Ok folks it’s finally time for a post on Kilimanjaro. Let’s just ignore that fact that I am already home, I still want the people who I won’t see for a while to see some photos.
As far as the experience I will say 1. It was not as hard as I thought it would be 2. It was every bit as amazing as I’d hoped it would be and 3. The guide, porters, and cook were WAY better than I thought they would be. We were very lucky and did not experience any altitude sickness. On summit day Dave got a headache on the way down, but since we were already on our way down it was not a big deal. Summit day is very tough, starting at midnight and reaching the summit at around 6 am, then deceding and getting back to Barafu camp at 15,000 feet around 9 am, taking a rest of one or two hours and then going all the way down to a lower camp between 9,000 and 10,000 feet elevation. My knees were pretty tired by the time we reached the lower camp that day but we were pretty elated so it didn’t matter too much. I recommend the Machame route, I don’t know about the others but this way was full of beautiful scenery, cool plants, and interesting geology. Also, they say all the snow and ice will be gone from Kili in 20 years, but I was suprised by how much snow and ice there was on the mountain. If the predictions are correct that is one heck of a lot of melting.
I also wanted to add how pampered we really were on this climb. The second day when we arrived in camp it was raining hard and COLD. Dave and I are used to taking care of ourselves and normally we would have been huddled under a tree with the campstove trying to cook some noodles or something. With those guys taking care of us we got in our tent, into dry clothes and huddled in our sleeping bags. Then the guides brought us hot tea, popcorn, and freshly roasted peanuts. There I was reading a good book, listening to my favorite toons on the MP3 player, muching popcorn and peanuts while the rain beat down outside and we huddled in warm comfort. Maybe to some people it would be roughing it but to us it was pure LUXURY!
Oh, and Brice, as you can see they’ve stood the sign at the summit back up.
Here are the photos:
Tags: Into Africa