The Cold Hard Facts

I have an important decision to make.

On July 15th, I’m booked to climbed the tallest mountain in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro. It will take six days to climb. It’s the ultimate test of physical and mental endurance. Over years, this mountain has claimed lives from the daring many, mainly from altitude sickness. The summit is 19,341 feet above sea level so oxygen is scarce. It’s temperatures are below freezing, snowy, and iced near the peak as well. To reach the summit would be one of the greatest achievements of my life. There is only one thing holding me back…

I have been sick for over a week and as of this post, I am still battling a ridiculous almost whooping like cough, random fever like headaches, on and off sore throats, and a sniffling nose. Just two weeks ago, a climber died while on the mountain. He had asthma and his body just couldn’t take the ascent. I’m afraid that if I do climb this thing, ill like I am, I could suffer the same fate. But then again, I read an article about a 55 year old woman who smoked her entire life; she made it to the summit and even lit a cigarette at it’s peak. This may sound nuts but 20 to 30 year old males are the ones most likely not to reach the peak. Reason for that is because they go too fast and don’t give their body enough time to acclimate to the high altitudes. I will not become a statistic.

Altitude sickness should not be taken lightly. I know about it all too well. I succumbed to it last summer while climbing in Peru. I never thought I would have to worry about it. I was dizzy, cold, nauseous, and had no appetite for four days. It sucked. It sucked a lot. The higher the altitude, the harder it is for your lungs to pump oxygen to the most vital organ in your body, the brain.

Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest free-standing mountain on the entire African continent. (This photo is not mine).

I never planned on climbing Kili before I came to Africa. It’s too expensive and it takes up too much time. A whole week! I didn’t come with the proper equipment to tackle this beast. I don’t know what changed my mind. I literally woke up one day and decided I wanted to climb it. More than likely, I will probably never come back to Tanzania after this. I love this place, but there are too many other countries with my name on a welcome sign. Climbing Kili is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I’m here now, thousands of miles from home across the globe. This would be my only shot. If I didn’t at least attempt to climb it, I would regret it forever. However, I don’t want to die either.

My housemates are telling me not to. Some are telling me to just go with my gut instinct. I’m still debating. I haven’t made up my mind yet.

If you don’t hear from me for a good week, on here or on Facebook, then I’m probably on the mountain. If that’s the case-Pray for me.


9 thoughts on “The Cold Hard Facts”

  1. Yoooo Dan//// this is stephen from muizenberg/texas. I wish you all the best man// i love your blog, I usually hate blogs. I say, go with your gut bro. dream on it /// all the best. love+light


  2. Dan. Please don’t do this. Maybe if you weren’t fighting something and had planned for this but u didn’t. I want you to come back safe and I’m sure your family does too! Kim


  3. Also, I assume that is Lisa Solomon that commented before me….don’t think she and I won’t come to Africa and beat you if you don’t listen 🙂


  4. Daniel…get your ass to a proper doctor ! And don’t even think about climbing that ! It would be one thing if you were healthy, but you aren’t. I would be very angry with you if you died !!!! But seriously dear please take care of yourself….and go get that cough looked at ! Love you 🙂


  5. Wish you the best luck. I always think challenging the limit makes people have another view of looking at the whole world. Especially, when people are young, I believe, those hardships in their lives are invaluable more than any other things. For me, it was the time I spent in the Army. I’m jealous of you because you are now having that chance to open your eyes once again. Keep me updated bro.


  6. You are freaking me the F out right now! People train for years to make that climb! If you love it that much and want to climb then you will one day. You are stil VERY young and will have opportunities to fulfill all of your dreams…. Maybe one day climbing with your son or daughter. ;p. I know this is the “mom” in me, but making that trek while already having respitory issues is extremely dangerous and irresponsible. Well seasoned climbers will tell you that and I know you already know. Please be safe and think of all the people who love you and don’t want that climb to be your last…. WE LOVE YOU!!!!


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