The Siren Call of Mount Kilimanjaro | A View To A Thrill

Mount Kilimanjaro

The Siren Call of Mount Kilimanjaro | A View To A Thrill

The Siren Call of Mount Kilimanjaro

I spied the heights of Mount Kilimanjaro, at dusk, through the bluish-grey clouds that gave them shelter from prying eyes like mine.  Yet through it all, its coquettish beauty was neither easily hidden nor denied but instead was a covenant of spiritual enlightenment.

So, it seemed to beckon, like so many other fools before me, to scale each of its 19,340 feet, if I dared.  Was it a trick?  Would she lead me into an interminable trap that would ensnare me before my senses could react?  Or did she hold the promise of unmitigated beauty meant only for my visage?

I held my breath and began to exhale slowly as I took one long leap forward clinging to branches, rocks, vines—–anything that would keep me lucid, aware, mobile and functioning—-as I made my way up the peak.  Up, up, up I go, resting, breathing, walking, pacing, gasping, focused, tired, but unwilling to give up or give in.

The days turn quickly into darkness as I alternately sleep, eat and start all over again until I reach a volcanic boulder field at 14, 500 feet.  I can imagine the boulders being molten hot still as my tired, worn feet walk along them.  I stop to drink from my hydration pack to cool my now thickened and parched tongue.  Yet, at the same time, I feel victorious knowing that I have less than 5,000 feet to go before setting my eyes on Uhuru Peak.

I trudge along, passing another kindred who heeded her siren call.  Daylight is breaking once again and I sigh with anticipation as I get closer to Stella Point at 19,000 feet.  I’m confused as I see my former kindred turning back around once they’ve reached that point, having considered themselves conquerors, but I dare to go 340 feet further so as not to cheat myself of what was promised to me.

Three hundred forty feet later, I stand alone in the quietness of my long awaited victory.  The air is heavy, yet sweeps across my face in a loving kiss.  I look down over the horizon and survey the summit.  I imagine this is what heaven is like as I sit down to rest my weary bones and wink at the bluish-grey clouds that, thankfully, had lost the battle.



Renee King
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  • Nancie (Ladyexpat)
    Posted at 20:33h, 09 June Reply

    Congratulations on making it to the top!

    • Renee
      Posted at 20:42h, 09 June Reply


      This is purely a fantasy piece….an ode to something I’d like to do sometime in the future!

  • Sherry Ott
    Posted at 08:20h, 10 June Reply

    Beautiful recount of the summit – it captures the lucid state the mountain causes perfectly!

    • Renee
      Posted at 11:51h, 10 June Reply

      Thank you, Sherry! What a lovely compliment!

  • Michael Figueiredo
    Posted at 19:52h, 06 January Reply

    As always, a beautifully written post, Renee. I felt like I was climbing Kilimanjaro with you!

    • Renee
      Posted at 22:20h, 06 January Reply

      Awww…thanks, Michael!

  • robin
    Posted at 07:38h, 07 January Reply

    You owe it to yourself to do this!! Your infatuation with Kilmanjaro shines through in the writing.

    • Renee
      Posted at 08:45h, 07 January Reply

      One of these days, Robin….one of these days!

  • Jozef Maxted
    Posted at 06:22h, 08 January Reply

    just a lovely piece!

    • Renee
      Posted at 23:36h, 10 January Reply

      Thanks, Jozef….hopefully, it will become a dream fulfilled.

  • Looking back in time – My 7 links
    Posted at 09:39h, 16 July Reply

    […] a fantasy piece that I wrote that expresses how I would feel to scale the heights of Mount Kilimanjaro.  I haven’t realized that dream yet and not sure if I ever will, but I enjoyed imagining […]

  • Greg Gross (IBIT)
    Posted at 00:40h, 09 April Reply

    Just found out that among the Seven Summits, the seven highest mountains in the word, of which Kilimanjaro is one, Kilimanjaro has the highest failure rate among climbers of the seven, somewhere between 40 and 50 percent.

    That’s right: Kilimanjaro has a higher failure rate among climbers than Everest. If you do it, it will be a great achievement!

  • Climbing Kilimanjaro by George Lancaster - A View To A Thrill
    Posted at 11:01h, 25 January Reply

    […] Note:Today’s post is a little bittersweet for me.  As you may recall, I have mused about my desire to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. As luck would have it, one of my dearest friends who happens to be my former boss, recently […]

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