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plus size kilimanjaro

I remember the first time I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro like it was yesterday.  It was hard, so SO hard.  I felt that the emotional baggage I brought with me on the mountain far outweighed the daypack I was carrying on my back.  I didn’t belong there.  I had never climbed a mountain before in my life, never finished any hiking trail I set out to do.  What the hell was I thinking??

So I should have been proud of myself for reaching Stella Point, just 300 feet below the summit.  And I was proud, for a while.  I felt confident that my body took me as far as it could go, even if it wasn’t to Uhuru Peak.  I told myself, “I’m good, now get me off this fucking mountain”.  I never wanted to see it again.

plus size kilimanjaro
Modeling all my hiking gear before my first trek. I was so optimistic!

But as the months went by those last 300 feet of the mountain gnawed at me.  I felt like I had unfinished business on Kilimanjaro.  I contemplated going back but I knew I couldn’t do the Machame Route again, at least not in the same way that WHOA Travel and other trekking companies do.  I either needed more time on the mountain or a different route.

Furthermore I didn’t want this trip to be a solo hike or even a traditional group hike.  I wanted to surround myself with other women like me, fat girls.  Fat girls who loved being outdoors but who always hated being the last hiker in a group every.single.time.  I wanted to spend a week on the mountain with plus-size women who would need to start an exercise plan well in advance like I would.  Who would understand in a way that no one else could how hard it is, both physically and emotionally, to carry yourself up a mountain.

plus size kilimanjaro
Where my girls at??

The wheels in my mind were churning.  I suddenly wanted to do this with every fiber of my being.  I sent out some posts in my plus-size travel communities just to see if anyone would be interested in joining me.  The response was overwhelming.  I had my answer.  I called up WHOA and we started brainstorming on how to make this work.

In March 2019 I will be returning to Mount Kilimanjaro with a group of plus-size women to tackle the mountain via the Rongai Route.  The plans are still in the works but we are going to be summiting on March 8, International Women’s Day.  The hope is that our group meets the Machame group at the summit for one epic WHOA dance party.

I am SO incredibly excited for this opportunity to not only climb Kilimanjaro again but to inspire other curvy girls like me to go too.  It’s going to be a week of body positive hiking in one of the most beautiful countries in the world.  Here’s to second chances.  Here’s to….

KILI 2019!!!

Plan on hiking Mount Kilimanjaro?  You might find these other articles helpful!

The Ultimate Kilimanjaro Packing List for Women

A Fat Girl’s Guide to Climbing Kilimanjaro

Ladies Team! Climbing Kilimanjaro with WHOA Travel

5 Comments

  1. What an amazing thing to organise! If I had the money I might join you! But good luck and I’ll look forward to posts about the trip once it’s done 🙂

  2. Whaaaaaaaaaat this is so awesome!! I’m also a fat girl who hikes and I 100% feel you – the time limitation is exactly why I wasn’t able to finish my Inca Trail hike. With more time and a more flexible group, I would for sure have been able to do it. I’m SO STOKED about this. Please post more as this comes together! Can if you decide to tackle a hike here in the states, sign me up! I’d love to join your badass fat hiking club <3

  3. This is so amazing and I take my hat off to you – I couldn’t finish my first solo hike which was wayyy easier than Kili. You should be proud of yourself for what you’ve accomplished and for organizing this expedition! All the best 🙂

  4. Good on you! What a great challenge to aim for (again)!

  5. I totally want to join you on your Kili 2019 trip! This has been a bucket list item for a long time and this would be so incredibly awesome! I love the plus size group idea! Is this trip already fully booked? Or do you sign up the same way through Whoa? Please tell me more!

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