Right from the beginning my questions were answered – and there were a lot, Dana was very good at eliminating any stress I may have had. I cannot say enough good things about the guides and porters that our group worked with. From the start Modi, Davis and Magnus were professional and very fun. The rapport the 3 of them have together make them a very, very strong team and I’d say the best guides on that mountain. Each have a very different leadership style – but it comes together seamlessly. They know everything there is to know about that mountain and the safety that is involved in climbing it. I can’t say enough good things about them!!! You build a very special bond with these men as they see you at your worst, but still keep on building you up. They joked and had fun with us and with each other but yet, took their jobs very seriously and were the ultimate professionals. We had so much fun getting to know them.
We had vital checks twice a day, get comfortable talking about bodily functions with strangers.
The way that they interact and lead the porters is amazing as well. We had a porter who was having some struggles and Magnus stepped up like the unbelievable leader he is and helped him out.
Eric our camp waiter – was also amazing. His energy and sense of humour is like no other and he was a wonderful face to see every morning.
Adam our campmaster was also wonderful – he had his team ready and in action every day shortly before we left camp. What a wonderful spirit.
There are so many wonderful and amazing things to say about this team. The food was amazing!!! Francis our cook – can do wonders with a cook stove. There was always more than enough food and it was delicious. If you are a picky eater or have some weird thought that it’s going to be 5 star dining – then rethink what you are doing. You’re on a mountain in a tent, and he’s cooking with a gas burner. It was wonderful to have hot food every day and our cook was the best!
Also, going to the bathroom – we had a private toilet tent – which was a camping toilet and did the job. I did not go in the long drops, but I heard they weren’t the best. Again, if you think you’re going to have some flushing western toilet – guess again …. You’re on a mountain and you’re camping.
And lastly the porters… these men are astounding!!! There are not men in North America, that I would say, could do the work these men do every day, carrying the equipment up the mountain. It is incredible!!! And some do it with the poorest quality of clothes, and shoes but with a smile on their face. I left all of my, knee braces, clothes,shoes, socks, batteries, water bottles, and over the counter drugs for them. They don’t have a lot of access to those things. And you can leave with the guides or the company rep to distribute, but often I just gave the porters my stuff.
I will say that climbing this mountain is no joke. Be prepared for all weather, we went in dry season – it was not, it sleet rained and froze most days. The summit is something else go slow and you’ll get there, and then you have to come down…. Which is also something else. Be prepared to walk over 12 hours that day. (I’ll give it to you straight – we started a 12am – and didn’t stop walking until 3pm, very long time, but it didn’t seem like it because of the team we had)
The guides and team that Peak Planet put together for us was amazing and this experience meeting them was life changing. Tip these men well… in fact OVER tip! Bring at least $200 or more than it says it too – you will wish you did, as you develop quite a bond with these people. Do more and give more for these men who are essentially responsible for your life for a number days, they deserve it.