach and the summit…

I hope to be able to add some videos soon, and pictures from our climbing partners…

Feel free to add comments!

http://photos.5895.ca/

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Back home

We’re back home, unpacking and downloading images and film. I’ll need a little bit of time to organize all these pictures. In the meantime here is a small one of Mt Meru (4565 m), seen from the top of Lava Tower.

And another one of our camp, also from the top of Lava Tower.

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Rescued

Yesterday I lost consciousness around 5000meters. Without the dedication of some porters who litteally carried me down I would probably be dead at this point in time. I’m now safe in Arusha. The rest of the team is doing great and is supposed to summit today. I wish them the best and I’m eager to meet them in 3 days !

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Agence consulaire de France

Now we know where to go, our hotel is also the French consulate!

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Met the chief guide

We will start the climb today !

Yesterday we met the chief guide, Joshua. He did summit already 125 times, last one being February 15!, only a few days ago.

Most importantly he sounds really calm, experimented, and really concerned to make all of us succeed.

We passed easily his check of our gears, no bad surprises 🙂

We’ll be leaving the hotel in more or less an hour for a 4 hours 4×4 drive (apparently the roads are…only feasible with a big robust 4×4…).

Then we’ll go to the gate, the guide will pay the.park fees, and then we will start the ascencion to the first camp in heavy humidity and something like 30 Celsius.

We also did meet everyone. Barry and his son did succesfully summit the Mt Meru! Congrats guys. Apparently this was really hard, especially the summit day. Talking with them was very interesting to learn a little bit from their experience.

So here we are 🙂 I don’t think I’llbe able to publish anything before February 29 but do not forget that you can follow us live on the mountain !!! (see one of the previous post for details)

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First tropical rain

Now I understand why I’ve invested in rainwear lol. Around 2pm today the strong rain started. Fortunately we where having a break in an outside but covered cafe !

Africa is beautiful (but wet lol)

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On location

Here we are! Weather is fantastic and we’ll meet the team tonight

We already met Dave at the airport yesterday and he sounds a very interesting guy to discuss with during the walk !

Climbing starts tomorrow 🙂

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