Climbing Kilimanjaro, Feargal Sharkey and Diamox

Climbing Kilimanjaro, Feargal Sharkey and Diamox

Climbing Kilimanjaro, Feargal Sharkey and Diamox

Its been eerily quiet for about 5 minutes now. Or maybe longer. Its about 5 am and the physical and mental effort of summit night is wholly obvious to the group right now.

Im holding up fine. Im feeling the incline like everybody else, but my legs and head have been in this situation before. I know where to go with it. I indulge in a little introspection. Another 5 minutes go by and with the help of Feargal Sharkey im cruising…

“I hear a lot of stories, I suppose they could be true
All about love and what it can do for you..”

Im having a love/hate relationship with Feargal for the past 7 days or so. The last song I heard playing before I boarded the flight and its become something of an ear worm.

“High is the risk of striking out, the risk of getting hurt
And still I have so much to learn..”

Its a long time before sunrise yet, but something dawns on me and not just that the puns here are as cheesy as the 80s lyrics.

“Well I know ’cause I think about it all the time..”

Its not my role to be introspective and just coax myself to the top, so I throw a few words out, a hook looking to engage the group in conversation. Get something sparked off here. Monosyllabic replies let me know I need to try a little harder.

“I know that real love is hard to find.”

I dont know where it comes from, Im by no means a good singer and theres plenty of witnesses to that right now, but I throw a couple of lines of Feargals out there for the group to hear. Thats when I realise I dont actually have the full song in my head. Just the same verse over and over. Thats going to wear thin pretty quickly, so I go back to the drawing board.

I come up with The Streets of New York. An odd choice, but sure I’ll run with anyway. A couple of lines in and I cant help feeling like im dying a death. Give me burning calves any day. Just when Im considering dropping this as an idea, in pipes Michael with a couple of lines and I dont feel so isolated any more.

A couple more songs get croaked out in the dark. I couldnt tell you what they were and Im pretty sure I got the words wrong on them all. Others join in from time to time and we keep trotting on.

I dont know how they went down with the group, am I one verse from getting pushed off a mountain? I dont know and dont really care. What I do know is some time has passed since the eerie silence and the distraction is as good a rest, well, kind of. It wont last long, but the suns coming up soon and that’ll do more for moral than I can.

Thats if it does rise, eh Brian!

Sunrise on Kilimanjaro. Pic courtesy of Brendan Hynes
Sunrise on summit night, Kilimanjaro 2016.         Pic by Brendan Hynes

The above is a description of a 20 minute period on the summit night of Kilimanjaro. It focuses on what for me seemed like the hardest and mentally tiring 20 minutes of the whole trek and does nothing to describe the rest of the trip.

How do you sum up a trip like this in a single blog post? Well, you dont even try. It can only be discovered for yourself. If you want to do that, then the first place to start is

It was my first time to work as a guide for the amazing family that is Earths Edge. My first time to meet any of this group. We shared such a profound experience together, it will never be forgotten. I cant stress enough how much Ive enjoyed the company of each and every person on this trip. Each a very different personality and all with so much to offer the group dynamic.

“A good heart these days is hard to find.”

Climbing Kilimanjaro, Feargal Sharkey and Briamox

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Climbing Kilimanjaro, Feargal Sharkey and Briamox

Climb It advises that climbing and hill walking are activities with a danger of personal injury or death. Participants should be aware of and accept these risks and be responsible for their own actions and involvement.