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The Mindless Things We Do

Kilimanjaro Lesson #6


People don't think and just do things because everyone else does it.


We started the hike at 12:30 a.m., and during the first hour or so, I wondered why we had to stumble around in the dark. The more I thought about it, the less I understood, so I asked three guides who were with us. My Intellect, Learner and Input Strengths were activated. I had no answer to my question, and they didn't like that.


The guides gave me two answers, which I found BS. 1, To see the sunset. 2. The hike is so steep if people saw it, they would be demotivated by what's ahead of them.


I was like, what??? So I turned to Abdul and said; This is the stupidest thing to do.


"We didn't sleep, the last time we ate was 4 p.m., and it is minus 18 windchill. Everything is going against us, and we don't even have a good enough explanation. This is a typical example of people doing things because everyone is doing it, but they cannot even explain why. Nobody ever thinks! Has nobody ever challenged this nonsense?"


Imagine me trying to intellectualise what is happening at 2 a.m. in the middle of nowhere:-) Abdul just replied; I think you are right. I rolled my eyes and said, of course, I am right.


This bugged me so much that the moment I had access to the internet, I started to research the reason. I have to say I couldn't find a good enough answer for it. There is no reason one must hike Kilimanjaro during the night. It is the same contradiction with Everest climbing. They say you must summit by 2 p.m. so you can return to camp before sunset because being out during the night is dangerous. But then, they start the summit push at 11 p.m...... Nobody ever picks up on these inconsistencies?


Now, there might be a real reason why Kilimanjaro is a night hike, but nobody who is leading and managing these hikes knows the answer to this. I also learned that some groups do day hikes, so there it is.


Climbing is like organisations, we do millions of things, and nobody can explain why we do them. Just ask anyone why we have exit interviews when we don't use the information we get from them.


Ok, I will give you the sunrise pics if I had to suffer for it:-))) This is what sunrise looks like at 5750m altitude.



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