Mountain climbing, trekking and supporting good causes are all things close to our hearts. Hence, we have set ourselves the goal to create events that use mountain climbing and trekking as a platform to not only encourage more people to challenge themselves but also to promote good causes.
The idea to organize an all-women team to climb Kilimanjaro for a good cause and to celebrate International Women’s Day was mooted in 2013. We sent the first team in March 2014. A year on, we are not only intending to continue to organize an all-women team to climb Kilimanjaro annually during International Women’s Day but have also added a trekking challenge to The Great Rift Valley in Tanzania !
Through the IWD Challenge , we hope more women will be inspired to challenge themselves and great awareness can be generated for women’s needs.
The Ace Adventure IWD Challenge 2015 will be raising funds for Project Pari.
More information on Project Pari can be found here:
To help you find out more about what the IWD Challenge is all about, we are organising a preview talk on Fri, 11 July at SCWO at 7pm. RSVP for the talk at email@example.com
My Story, My Journal
This is a personal sharing by Ms Indumathi Emmanuel Alexandra who took part in the IWD Kilimanjaro Challenge 2013.
When I first heard that Ace Adventure was organising this expedition to Kilimanjaro in conjunction with commemorating International Women’s Day and in addition to that, trying to give back to society and young women in particular, I wanted to be a part of it, how could I not, when they were bringing together things that were important to me.
So, I went to the initial trip briefing and as I walked in to the SCWO building, I remember Vinnie at the reception desk saying to Joanne and Jack that I was her friend and that I was there to sign up. And despite all of this, it took me weeks to commit to it. It took a minor flooding incident in my office building causing us to have to walk up six floors and me panting and perspiring at the end (I still blame the high-heeled shoes) to convince me that all work and no physical challenges was not doing me any good.
I always say that I’m just a social climber. I climb maybe one significant peak or height every two or so years. I do the training and try to get physically ready for the trek but there is always the unknown of your body not acclimatising, the unexpected occurring or maybe you just didn’t train hard enough.
For me, these doubts then manifest themselves as we drive toward the mountain to start the trek and I get more and more nervous. You see the mountain getting bigger, becoming more real and even taller as you approach and I start to think how on earth am I going to manage this. But here’s what I love about this, you don’t need to be extraordinary to do it, you take it slow, resolve to keep putting one foot in front of the other and eventually (admittedly at times, this take a while), you will get to the next camp site.
On the first few days, it must’ve been on average five to six hours of trekking each day. We took the longer Northern Circuit route, 9 days, but it made such a big difference for me. It is a very scenic route with the changing terrain, landscape and vegetation as you move higher. As we had more days too, the daily ascent was more gradual thus allowing for better acclimatisation as well.
The day before the summit climb and of course, the summit climb day were longer and harder days. We must’ve been close to 5000m when we started on the day before the summit climb. The weather toward late morning took a turn for the worse, it rained fairly hard with strong winds and it was cold. But the weather eased and sun re-emerged in the afternoon as we reached School Hut.
We took about seven hours to get to the summit. We started rather late in the morning and thus, we only reached the summit around 4pm. By the time we reached Gilman’s Point, I didn’t think we’d make it to Uhuru. It was getting dark and I was frankly tired. However, our guides and Vinnie seemed ever ready to push on and so I reluctantly just kept moving. Another surprise was that it started to snow, the unexpected occuring. In spite of my pessimism, we passed Stella Point before finally arriving at Uhuru.
All those days of climbing and we stayed at the summit for not more than ten minutes. The falling snow was quickly gaining momentum and shortly after starting our way to the camp site, the snow had blocked our visibility and we seemed to be in what seemed to be, a small snow storm. It was scary not being able to see past a few meters. But our guides, as they always are, were there to lead us safely and confidently to our camp site.
I can’t articulate that sense of satisfaction and gladness you feel within yourself when you’ve done something you didn’t think or doubted you could do. But I think you’ll know the feeling when it’s done, or at the very least, challenged yourself to discover something you didn’t know you had in you to do.
Nonetheless, I think the best part of any trek in my view is meeting the people. Everywhere I’ve been on treks, the people we meet and support us have been so kind and gracious. Our guides and support crew were very professional and thoughtful. They saw to all our needs throughout the trek. Every time we reached the camp site, our tents were ready and they’d have a snack or meal ready for us. In the mornings, we’d be given a hot drink, water for washing and fed well before starting our day. Without them, we wouldn’t have gotten anywhere.