Behold the Power of Fine Dining at Altitude

Life is brought down to the basics: if you are warm, regular, healthy, not thirsty or hungry, then you are not on a mountain. . . . Climbing at altitude is like hitting your head against a brick wall – it’s great when you stop.
– Chris Darwin

One of the most important things when you are climbing a mountain at altitude is what you eat.

The higher you go the less air your lungs are able to take in and the more your body is working to produce oxygen in your blood stream to keep your body from shutting down.

As we begin to prepare our packing list, one of my team mates asked what food we can expect on this journey, giving us an idea of what snacks we should take of our own and how much we need to take.

Ronnie Muhl, or expedition leader, informed us that we are going to feast like kings and queens!

Here’s a little flash back to our team about to enjoy breakfast one morning on Kilimanjaro.

Here’s a little flash back to our team about to enjoy breakfast one morning on Kilimanjaro.

My journey up Kilimanjaro saw us fed to the nines and at the end of each day’s hiking, I was famished. At least for the first few days. Maybe it was a combination of excitement and the hard work (which except for summit night) didn’t feel like hard work at all. By mid-trip though my appetite began to waiver fast and at night and during the day trekking, I had to force myself to eat. When you have no appetite this is not an easy thing to do but with a quick reminder of how high you are and what you still have lying ahead of you, your hand is moving to gracefully shove food down your throat, reminding yourself as you chew on your mouthful that your body is doing amazing things for you and this is an act of loving your body and giving it the energy it so desires and craves as you climb higher. I wonder how many days in on Aconcagua it will be before my appetite refuses to leave camp and show up at the next camp!

Each day on Aconcagua as we make our way up to Base Camp we can expect lavish (for a mountain) three course meals for breakfast and for dinner and if it’s anything like our Kilimanjaro trip they are not lying either!  Our lunches will be pre-packed and will consist of things like fruit, sweets, chocolate bars, fruit juice and ham and cheese rolls, which we will snack on as we hike each day.

Red wine pouring down

According to Ronnie, in the evenings, maybe while playing a game of the very addictive “Monopoly Card Game” we’ll also indulge in a little bit of Malbec wine.  To give you a little background on Malbec wine, it originates from the Bordeaux region of France and this grape is among the “big six” for red wine grapes. The French plantations of Malbec are now found primarily in Cahors in South West France.  It is increasingly celebrated as an Argentine varietal wine.  Malbec has found both fame and fortune and glory in the sun-drenched climate of Argentina.  This is Argentina’s signature grape and it is quickly making a new name for itself with red wine lovers.  Hmmm, I’m already looking forward to it!

In the three camps that we’ll set up above Base Camp as we make our way to the summit, our meals will be prepared by Ronnie and our local guides.  These meals will consist of things like tea and coffee, biscuits, muesli and fruit for breakfast and the evening will consist of pre-dinner snacks like cheese, salami, nuts and biscuits, which will be followed by soup and probably a package of high quality freeze-dried food, followed by fruit for pudding!

BackCountry Cuisine

Surprisingly, when you’ve been hiking for hours and you are exhausted, these taste pretty good! Some roast lamb we had on the Fish River Canyon & Otter Trail hike did it for me both times and all you need to do is add hot water!

Some of you might turn your noses up as freeze-dried food but if you have ever done strenuous hiking all day, there is nothing better than those freeze-dried foods and they honestly can taste like a Sunday’s roast dinner. But then again maybe it’s the altitude playing tricks on your mind. I’m guessing by this stage my appetite will probably still be sitting somewhere at Base Camp or below!

Weight loss at altitude is quite rapid and on 7 days on Kilimanjaro I lost over 5kgs but one thing Ronnie has assured us that even though we may lose weight on this expedition, it will not be a result of lack of good, wholesome food and sustenance.

I’m guessing it’s still a little too early to start packing….

~ 79 Days: 20 Hours: 53 Minutes: 27 Seconds to Aconcagua, Argentina. ~

Too Big For Definitions ~ Happy ChooseDay!



“I’m surrounded by walls.

Cornered by constraint.

Forced into the places you put me.

Squeezed into safe shapes.  Shoved into polished packages.  Sheltered from the power of my own determination.

You ask me to aspire but then you question my ambition. You tell me to explain, instead of teaching me to explore.

You want me to feel but then you suffocate my senses. Bury me with should’s and can’t’s and supposed to’s….

Drown me in the ordinary.

You tell me to stand for something, but the ceiling you made for me is too low. The space you assigned to me is too small. How can I rise up when your ungreat expectations keep me down?

The roof over my head is leaking with limitations. The cover above me was locked by foreign fingers.

The windows to my world are blacked out by what you want me to be.

Why do you need to define me?

Why is it necessary for you to sum me up in one sentence?

What is it about my potential that scares you?

I will no longer be held hostage by your near-sighted vision.

I will not be imprisoned by YOUR comfort zone.  I will not be locked up by YOUR fears… Your lack of imagination and absence of articulation will no longer limit my long overdue manifestation…

My destiny is now firmly in my hands.

So stop trying to put me and peg me and pin me… your palms move too slow and my faith grows too fast.

I don’t have perfectly square edges. And I can’t fit inside anyone else’s box. My passions are too wild to be tamed. My dreams are too big for any cage.

My belief is too reckless to stay within the lines.

When you define me, you confine me.

My power is in my lack of definition. I am whatever I want to be…

No limits, no borders, no boundaries. Always open, ever evolving.

I can BE anything.

And for me… anything is possible.”

~ Kash Shaikh

In a world that is far too quick to pass judgement

And to shove us into a box of unachievable

Some people seem to be afraid to watch others excel.

Instead of supporting, they bash you down

And tell you all the reasons why you can’t.

What could go wrong.

And how you are in over your head.

Don’t listen to them.

They are the nay-sayers of life.


At the moment I am pushing myself to limits

that are close to pushing myself right over the edge.

I’m feeling mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted.

I’m stretching myself in every direction possible.

And it’s taking its toll.


Three big life decisions all at once.

Each one has the potential to change my path completely.

At this point I could just throw in the towel and walk away

And settle for the less ordinary life.

That would be the easy option.

But if there is one thing I have learnt over the years

It is that you have to fight for your dreams.

Even when others might not at first believe you can do it.

Even when others might put you down.

Even when others say it will never work.

You have to put up a fight.

It will hurt.

There will no doubt be tears

And feelings of wanting to give it all up.

It will test you in every conceivable way

And at times it will make you question yourself

Over and over again.


But one thing I have come to realise over years of painstakingly hard work.

It is worth it.

It makes your soul come alive.

It makes you see the beauty of the world.

In colour.

And with every fibre of your being

You have to fight for it.


“Give me a challenge.

Throw everything at me.

Cut the power and kidnap the excuses.

Beat my will and torture my toughness.

Weaken my body and harden my mind.

Unleash all Forces of Nature.

And when the ground stops shaking…

I’ll still be standing.

Conqueror of the unconquerable.”


Follow your dreams

Wherever they may take you

No matter what others may say


Never, never EVER give up.

Defy the rules of what society set for you

and be who you were born to be.


Yes, my destiny is firmly in my own hands.

I hope yours is too.

 ~ Wishing you all a wickedly amazing ChooseDay where you defy the box society puts you into! ~

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