January 23, 2008

See Kili Before the Snow Is Gone

My brother and I talked about climbing Mount Kilimanjaro years ago; for us, it was one of those exotic, chance-of-a-lifetime dreams. Sadly, the trip fell through, and we never went.

While not a technical climb, 19,340' Kilimanjaro has long been a coveted summit. The view atop the summit at dawn is legendary. And the climb up, starting in African rain forest, and ultimately reaching the continent's highest (and glaciated) point, is surely one of the most diverse imaginable.

Kili's popularity has been growing in recent years, fueled by a "see the snow before it's gone" pitch. Most scientists believe Kilimanjaro's glaciers will vanish sometime this century. That has translated into something of a tourist boom. I don't know if my brother and I will ever make it to Kilimanjaro, but if we do, I doubt we'll be carrying skis.

Andy Lewicky

ANDY LEWICKY is a Los Angeles-based writer and photographer who enjoys good books, jasmine tea, long walks in the rain, and climbing and skiing the big peaks of the California Sierra. email | follow


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