Arrogant or Adventurous? Why Do People Climb Mount Kilimanjaro or Mount Everest Base Camp?
Our trip to Mount Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar has become annual tradition. We are also going to Mount Everest Basecamp next year. Find out what's driving us and how you too can be a part of this.
I just returned from leading a group to Mount Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar. I did not climb this year since I climbed in 2019 yet it was such an experience just being with the group and listening to all their familiar stories when they came down from the mountain. Of course, by the time we finished the following week in Zanzibar, we had forgotten all about the difficulty of Kilimanjaro. I recommend our stories on Instagram and Twitter.
But why do we keep climbing mountains? Truthfully, it is magical. Here’s a chart that describes the general rollercoaster of emotions felt by mountain climbers:
So, why do we climb? How do we balance a thirst for adventure with a healthy respect for nature? How do we ensure that our desires are not born our of arrogance to conquer the Earth? How do we choose what to climb and when to climb it? Here’s why we climb:
There is no better place to reflect and soak in the wonders of nature, than on a mountain. Each day, as you take long walks up to the mountain, you might find birds, plants, clouds behind you, or just vast and endless rock. Mountains remind you that we are all in this existence together. It can be humbling.
If you can do it, you can do anything. I remember how I felt when I came down from Mount Kilimanjaro. I felt like I could do anything I wanted to do. I realized that I could push my body and my mind beyond impossible limits and they could hold me up. This reality has followed me as I’ve climbed Mount Cameroon, Mount Kenya, Mount Chappal Waddi and Mount Kilimanjaro.
The people. When you climb a mountain, you meet guides, porters, new friends and even other climbers from around the world on the trail. You’ll meet people at the airport, some at the hotel, you’ll meet people whose lives revolve around the mountain and share incredible stories. You’ll meet all sorts of people.
Travel is the gift that keeps on giving. Many of our groups are diverse. Usually, before the trip starts, the group bonds over training and banter. By the end of the trip, people have made lifelong friends, struck business partnerships and once in a while, found love. The experience that we share is incomparable.
When you travel, your world becomes smaller in one sense and broader in another sense. On one hand, you’re more connected to the world and you can better navigate your work or other aspects of your life’s journey. On the other hand, you realize how vast the world is and how deep and meaningful every single person’s life is, no matter how different their journey may be.
Ok, ok, I know you’ve decided to climb a mountain next year. The only challenge is that you’re spoiled for choice and you don’t know whether to climb Mount Kilimanjaro or Mount Everest Basecamp. Well, I’ve taken the time out to provide a short comparison table between both mountains. Both are great, and you should do both. But you may only want to do one at a time!
Here are 7 big differences between our trips to Mount Kilimanjaro (+ Zanzibar) and Mount Everest Basecamp. I am happy to answer any questions you have. See:
So, tell me:
Have you ever wanted to climb a major mountain?
Which mountain excites you?
What’s the most challenging thing you’ve ever done?
I would love to read all about your stories in the comments or as a reply to this e-mail. Before you go, please share this newsletter with other curious minds. There’s something pretty cool to discover every week!
This is back on my list. I have never climbed a mountain. Ever. Am I crazy for thinking of climbing Kilimanjaro?
I have climbed Kili and Meru in Tanzania - and I definitely preferred Mount Meru. Less people, 1/3 of the price - and way more beautiful. Kilimanjaro felt like crowded and like we were a bunch of ants on the same trail. But yeah, you do it so you can say "I did Kili" and also to test yourself. I also climbed to Ama Dablam base camp in Nepal - which is on same route to Everest Base camps - that was incredible - the villages and the culture you see on the Himalayas is incomparable to the bare - unpopulated mountains in national parks in Africa. I also climbed Mt Cameroon - and LOVED it because it was like a geology wonder park. Like nothing i have ever seen before - incredible.