Some stories of you and your Powerball®, be they funny or sad, weird or wonderful...
Liam Climbs Kilimanjaro, and brings his Powerball along!
Powerball has reached new heights - literally!!!
please find attached the photo that I managed to take of me using the Powerball at Gilman's Point on the top of the crater rim of Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Please allow me to fill you in on some details about the circumstances of the photo. At midnight on the 30th of August I left Kibo hut (altitude 4730m). At 5:30am I had officially climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro having reached Gilman's Point (altitude 5681m). However, this was an hour before sunrise (hence the night time photo). The glow above my head was my head torch, which I didn't think about removing when I was having the photo taken, apologies.
Just so you don't think it was a stroll getting up here's some of what I suffered in getting there:
~ By the time I had reached Gilman's Point and for a long time before that I was very dehydrated (the valve on my water pack had frozen several hours earlier), also the lungs produce higher levels of water vapour when exercising at high altitudes,
~ I was suffering various symptoms of altitude sickness (dizziness, nausea, headache, rapid pulse),
~ the temperature was between -10 and -15 degrees Celsius resulting in me loosing the feeling in some of my toes and fingers despite my climbing gear (I had lost all feeling at the top of the big toe on my right foot up until last week - 6 weeks after the climb and the feeling at the top of my right thumb returned after 4 weeks).
~ I hadn't eaten since the previous evening, I had lost my appetite due to the altitude sickness and having hiked for five and a half hours I had no energy,
~ All these factors combined to make me somewhat delirious at the Point.
Much to my guide's shock I removed my right-hand glove so that I could get the Powerball spinning for the photo - this was probably the reason for me loosing the feeling in the top of my thumb. I was shocked to find that I still had the co-ordination to thread the cord and to get and keep the ball spinning long enough for the photo to be taken. I have no idea what speed I got the ball to spin at or for how long but the faces on the American climbers who arrived as I was spinning it was funny.
At the advice of my guide I quickly began my descent to Kibo Hut where I then slept for an hour and then hiked the 20kms down to Mandara Hut (altitude 2743m).
Although I didn't make it to Uhuru Peak (altitude 5895m) I can officially say I climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro having reached the crater rim and I felt I had put myself through enough. One guy I knew climbing a different route told me he broke down crying at the Peak when he got there and another couple I met vomited profusely at the Peak and had to be rushed off by their guide. On the 2nd day of the climb I was passed by a man suffering from severe altitude sickness being stretchered down the mountain by his team and his son running closely behind. During my descent I was shown several mounds of twigs and leaves that mark where people have died while climbing and apparently there are several similar markers around the crater rim. They don't tell you that before you book!!!
The fundraising for GOAL has gone well (somewhere around â‚¬3,000)
I'm slowing starting to appreciate the climb but I don't think I'll be putting myself through it again.
I'd like to thank you for your support and help as this was another incentive to reach the top.
You can now also lay claim to the fact that Powerball's successfully work at high altitude and at extreme temperature conditions.
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