Good morning Haley, I have been meaning to write you for some time and have not done it, so thanks for your email, it has prompted me to do so. For both Janice and I the Kilimanjaro climb, and the whole experience with Tusker and the Tusker people was truly awesome. I have told so many people how impressed we were with Tusker, the climb, the people that helped us so much, but have been remiss in not telling you as well.
We were so impressed, first with the guides Urio and Stanford their whole approach in making sure we understood what was going to happen and ensuring we were as prepared as possible, was outstanding. Their attention to detail, and in particular the discipline around safety and medical checks was amazing and very reassuring to say the least. I am sure that you know this, but they are so proud of the fact that their medical and safety training is so much better than the other companies, and their willingness to help others along the trail is so refreshing. They love what they do, and they love that they are so well trained to do it, and it shows.
I must tell you a couple of stories by way of illustration. On the fourth day on the mountain, we were one of the last groups to arrive at the Karanga camp, as we had left later that day to let the congestion on the Baranco wall clear a little, before we started. As soon as we approached the hut to sign in, the Park guys there came running out, excitedly greeting our guides and asking them to bring their medical gear and come with them. It turned out that some porters had found a young child 7 or 8, lightly dressed, lost and unconscious down by the river and had brought him to the hut. He had apparently been wandering around for some time, and was in pretty bad shape suffering from exposure and exhaustion. Our guides worked on him for some time and were able to stabilize him and bring him around to the point where others were then able to carry him off the mountain that evening. What I found interesting was that there had to have been dozens of guides in that camp before us, but they were waiting for our guys to come in to help, because they knew they were the best.
A second incident occurred when we were descending from the summit back to the Barafi camp, we were sitting having a rest, when a guy came along carrying a woman on his back, who had fallen and broken her leg. We were still a couple of hours from the camp, the guy trying to carry her was exhausted and the pain she must have been in would have been excruciating. In any case, our guys who were carrying a collapsible stretcher with us, took charge and got her strapped onto that and organized a group to carry her out.
These were just two of many times on the trail that their willingness to help, and their pride in being able to do so, were so evident. It also made us feel good, that it was our guys who could and did help these incidents are very strong memories for us, and they are stories I have now told many times since.
There is no doubt in our minds we would not have gotten to the summit without these two guys, and we would certainly not have enjoyed it all as much as we did, but for them, they were outstanding.
Similarly, with the rest of the crew as well, the food was fantastic, Albert did a great job, and the camp was always well prepared when we got there. When approaching every camp at least one guy, sometimes more, would come out and meet us, to see if they could help by carrying a pack or something, the rest of the way. The young man that was with us every step carrying the safety gear was so helpful, at every stop helping with our packs, getting us a water bottle, whatever he could do.
If you can, I would be pleased if you could forward this email to our guides, as I don’t know how to contact them directly. While we did than them when we got back down, I would like to reiterate how much we appreciated everything they and the rest of the time did for us.
Thank you also Haley, all the arrangements were great, everything worked like clockwork, including the Safari part of the trip. For all of us this was probably the most memorable vacation we have ever had, and should we consider another trek, we would not even think of using anyone but Tusker. I have strongly recommended Tusker to several people that are going to climb Kilimanjaro in the next year or so, and I expect at least some will be contacting you. A question though, if they wanted to have the same guides that we had, can they make that request, obviously would depend on their availability at the time they were considering.
Carolynne, Janice, and Duane