One Step Beyond
Climbing Kilimanjaro: The 4-part Documentary
What it's like to climb Mount Kilimanjaro? Your host Tony Fletcher documented his own experiences climbing to the Roof of Africa, as narrated in real time, alongside interviews with fellow climbers and guides, and on-the-mountain 'field' recordings; these were then combined with detailed historical and contextual studio narrative to form a four-part documentary with which One Step Beyond was originally launched. On this special episode, those four parts are edited together for the first time, their repetitive introductions and credits eliminated, and presented as one lengthy but complete documentary that you will hopefully find educational, entertaining, informative and, who knows, maybe inspirational. Here's what I wrote back at the launch:
In August 2019, I set off from Kingston, New York, with four friends and a Tanzanian-born guide, to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. At 19,341 ft, or 5895 meters above sea level, Kilimanjaro is the highest point in Africa, and the tallest free-standing mountain in the world. About 50,000 people a year attempt the summit; not all of them make it. The intense demands on the body in ever-thinning air cause many people to give up before they can reach the peak.
I’m a writer and broadcaster by trade, so I brought my recording devices along with me for the journey up the mountain. Over the course of this mini-series, it’s my hope that you’ll be able to experience a little bit of what it’s like to go on an adventure like this, and that by the time we are all done, you’ll be ready to embark on one of your own.
The starting time for each episode is given in the summary below. Feel free to pause and come back. And if you want to join us on a trip some time, make contact: details at the bottom of the show notes!
EPISODE 1 (3:30): Meeting, planning, getting to know each other - Tony, Tim, Gwen, Steve and Marie, plus tour guide Protus - and heading out from Arusha to Mawenzi and the base of Kili itself.
EPISODE 2 (33:30): Phallic trees, a first sighting of Kibo, an encounter with the Spice Girls, and a serious attack of altitude sickness.
EPISODE 3 (1:01:30): Shrinking glaciers, blistering winds, sudden snow, and a two-hour nap at extreme elevation before an attempt on the Kilimanjaro summit.
EPISODE 4 (1:30:10): Our team wrestles with a seemingly endless overnight slog up the side of a volcano, serious attacks of altitude sickness, and a long and desperate slog on the last stretch to the roof of Africa. Do we all make it to the summit? Let's put it this way: there are celebratory dinners and dances at the end of it all.
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