Posts Tagged ‘Ali’

Posts Tagged ‘Ali’

To The Roof of Africa!

8.12.2010 | 3 Comments

On January 1st, 2010 I started my journey with this blog entry:

I am going to climb a mountain. Well, I’m going to walk up one, anyway.

I haven’t done anything like this before. In fact, I can probably count the number of times I’ve gone hiking, and I know I haven’t been camping more than half a dozen times. Don’t get me wrong, I know what I’m getting into. I’ve watched videos about climbing this mountain. I’ve submitted questions about the climbing of this mountain to semi-popular websites. I have bought (although not yet read) books about this mountain. I feel about as prepared as someone who listens to a song on the radio and then starts hiring roadies to prepare for a world tour.

In August of 2010, I am going to fly to Tanzania, Africa and climb Mount Kilimanjaro as a way to raise money for the Delta Hospice. The Hospice holds a very special place in my heart, and it is my absolute honour to take on this journey to fund raise on their behalf. But this will be no simple journey. Oh no, this will be a flat-out epic.

Aside from the parent-induced membership in Brownies and Girl Guides, I have managed to avoid the outdoors quite sufficiently for about 30 years. I am the anti-camper. I do not like being cold. The sound of rain drops falling on a tent is nearly trauma-inducing. I would rather be in prison than a sleeping bag. (Some of you more astute readers may be able to pick up the subtle hints I am dropping in regards to my views on outdoor life). To climb Mount Kilimanjaro means that I will need to… oh, man… camp for 10 days.

And so, purely for your entertainment, I am going to allow you into my world as I train for this adventure. For the next seven months, I will allow parts of my life to become an open book, and permit you to laugh, cry and shake your head in total disbelief as I attempt to turn myself from Robyn the Indoor Princess, into Robyn the Sobbing Mess of Outdoorsy Semi-Competence.

And so it begins…

Bring it on, Kilimanjaro!

And today, on August 12th, 2010, I am boarding that flight to Tanzania, Africa knowing that $10,000 $11, 850 has been raised (so far!) for the Delta Hospice Society.

I hiked once, twice, three times and four, five times, six times, and seven

I trained

I attempted to camp

I ate, ate, ate, and ate, and ate, ate, and happily ate, and ate, and ate, shamefully ate, ate, ate and attempted to explain sarcasm, ate, and ate, and ate, and tried to avoid eating, and thought about what to eat, and ate.

I fundraised, and had help with fundraising

I was sponsored and sponsored again

I was humbled

I remembered.

This has been an incredible journey on the way to having an incredible journey. I learned a lot about myself in these past eight months, and I learned a great deal about the power of human nature and the strength of community kindness. This whole experience has left me awed. And I am grateful for it. Thank you for letting me share it all with you. This became such a personal blog, and I’ve met some very wonderful people because of it.

And so today, I leave this blog in the capable hands of Chris, who will update it as often as he hears from me. I’m not sure how or when I’ll be able to make contact, but please know that it’s a priority for me to be able to keep you posted.

I want to thank you all so very, very much for following me and for reading this blog. It means more to me than I could ever express to know that I’m carrying your support and kindness in my heart as I scale that mountain.

And guess what?

I’m crying.

And so it begins…

Bring it on, Kilimanjaro!



It’s Official…

7.11.2010 | 2 Comments

We’ve got the dates booked, the hotel booked, and the actual climb route (Lemosho) planned out. Now you can follow along from the comfort of your own home, while Ali, Amanda, Christopher and I trudge our way up the World’s Tallest Free-Standing, Equatorial Mountain.

Day 1 will be August 23rd…

Day 1:  Drive to Lemosho Glades and hike to Mti Mkubwa forest camp.

Day 2:  Hike to Shira One camp.

Day 3:  Hike to Shira Two camp.

Day 4:  Hike to Barranco camp.

Day 5:  Hike to Karanga Valley camp.

Day 6:  Hike to Barafu camp.

Day 7:  Hike to the summit and descend to Mweka or Millennium camp.

Day 8:  Complete the descent to Mweka gate and drive back to Marangu.

Countdown to Day 1:   43 days…



Hot in The City Tonight

7.09.2010 | 0 Comments

Yesterday I went to Vancouver to meet my good friend Eran for lunch. I took transit in and, as is now my habit, I hopped off at the first stop after the bridge, and walked the rest of the way into the city. It usually takes about 90 minutes or so to get where I need to go after I ditch the train.

I’ve been doing this to help prepare myself for the fact that in 5 weeks I will be walking EVERYWHERE, and in 6 weeks I will be walking up A MOUNTAIN.

The thing about yesterday’s walk is that it was about a bazgillion* degrees outside, and the sidewalks were little convection ovens. Not to rehash it, but really, if I were a cannibal, yesterday would have been totally awesome, because all my food would have come pre-cooked.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaanyway, I slogged through the heat (and LOVED it), and felt my fingers go all fat and tingly with edema. The sweat was rolling off of me (Although I am a woman, I do not “glow”. I sweat like a drunken sailor in a whore house…. ew… ok, that may have been inappropriate. And quite a disturbing visual), and the sun was turning my once pasty-white skin into a gorgeous shade of sickly red.

However, as I was walking along (read: running from tree shade pool to tree shade pool), I realized that it was just about as hot as it is going to be in Africa, but I’ll be slogging up a frikken’ mountain. In hiking boots. With Ali swearing at me and throwing rocks at my sweltering head.

But the upside is that I’ll be walking towards, you know, a freaking GLACIER. So there’s that.

I love this Vancouver weather. You won’t hear me complaining about the heat! I’m a warm-weather kind of gal, and it makes me happy when I’m warm tapas for cannibals.

Bring it on, Kilimanjaro!

*Bazgillion may or may not be an actual number


You GO, Girl!

7.05.2010 | 0 Comments

…and then there’s THIS.


Fund Raising Effort

7.04.2010 | 3 Comments

As you can see, the donations have gone from deluge, to trickle to tumbleweed-esque.  The lovely Suzanne at Delta Hospice sends me emails to update me on donations that have come in.  She doesn’t send me WHAT was donated, but WHO made a donation. It’s so cool. I always look forward to seeing her name in my inbox.

However, my inbox has been Suzanne-less of late. It sucks.

I realized that I have fallen behind on my fundraising duties – I guess after the Kili Gala, I sort of stopped altogether. But I need to get back on that fundraising wagon and get ‘er done. I’m trying to raise $10,000 here! I mean, you’ve all been so generous, that I’m honestly humbled by the fact that I only need to raise about $4500 more. That seriously rocks the rock.  Awesome possum, people!

So, I went to The Underwear Affair last night at The Red Room downtown to see a GREAT band called Waiting for Sunday. They really were kick butt, and they have a decent following for a local indie band.  They’re just about to go on tour, and I wish them very well, indeed.

But the way people were dancing around when Waiting For Sunday was on stage got me thinking; I need a band like that to draw people in to a fundraiser night! That would be RAD! Just imagine a cool bar like say, The Anza Club, where you could go have a drink, hear great live music and dance up a storm all in the name of charity! Doesn’t that sound fab?! I mean, what if that night were held on, say, July 22nd… and started at like, 7pm? Maybe it could be even called, oh I don’t know… THE KILI CONCERT

Wait a second… AHA!!

Ali of Fatgirlclimbskili fame has beaten me to the punch! She’s got her head on straight and has planned a new fundraising night for The Heart & Stroke Foundation AND The Delta Hospice! As the Kili Gala was to Ladner, The Kili Concert is to Vancouver. This time we’re going downtown, baby! Awwwww… yeah…

So here’s another chance to donate to a good cause in a  great way. I’ll be happily manning (womanning?) the bar for the Kili Concert, and I’d love to see you there. And I’m sure Ali will drink lots of beer and dance around like mad, so you REALLY don’t want to miss that.

Come on out to The Anza Club on July 22nd to help support the Climb Kili 2010 team!!  Wheeeeeeeee!



6.29.2010 | 5 Comments

I had a horrible thought yesterday…

What if my climbing team and I get lost on the mountain, wander around aimlessly, go all snow crazy and wind up resorting to cannibalism?  What a horrible, horrible scenario! I couldn’t help thinking about how tragic this would be. I mean, I’m a vegetarian! What the hell would I do!?

And then I got to thinking about who to eat first. Obviously the first choice would be the guide. I mean, not like we’d need him anymore, right? Besides, he got us lost in the first place, so a fitting punishment may very well be to turn him into mountain tapas.

But then I wondered if maybe *I* should be the one to get nommed first. That would really solve my ‘I-don’t-eat-flesh’ dilemma. It would also save me from having to choose which one of my friends I’d have to bonk over the head with a frozen hiking boot. I’m also not very good at making fires, so by being the one to be eaten first, it would save me the potentially debilitating humiliation of failing in front of my friends as I cry my teeny flame out.

Then I started thinking about my teammates (who should all probably stop reading this now), and who I think would make the best meal. Seems easy enough, but if I ate Ali for example (she has very tasty looking calves), then I’d be deprived of her company. If I ate Amanda, then I’d lose out on her level-headed intelligence. But if I ate Christopher… well, he’s pretty thin, so I’d have to end up eating Amanda after him, anyway. And then I’d probably be too full to move, and would then be a prime target for Ali, who I wouldn’t be able to fight off given my logey friend-full belly. But then again, maybe Ali would be too weak to fight! I mean, if I didn’t share, then she would slowly weaken, right? It would take all her strength to strike me down with a ski pole, so if she didn’t get me on first try, she’d be done for.

Cannibalism is apparently quite scientific. It’s not like I can just off any random friend, you know! I have to really think about this. And to make matters worse, I have a fairly small team to choose from! It’s not like I have a whole South American rugby team that I’m climbing with (not that I would mind… hmmmm, now wouldn’t THAT make for interesting blog entries!


Oh, right. Blog. I forgot….

Kind of went somewhere for a minute there…)

Ok, so here it is: if the team gets lost, I am putting it out there now that I wish to be eaten first. Given the lack of vegetable matter on a human body, I’d be forced to eat meat and that would totally make my tummy feel all icky. I don’t want to have an icky-feeling tummy! That would be just SO uncomfortable. AND I don’t want to have to choose which friend I have to chow on, so by being the first cooked I’d deftly avoid that scenario. AND I am probably a terrible cook when it comes to meat, so I’d most likely give myself ptomaine poisoning after an incorrect buddy-bake. This too would lead to an icky tummy, so really, it’s lose-lose isn’t it?


All this thinking is making me hungry! Shame I don’t have time to eat – I’m late for my psyichatrist appointment…


Peace, Love, Eternal Grooviness…

5.02.2010 | 3 Comments

Yesterday Ali and I went to Open Space Yoga‘s 5year Anniversary shindig. Michael had graciously invited us to go and sell tickets to the Kili Gala, and we happily took him up on the offer. When I showed up, Michael already had a little Kili station waiting for me

Awesome, huh!? I borrowed a few of my mom’s rhinos from her collection to add a little African flair, but Michael did all the hard work, and set up a place where I could easily chat with people and accept donations without awkwardness. Thanks Michael!  xo

Open Space Yoga is truly a well-loved place, as is easily evidenced by this photo I took of the studio a mere 15 minutes after the doors were opened.

Lots of people came to help celebrate, and Michael threw a fabulous party for us all. There was a woman doing reflexology, a fantastic array of incredible food by Jini’s Ethnic Gourmet, and there were art pieces hanging on the wall from talented local painters. Oh! And there was a really talented young woman there doing henna!

There were also a couple of very talented guitarists providing background music, and we were all treated to a fabulous belly dancing performance by Fanny, who also teaches belly dance classes at Open Space Yoga! The music snaked its way around the room, and Fanny confidently and seductively showed us her moves…

How does she MOVE like that!? While watching her, I got into a discussion with a couple of women about body image, and how western culture values all the wrong things, making women push themselves to illness trying to be like the ‘ideal’ woman we see on magazine covers. And even if women DO finally achieve that look, are they happy? No. There’s no confidence, no assurance, no peace. Watching Fanny dance was a great way to remind myself to dance to the music, and not to the image. Hey Ali, Lil’ Miss Fat Girl… what do YOU think of Fanny’s performance?

That’s what I thought.

By the way, that little red cup that Ali is holding – this is what’s in it:

I had about 14 cups of it.

Which may not have been a good idea…

…wait. I’m climbing a mountain?! That doesn’t seem like a good idea at all!

But all is well. I snarfed down a few of the decadent desserts that Jini had brought, and the sugar went right to my brain and destroyed that wretched clarity. Thanks sugar!

All in all, it was a lovely afternoon. I spoke with a lot of interesting people, and met with more of the beautiful generosity that this community shares. I had people coming up and giving me whatever spare change they could find at the bottom of their purses and pockets. Every single donation makes a difference, and I can happily, PROUDLY say that $3296 has been raised for The Delta Hospice Society to date. YOU ROCK!! Thank you so much.

And even though I am continually worried about how the Kili Gala will turn out, and I constantly fret over making sure that we get all 250 people through the door, after a day like yesterday, I’m reminded of something that I so often forget to do…

I think I need to take more time to focus on my breathing. It will probably be very beneficial when I’m climbing, considering that I’ll HAVE TO focus on my breathing when I’m climbing. Practice makes perfect, right? There’s something to this whole ‘breathing’ thing. It gives you life, yes. But more importantly, it helps you live. Right eternally-smiling-and-forever-peaceful Buddha?


Happy 5th Anniversary to Michael and to Open Space Yoga – it’s a joy to have you here.


Dea and the ‘Seven Day Hold’.

4.04.2010 | 0 Comments

And so, as I bravely unfurled myself from the fetal position, dared to rise from the couch-dent and leave my pity hovel, I realized that fresh air is somewhat invigorating.

Yesterday Ali and I decided to do SOMETHING, because we have been doing nothing for far too long, So many excuses! “The olympics are on… my knee hurts… I’m functioning on single-lung capacity… I don’t want to get blown off the top of The Chief and smoosh onto the Sea-To-Sky in all my gory glory…”  lame things like that. But today, we just got out there and walked. We decided to walk along the Deas Island trail in Ladner…

Or, ummm… Dea’s Trail…

Dea has such a lovely trail. Thank you for letting us walk your lovely trail, Dea!

It really is a beautiful walk. Full of the wonders of nature. Look! A rare Transiticus Busicus! How fortunate to get it on film!

In all seriousness, it IS a nice trail. It winds through Ladner for a bit, then crosses under Highway 99 by the tunnel, before leading one along the river to Deas Island Park

And once in Deas Island Park, you sort of wend your way through a quiet forest

Taking the time to just enjoy nature. Watching the birds on the river, smelling the damp, mossy forest, feeling the wind against your face as it blows through the trees, hearing the beautiful sounds of all that is natural and beau…


Anyway… Ali and I walked for 2 hours, chatting and laughing, wondering how we were going to actually pull this Kili Gala off, wondering how we’ll actually manage to do this whole ‘climb-a-mountain thing’, wondering how we’ll ever afford all the gear, wondering how we’ll fit everything that we want to do into three short weeks, wondering how we can not defecate for seven days while we’re climbing in order to avoid the whole ‘used toilet paper bag’ idea… you know, the important things.

It was a really nice walk and I totally recommend it to all Delta residents (Deltans? Deltaites? Whatever.) as a nice little jaunt through the large beauty of the small place in which we live. I felt a great deal better after my walk (especially after the epsom salt footbath), and I think the fresh air did me some good.

I haven’t been eating much, and so have lost a fair deal of weight, which has led to a diminished energy level. However, by next weekend I am sure to be back at 100%, and so Ali and I have decided that we’re going to take on The Chief on Saturday. I hope.

Happy Hidden-Chocolate-Egg Day!


Whine Warning in Effect

4.03.2010 | 0 Comments

FINALLY! I can breathe, I have some energy, I’m not coughing up small bits of highly important internal organs… today is the day! Ali has had a fitness goal of climbing all 3 peaks of the Stawamus Chief, so we’re going to do that today. I’ve got my lunch packed, my camelback filled, my hiking boots in the car… what’s left? Oh! Better check that weather report before we head off…

Let’s see.. mmm, hmmm… Squamish – ah, here we go! So, ‘5 degrees Celsius’. Not a problem. That’s practically balmy for Squamish!  ‘Light rain’ – pffft, no worries there at all. ‘Wind warning in effect for Howe Sound’.


Hmmmmm. I *really* want to do this hike. But do I *really* want to be standing atop one of the world’s tallest granite monoliths in a gale force wind storm?

Processing… processing…

*dials phone*

“Hey Ali. Soooo… how are things? Mmm, hmm, that’s great. Good to hear.  Yah, so, about this hike today… oh, yah, yah, I’d still love to go! Absolutely! Funny thing, though… I don’t really want to, you know… DIE or anything, so I was wondering if you may want to do something a little… lower. Sure. Sure. Yep, you bet. Mkay, see you then. Bye-bye”

So, today is the day! Ali and I are finally going to walk the trails around Ladner…


Freakin’ Freak is Freakin’!

4.02.2010 | 0 Comments

Hahahaha…. yah, so you know this cold I’ve been fighting? Apparently, it’s the flu. I DIDN’T KNOW!

But really, how DOES one tell the difference? I figured it was just a cold for the simple fact that 1) I didn’t feel like I was going to die, and 2) I didn’t WISH that I was going to die. But as I attempted to eat my lunch at work yesterday, and got winded from the process of eating a cracker, I figured something was wrong. But meh. What are you going to do, right?

So… I had to call Ali and tell her that we were NOT going to be hiking The Chief today. She was very understanding, and I believe her response was something like, “well DUH! What do you think I’ve been trying to tell you, jackass!?” or something equally as touching and compassionate. Ahhhh, good friends.

It really sucks, because I honestly want to go hiking! I did an interview with Kristine from the South Delta Leader yesterday, and she asked me if I felt prepared. I think I laughed at her. I am so NOT prepared. I’m realizing that more and more as the days go by, and it’s freakin’ me out, man.

I went to my site yesterday to have a look, and clicked on the Delta Hospice Press Release, and when I looked at the map of the route Ali and I will be taking up Kilimanjaro, I almost started to hyperventilate. “Only a crazy person would do that!” I said.

I’m feeling well qualified.

Anyway, I was able to get about 11 hours sleep last night, and that helped a lot. I’ll take one more day to lay low, and then I’m going to carry on.

This sucks.  *crosses arms*



The First of Many

4.01.2010 | 3 Comments

Ahhh, the first post on my new site. It may take me a while to get the hang of this new place, but I’ll try to learn fast. So? What do you think? Like the new digs? Look around and you’ll see some new stuff here and there.  I’m so glad you came by!

I’m back in the world of the healthy… I think. I took 2.5 days off work, and I think it really helped. Just to sit on the couch, read, nap and drink tea was far more healing than anything that Tylenol or Nyquil could provide. However, I *did* have some Neo-Citran, but that’s just because I like how it tastes (I know. I’m weird that way). The stuff had actually expired in 2006 (you can see how often I get sick), and came out of the package as a lump of bouncy crystal log instead of cascading like a healing waterfall, but it still tasted ok.  What?

Tomorrow Ali and I are hiking The Chief in Squamish. We’re doing all 3 peaks. I think. Now, considering I get winded when I talk on the phone, this hike may be a bit difficult for me. I was going to cancel, but I thought to myself, ‘what if I get sick like this on Kili? I’d still have to carry on!’ So… I’m hiking The Chief tomorrow.

If I were in pain I wouldn’t do a hike, because that could obviously do a lot of harm. But since it’s just a cold I’m recovering from, I’ll be ok.

Ali, on the other hand, I’m not so sure about. She’s going to be hiking with me for hours as I snurffle, hack, cough, spit, choke and blargh. I’m sure she’ll have a lovely time.

Happy Faux Friday, and welcome to! Wheeeee!