March 29, 2017

Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's tallest mountain, rises nearly 5km above the Tanzanian plains and is one of the world's most popular climbing destinations. Despite its popularity, Kilimanjaro remains a difficult climb, with only around 60% of climbers who make the attempt reaching the summit. Hi-Tec ambassadors Martin and Jeannie Dreyer decided to ride up it. On their mountain bikes. Just to see if they could.

Kilimanjaro takes you from shorts and t-shirts…

Martin: Hi-Tec Men's Dusi top and bottom, Hi-Tec Drin fleece, Hi-Tec Trevi wind jacket, Hi-Tec Men's Dron waterproof jacket, and a Hi-Tec Temir; Jeannie: Lady Calipso top, Lady Dusi bottom, Hi-Tec Drin fleece, Hi-Tec Trevi wind jacket, Hi-Tec Lady Mons waterproof jacket, and a Hi-Tec Temir. Both: Hi-Tec V-Lite Wild-Life boots.

Kilimanjaro presents a wide range of weather and terrain conditions to challenge even the hardiest climber. From the cultivated lower slopes to the near-Arctic conditions at the summit, the Dreyers rode through six distinct ecological zones in five days. Climbing through hot, humid rainforest; cool, misty heath; dry moorland; near-barren Alpine desert; and the Arctic-like upper slopes before the summit, Jeannie and Martin had to make sure that they were ready for any conditions.

Jeannie says that preparation is the key to success. "The weather on Kilimanjaro is typical mountain weather and very unpredictable. You have to be prepared for the worst at all times. It is advisable to carry a day pack with essential mountain/all weather gear." 

How did the Hi-Tec V-Lite Wild-Life boots do on this challenge?

Martin and Jeannie were given Hi-Tec V-Lite Wild-Life boots to evaluate during their ascent. "They were super comfortable and light," says Jeannie. "What impressed me the most is how dry our feet remained after a long and active day of wearing them, and particularly after a rain squall. With a temperature of around -10°C at the summit we didn't have the slightest inkling of chilly toes."

The V-Lite Wild-Life boots weren't just warm and dry. On the way back down the Dreyers decided to take a shortcut down a particularly steep and sandy scree slope. "Climbing this section is particularly slow going and the descent is too, if you follow the switchback," said Jeannie. "There is an alternative, very quick way to descend: bombing straight down the screen by running and sliding one's way down. What was most noticeable after our descent is that there was no debris to empty out of our Wildlife boots!"

The Dreyers aren't sure what their next challenge will be. Jeannie says, "We are always keen for new adventures, ways to live more and moments that redefine us."


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