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Climbing Kilimanjaro

We sat down with Sergi Labori from Barcelona, who currently lives in Dubai. An amateur triathlete and cyclist, Sergi hiked Mt. Kilimanjaro with his girlfriend wearing only the Cloudventure Waterproof for the journey.

 

The Cloudventure Waterproof was born in the Swiss Alps and made for the trail. In particular, trail running. Yet when Sergi Labori told us he had been to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro – the highest mountain in Africa at 5895m above sea level – wearing just the Cloudventure on his feet, we had to find out more… and how he did it.

 


 

ON:  Sergi – thank you for the time to talk about your adventure. So to kick it off, how did this adventure begin? Your love of mountains?    

 

SERGI:  I have – I love them. I have a house in the Pyrenes and have spent many years there. However, I generally did skiing and cycling - not climbing – during my time there. It’s only recently I developed a curiosity around climbing them. Maybe the fact that I now live in the desert that makes me see the mountains in such a different way!

 


 

ON:  What kind of preparation did you do for it?  

 

SERGI:  I really didn’t do any specific preparation. I kept doing my triathlon training (swim, bike, run) and I added some gym and weights to build my strength. I was not used to walking that many hours carrying that much weight on my back: water, food, extra clothes – thus the gym was what I added into the mix.

At the camp below the mountain's peak

ON:  And why the Cloudventure waterproof?  

 

SERGI:  I chose the Cloudventure Waterproof because it was light and comfortable which I needed for such a long trek compared to hiking boots. But with many mountains like Kilimanjaro, it’s not just about ice and snow. It’s a forest near the base, you know, humid and wet - which is where the shoe came in handy. 

Of course, I needed some modifications to the Cloudventure - thicker socks for one.


 

ON:  So how long did it take all up to climb?  

 

SERGI:  We took the “5-day-route” to avoid altitude sickness. It can be done in less time than that, but if you are not used to that high altitudes there Is a fair chance of getting altitude sickness and it can be very dangerous.

 

ON: And how did it feel when you reached the summit?  

 

SERGI:  Great! It was incredible. However, the ascension was very hard as we started at 12am in the morning, and after almost 5 hours of walking had nothing but very very cold temperatures and wind.

I had a really bad moment with my hands when I took my gloves off to take a selfie and I almost got a frostbite. It took me close to a month to recover the feeling in three of my fingers. 


 

ON: Did the shoes make it home?  

 

SERGI:  Yes - and looked like new after a wash. I didn’t have a single problem with them in fact. They’re now my go to for running in the wet.  

View from the top of Mount Kilimanjaro

ON: And what’s next?  

 

SERGI:  It’s still in discussion. I really want to do Aconcagua but it’s 6,965m (almost 1,500m more than Kilimanjaro) and you need good acclimatization and to take a lot of days off to do it right. If it’s not Aconcagua the other option is Mount Elbrus in Russia or the Puncak Jaya in Indonesia.

 


 

ON:  What advice do you have for people wanting to follow in your footsteps?  

 

SERGI: I’m a real amateur so I don’t know if I’m in a position to give advice! But for sure, if someone wants to start climbing mountains with a certain altitude they need to get the proper equipment and research a lot before doing it. And of course, they need to be in a good physic condition - you don’t want to abandon a climb half-way through or be injured at that altitude in the middle of nowhere!

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