The timing, the place, and the memory: everything was worth cherishing when the 86-year-old Ulan Ude resident hiked her way to the highest mountain in Africa.
Mount Kilimanjaro stands at the height of 5,895 meters (3.66 miles), and the treacherous weather of the region makes the hike particularly dangerous. However, this was not enough to deter this old lady, determined to fulfill her childhood dream and a promise that she made with her sister.
The first days for Angela’s and her daughter Vera, 62, a Doctor of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, were not particularly pleasant as a fearsome monsoon approached the team. Most of the daylight was used to climb as much as possible in the pouring rain while the nights were spent drying themselves and their equipment.
As the days progressed, the fatigue started getting to Angela, and she began feeling the impact of the altitude on her lungs and body. The most difficult phase of the climb began when the team reached the landmark of 4,600 meters (2.85 miles) above sea level, the whole climb from that point onward took Angela and her team a little over thirteen hours.
Upon her return, Altezza Travel, the tourist company overseeing the event, reported that Angel’s medical condition was quite incredible as the oxygen concentration in her blood was perfect at 89 percent, and her pulse was 70. The results showed the though she had to endure a bit of fatigue and mental stress, Angela’s body got acclimatized to the altitude very well.
At one stage when the team reached 4,000 meters they celebrated the achievement with a light tango.
Talking about her best moments during the climb Angela mentioned one time when after reaching 5,000 meters she could see the amazing sunrise above the clouds. She said that she had never experienced such sheer beauty unfolding in front of her eyes and was absolutely mesmerized by the sight of it.
By no means was this the only time Angela has pushed the limits of her abilities, when it comes to adventure as she had already taken trips to Australia, Fiji and the Cape of Good Hope.
Initially, Angela planned to first trek the Inca Trail in Peru all the way from Cusco to the legendary Machu Pichu. The aim was to prepare herself for Kilimanjaro by first trying her luck at the Inca trail that stands at 4,000 meters. However, she never got around achieving that and had to go for Tanzania without much practice at climbing.
The date of Angela’s reaching the summit of the Mount Kilimanjaro was not any ordinary date, and she chose the 29th October deliberately to coincide with the birthday of her beloved sister to whom she had promised to climb the mountain when she was a child.