“Not all those who wander are lost.” – J. R. R. Tolkien

"Everybody dies. Not everybody really lives."

The saddest sound in the world is a man saying, "I wish I'd have done that."

Monday, August 25, 2014

Mt LeConte, Three Summits in Three Days

We were set to climb Mt Kilimanjaro in July so we started training in January.  Hiking, running, gym time 3-6 days per week.  I hiked with full pack anywhere from 8 to 12 miles every week plus ran a couple of 5Ks and a half marathon in early 2014. Put in 8-12 mile hikes at local hiking venues including a nearby Rails to Trails and the Walls of Jericho, a steep (for Alabama) canyon area in northern Alabama.

We culminated training three weeks before the Kilimanjaro trek by hiking Mt LeConte in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Only 6500 feet at the summit but the closest thing we could come to altitude in the eastern US.  We were to start our Kilimanjaro climb at 6000 feet so the acclimation was minimal.  But we did try out Diamox, an altitude pill, to make sure we had no reactions and to see if we could tell any difference.  Maybe the placebo effect but it seemed to help.

Day 1 Summit via Alum Cave Bluffs Trail

Didn't take this trail

All supplies and food come into Mt LeConte lodge via llama

Day 2 summit via Rainbow Falls trail

Day 3 summit via Trillium Gap Trail. Three days, 54 miles, 18000 vertical feet up and down.

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