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Deaths on Kilimanjaro

Grand Junction
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Deaths on Kilimanjaro

I am not at liberty to publicly post details at this time, but my husband died while on an adventure travel trip with Geographic Expeditions Inc. Everyone needs to do lots of research and educate yourselves on safety wherever you go and ask a lot of questions. Be safe.

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1. Re: Deaths on Kilimanjaro

Elena, I am very sorry for the loss of your husband and son's father. I am sure this is something that is still very painful to you, however, I am unsure how your continual posts with regard to this are useful. I have no doubt that it is useful to remind people, many of whom do not understand the dangers of high altitude, that even on what is a commonly undertaken mountain deaths do occur. However, your posts would be far more useful if they were used to educate people as ultimately you are not going to stop people climbing Kili.

My comments to anyone considering attacking this mountain would be:

1) Respect the mountain, it is bigger than you are!

2) Educate yourself on altitude sickness, HACE, HAPE. Make yourself aware of the Lake Louise Mountain Sickness Score and when you need to descend. Descent is the most important treatment, not oxygen. Diamox (acetazolamide) and dexamethasone (steroids) can buy time, but should not be used without descent.

3) Listen to your guides. The people that I witnessed to be in a state needing urgent medical attention were the ones who thought they knew better than the people that climb this mountain regularly. If they tell you you need to descend, bloody well do it!

4) Look after your friends/relatives. I found it extremely scary that people in need of urgent medical attention were left to descend the mountain with porters/guides who spoke very little English. Your friend/relative is more important that the summit... Similarly towards the summit, guides are dragging people who look hideous from Gillmans or Stella point to the summit so they can say they summitted - dont allow them to do this, if your friend cannot walk in a straight line, tell you where/who they are, take them downwards.

5) Choose your guiding company carefully, and more importantly take the longest time possible. Your body takes time to adjust to altitude. If you decide to do the Marangu route, dont expect to summit, expect to feel rubbish and you will have a higher risk of death.

6) Kilimanjaro is a journey not a summit. You will spend about 20mins on the summit, if you are lucky enough to get there. Yes, it is amazing, however, there is more to Kili than the summit. You will spend 5-7 days getting to the summit, during which you will have time to think/reflect and learn. This is as much an experience as the summit. Enjoy it, even if you dont summit, you will have learnt alot!

2. Re: Deaths on Kilimanjaro

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