Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Kilimanjaro In The Snow

All feeling a little anxious 22 of us met in Heathrow Airport ready to take on Kilimanjaro.
Finally arriving in Tanzania we were rewarded with a glimpse of Kilimanjaro which left most of the group speechless.
After sorting out all our porters,cooks and local Guides we started out for our 1st nights camp at 3100Mt's, today's route was to take us through the stunning rainforest then finally following the ridge line into camp.
After an early start with Veiws of Kibo we slowly made our way to the Shira Plateau 3850Mts arriving at camp in the mist, it's was a short day in distance but everyone was feeling the effects of altitude.

We woke the the next morning to incredible views over the maasai step and Mt Meru 4600Mts, today was to be a tough day as we planned to climb up to the Lava Tower 4600Mt's passing through Lava fields giving the mountain a luna feel, we then planned to drop back down into camp at the base of the Barranco Wall 3900mt passing Giant Lobelia which grows up to 3mt along the way.

Some members of the team were really feeling the altitude once we reached the 4000mt mark and descended down to camp early so save there energy for the following days, everyone who went up to the Lava Tower did so with relative ease we finally made camp at 16.30.The next day we made our way up the Barranco Wall everyone really loving this section on the mountain as it's more hands on stuff, After a 2hr climb we reached the top of the Barranco wall and again we were rewarded with stunning views for what went on for hundreds of miles.

loosing 2 members of the team today the going was getting tough but we made it to Barafu Camp in good time, everyone now had 7hrs rest and prepare their kit before we left for the summit at midnight.
Waking up a 23.00 for our summit ascent to find out it had been snowing was unbelievable then to look up and see millions of stars in the sky made you feel very lucky.
The last night ascent up to the summit doesn't get any easier physically it's a bloody hard climb the air is so thin you have to walk at a snails pace, mentally when you know what lies ahead it makes the night easier.
We lost a few more members of the group through the night due to altitude and exhaustion those who made it to Stella Point and the Uhuru peak were rewarded with a truly amazing sunrise over Africa.
With everyone back at a camp dead on their feet we had 2hrs rest before moving onto to our final nights camp and a good nights sleep.
Back in Moshi after a long hot shower it was time for a few of Kilimanjaro beers and to celebrate every one's success.
Maximum Respect.............