I am a lifelong hiker who got started in my mid-teens. The first mountain I climbed was Mount Washington via the glen Boulder trail. I was hooked. I spent most of my college years climbing throughout New Hampshire and Maine and completed all the 4000 footers in New Hampshire except one! Back then climbing was cheap, accessible and fit with my interests in the environment.
For the last 7 years we have lived in Colorado and I have been climbing most of the fourteeners as well as other peaks. Colorado is heaven for this kind of activity. I got interested in Kilimanjaro about 10 years ago, but could never take the time to train and or make such a prolonged trip.
Shortly after I retired, a former coworker climbed with Thomson and that gave me the nudge I needed to get serious about the climb. From our discussion, there was no doubt I would book with Thomson. He emphasized how prepared the company was, how safety was a principal concern, how the guides and porters were all so professional and focused on ensuring that the clients had an enjoyable experience. He also said the equipment was first rate and believe it or not he thought the food was great!
The Thomson experience was exactly what I was looking for. From booking, to travel, to pickups, hotels and of course the climb, everything was first rate and so I was free to focus on staying healthy, enjoying the experience and reaching the summit safely. I have been on other treks where unfortunately this was not the case. The Thomson experience was definitely a case of great value received.
One thing I believe potential clients should clearly evaluate is the quality of the lead guide and the assistant guide. At all times I felt like our guides were fully in control of our party and the support staff. They were continuously evaluating how we were doing physically and mentally. They paced the climb consistent w the groups capability, they constantly watched over our water and food consumption, and they checked on our well-being frequently. Over the period of the 9 day climb we became very good friends, but above all we understood they were experienced, they knew the mountain and they would get us up and down safely.
The foundation that Thomson provides via its personnel, equipment, planning and climbing process gave me the confidence to stretch myself to levels and heights that I had not experienced before. When you trust your leaders it allows you to personally accomplish great things.