Debbie Mcleod summited Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa, on March 8, 2018 with 5 travel companions.
Sun Valley, ID -- (ReleaseWire) -- 03/27/2018 -- Climbing the tallest mountain in Africa is not your average adventure. In fact, it can be life changing. On March 8, 2018, Debbie McLeod, of Drexel Hill, PA, successfully reached the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro (19,340 feet / 5,895 meters). She was hiking the mountain with 5 other companions, including her husband and her brother, on the 6-day Machame Route.
McLeod said of her experience, "Our Kilimanjaro guide, Kibacha, absolutely could not have been better. He seemed to have eyes in the back of his head. If he was talking to one of us he would always be looking out and keeping an eye on the others noticing slippery areas etc.
We felt completely safe and secure under his guidance and he got us to the top! The porters were polite and kind and accommodating. The food was delicious, and we all marveled that we had the biggest tents of any camp that we stayed in. It was the trip of a lifetime and we were all truly so very happy!"
McLeod and her husband have always enjoyed climbing mountains. Many years ago, they attempted to climb Mount Whitney, the highest mountain in the lower 48 states, located in California (~14,500 feet tall). But the altitude prevented them from reaching the summit. When McLeod and her husband returned to Mt. Whitney with McLeod's brother, several years ago, they spent two nights acclimatizing and successfully summited.
As for climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, McLeod always knew they were going to, "some day," but then her brother suggested doing it sooner than later. Their decision to climb Kili in March 2018 was based on their grueling January 2017 ascent of Mount Orizaba in Mexico, which is the third highest mountain in North America. Although they did not summit, McLeod said she was proud of "what had been accomplished and how far we had pushed ourselves." McLeod is looking forward to climbing Mount Rainier in Washington state after climbing Mt. Killimanjaro.
Mt. Kilimanjaro, or "Kili" for short, located three degrees south of the equator in northeastern Tanzania, is the tallest mountain in Africa and the highest freestanding mountain in the world. Mcleod and her group will climb the Machame Route, otherwise known as the "Whiskey" route. The Machame route is the second most popular route and one of the most scenic routes on the mountain. All the trekking routes on Kilimanjaro are non-technical and can be accomplished by anyone in reasonably good physical condition. "Kilimanjaro is our hottest destination," says Robin Paschall, owner of Adventures Within Reach. "Of the famous 'Seven Summits,' Kili is the easiest to get to and to climb. Most people add a cultural tour like a safari and some choose to enhance their experience by choosing our luxury trek option. But no matter how one does it, summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro is truly a trip of a lifetime."
Following their climb, McLeod and her group embarked on a 2-Day Safari including Lake Manyara and the Ngorongoro Crater where they saw many of the classic animals of East Africa. Debbie explains, "On safari we had Godlisten as our guide. He was absolutely wonderful, personable, and accommodating. The Endoro Lodge was amazing. Truly the nicest hotel that I think any of us have ever stayed in! The safari was excellent, and we saw most of the animals that you can see in the Crater."
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