By The Chronicle staff
Neal Kirby, who labored earlier thanhand As a Outcome of the principal at Edison Elementary School and Centralia Center School, has made it to The very Greater of Mount Rainier 5 events in his sixties. However that hasn’t been enough to satiate The thrill-seeker.
On Thanksgiving day, Kirby, 69, summited Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa and the 4th most topographically excellent peak On the earth. Rainier is the Twenty first most topographically excellent.
Summiting Kilimanjaro, he said in an e-mail, is a seven-day journey presenting distinctive problems in distinction to the glaciers of Washington.
“There are seven camps on the route, which cuts by way of jungle, the place we heard monkeys Inside The comb, to barren desert Inside The higher elevations,” Kirby said.
He went with two pals from the Seattle space and made the journey with 15 employed informations, porters and a put together dinner, who carry the gear and meals for tenting and As a lot as 35 kilos Of every climber’s private provides.
“We eat in A multitude tent and have A transportable relaxation room. Much of That is required by The federal authorities as a make work program, Neverthemuch less it’s additionally very useful,” he said.
There was Little or no snow accumulation and the climb was Completely on naked rock till turning to gravel higher up. Base camp for the summIt is at 16,000 ft, which is 1,600 ft higher than Mount Rainier, leaving 3,300 ft for The final summit push.
On the Evening time earlier than Thanksgiving, Kirby’s group started at 11 p.m. with 4 layers Of garments, down jackets and backpacks. A information carried emergency gear and oxygen for anyone Affected by altitude sickness, The outcomes of which differ from A Lightweight upset stomach All of the biggest Method to cerebral or pulmonary edema. In the event of an emergency, The one reply is speedy descent. Helicopters can’t make it to the highest elevations of The peak.
The climb is An prolonged, steep foot slog, Kirby said. There are some glaciers, but They’re by no means crossed. Some parts of the route involved low-diploma Mountaineering expertise.
“The Most very important problem is respiration. As you get higher, oxygen will get thinner till On The very biggest, oxygen is half what It is at sea diploma. Whereas the climb Might be carried out in much less time, the seven day route is designed Partially to acclimate with A pair of days up and down As properly as to overlaying distance,” he said.