7 Things Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro Taught Me


1. Christopher Columbus was correct. The world is NOT Flat!


2. The rewards are in the journey, not the summit.

After reaching the pinnacle, the only place left to go is down. True success can only be found at the end of the trail and getting there is harder than it looks. If it were easy, more people would achieve it.


Beginning, Summit, End! We hiked the Lemosho Route which begins at the Londorosi Gate and ends at the Mweka Gate. Lemosho Route, Moshi, Hai, Kilimanjaro, Northern, Tanzania All Photos (c) 2015 Gene Taylor

3. Success takes a team.

Friends, family, colleagues, hike mates, guides, trail personnel and in general, people from just about every part of life have in someway contributed to every step of the journey. They deserve to share in the reward.


Hiking Partners: Mark Meskin (l), Me, Brad McGarry (r). Mount Kilimanjaro Summit, Rombo, Kilimanjaro, Northern, Tanzania All photos (c) 2015 Gene Taylor.


Our team of guides, porters, cooks & camp managers. Lemosho Route, Moshi, Hai, Kilimanjaro, Northern, Tanzania

4. Guiding is part science, part art.

The science part is in the technical details: gear, plan, path and pace. The art side is leadership and motivation. A great guide reteaches the same lessons that are learned by every child who ever played a sport when they were growing up. 1) Finish what you start.2) “Pole’ Pole’ ” — slow and steady wins. 3) “There is no crying in baseball.” Moses was a great guide.


Me and Kilimanjaro Guide Moses Lyamuya. Moses has been to the Kilimanjaro summit more than 230 times.

Mount Kilimanjaro Summit, Rombo, Kilimanjaro, Northern, Tanzania All photos (c) 2015 Gene Taylor.

5. The walk up the mountain begins at home.

The journey and the mountain itself exposes all weakness; in your gear, in your plan, in your preparation, and in your mind. Never rest more than 2 minutes. Don’t stop walking.


Me, running on empty after our seven-hour final ascent. We still had another ten hours of hiking down to our next camp. Mount Kilimanjaro Summit, Rombo, Kilimanjaro, Northern, Tanzania All photos (c) 2015 Gene Taylor

6. The trek and the mountain will teach you to THRIVE.

7. Keep things in perspective.

I don’t mean to diminish our accomplishments in anyway. I just know that others with far less have done the same or even more than we did. It is possible to go farther or faster! We hiked the Lemosho Route — 6 days up, 2 days down. It is the longest route and because of the distance, arguably the most difficult.

The record time for an unassisted trip from the bottom to the summit and back is held by a Tanzanian — just 9 hours and 19 minutes! The youngest on record, 7 years old. The oldest is shared by two people at 85 years each. 50,000 people a year set out to climb the mountain. Over half will finish!

I am certainly proud of what my hike mates and I accomplished. Not only for the physical challenge, but from the mental and emotional side as well. We learned a lot about each other and what it means to be a part of a team. We learned about the support team that got us up and back safely and that without their effort, we would have never made it. Most importantly, through lots of introspection, each of us learned what it took for us to do what we did from the inside out. And that was worth every step!


(l-r) Guide, Moses Lyamuya, Gene Taylor, Mark Meskin & Brad McGarry with our completion certificates. Arusha, Northern, Tanzania All Photos (c) 2015 Gene Taylor

Guided Adventures To Mt. Kilimanjaro

The Walking Connection is now offering guided trekking adventures to Mt. Kilimanjaro. We have over 30 dates available throughout the year. June, July and August are busiest months, with December, January and February being the driest and warmest. If you would like to learn more about hiking the mountain as an individual, with your friends, as a private family group or in a small group with others, please visit our website or contact Gene Taylor: Email: gt@walkingconnection.com or Phone: US/Canada: 800-295-9255 or +1 623-561-0846

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