By on November 8, 2016 in Adventure, Kilimanjaro, Mountains, Trekking with 7 Comments

Thou Shalt Not Summit

Moses may have bagged Mt. Sinai and come down with Ten Commandments, but getting to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro and descending with even one life lesson may be harder than that, depending on you and your team.

Kilimanjaro in all its ethereal, godly eminence can also be a god forsaken place. Its thin air, cold temperatures and grinding terrain allow just 40 percent of the 40,000 annual climbers to Uhuru Peak’s holy glaciated shrine. And this is as it should be. It took Moses 40 days and nights to descend with his god given tablets.

Kilimanjaro allows only the chosen few – the most physically, mentally and spiritually aware to ascend. Here are the mountain’s Ten Commandments that if followed may lead to seeing the light at the top of Africa.

10 Commandments of Climbing Kilimanjaro

1. Thou Shalt Take This Seriously

Kilimanjaro, at over 19,000 feet is a very unforgiving place for those who think it is not worthy of supreme effort. Arrogance is a sin; don’t underestimate Kilimanjaro’s stature. This is more than a walk in the park, but rather a self-sacrificing near religious experience requiring 100 percent devotion.

2. Thou Shalt Be Wise With Money

To achieve the summit safely, spend money on a solid company that has the best guides, food and gear. Kilimanjaro is not the place to tighten your budget with your life on the line. Don’t risk your safety booking with a fly-by-night operator.

3. Thou Shalt Be Patient

Expedience is not the way to the top. Just 27 percent of climbers on the five day route make it. Six day adventurists are only 44 percent successful. Seven day summiters are 64 percent blessed, however those who take the ten day pilgrimage are over 95 percent successful. The mountain gods are saying, “be patient and acclimatize.”

4. Thou Shalt Listen To The Elders

The Tusker Trail Kilimanjaro guides may be half your age, but they have the wisdom of the prophet when it comes to climbing Kilimanjaro. Heed their advice, trust their counsel. 

5. Thou Shalt Be A Good Sister/Brother/Wife/Husband

You must help your climbing brothers and sisters with encouraging words to achieve ascendancy. They are there for you and you are there for them. Kilimanjaro is a test and a time for bonding and chance to make friends for life.

6. Thou Shalt Have The Best Sandals

Walking in the footsteps of Hans Meyer (the first known summiter of Kilimanjaro) requires the best hiking boots you can afford. Break them in before trudging Kilimanjaro’s volcanic terrain.

7. Thou Shalt Be A True Believer

Self-doubt is not the answer. Be confident in your ability to make it to the summit. Convince yourself you’re worthy.

8. Thou Shalt Cherish The Journey

Don’t covet the end result, but revel in the mountain’s majesty – its rainforest, its wildlife, its melting glaciers and the people living in its shadow. By being singularly focused on reaching the top, you miss the experience and spiritual journey of climbing Kilimanjaro.

9. Remember The Summit Day, And Keep it Holy

Atop the mount you should exult in the inner peace you have achieved. You should not be boastful about your achievement. Blasphemous ego-trips, bad in biblical times, are still not cool in the Internet Age.

10. Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor’s Success

If you fail to achieve the summit, don’t harbor jealously over the success of others. You have learned much on your journey and reveled in the mountain’s majesty. Should the yearning for the summit persist, summon the courage to try again.

Climb in peace.


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

There Are 7 Brilliant Comments

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

Sites That Link to this Post

  1. How to Prevent Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) | Tusker Trail | July 12, 2017
  1. Dianne Anderson says:

    That short distance from Stella’s Point to Uhuru Peak wouldn’t have been possible without my Tusker guide supporting me …figuratively that is! At 72 I can look back on my climb to celebrate my 65th year with such love. Only one regret, that my potty wasn’t in the tent with me as I voided those 4 litres throughout the nights.

  2. Gary says:

    I am an avid hiker! I typically do one day hikes 3 or 4 times a week. Most hikes are 6 miles to 11 miles with considerable elevation gain. Some are up to 22 miles. However, I don’t consider Kili to be a hike, to me it is an experience, the best experience I have ever had. I wish I could explain just how wonderful it was! Tusker brought out the best in Kili.

  3. Sharon says:

    Thou shalt imbibe a minimum of three liters of water every day, even if it results in having to get up during the night to leave some of it behind.

    Thou shalt share thy pictures with thy teammates.

    Thou shalt memorize the Song of Kilimanjaro even if it sticks in thy brain as an earworm in perpetuity.

  4. Jim Gobert says:

    Thou shalt try , like real real hard, to attend to thou’s lavatorial obligations prior to hitting the trail , lest thou unnecessarily violates the holy mountain.

    Thou shalt acknowledge that due to high altitude, thou’s mental processes are not at thou’s best , so thou shalt like try real hard to remember to put on thou’s pants on the morning of summit day , lest thou’s companions shalt piss themselves laughing at thou’s folly

  5. Pam says:

    Thou shall get everything on the Tusker list even if you dont know why!

    Great trip! Number 8 is very true. Its over before you know it.

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *