Monthly Archives: January 2014

Final Day in Moshi

We are just getting ready to head to the airport.  I cannot explain what an amazing experience this has been.

Today we had our final day in Moshi.  We went into town and did a little shopping.  We went out for lunch at a wonderful cafe.  We then spent time at a private school, meeting the children and touring the school.  It was amazing!  The children are so happy and loving!  We played games with them, watched them dance and talked to them about the schooling.  It was an English school with boarding and day-school children.

It was the perfect ending for a perfect trip!

Moshi Private School Children
The children loved to pose for our pictures.

Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro – DONE!

Kristen, back at the Kilemakyaro Mountain Lodge
Kristen, back at the Kilemakyaro Mountain Lodge

Our entire team successfully climbed the mountain!  We hiked down for 13.3km today and then had a celebration lunch.  Afterwards, we took a bus back to Kilemakyaro Lodge.  Things seem bittersweet.  We are VERY excited for a shower, and to see our loved ones at home.  This was such a great experience, and we are all a little sorry to see it end.

We fly out tomorrow night.  What a GREAT experience!

View of Mt. Kilimanjaro from Kilemakyaro Lodge, Moshi.
I was at the top of that mountain yesterday and I got there by my own strength!

Kili Success: We Made It!!!!!

Kristen at Summit of Kilimanjaro
I just arrived down from the Roof of Africa! It is truly an inspirational and gorgeous place!!! I am not going to lie – there was nothing easy about the trek. We started at 12:20. We arrived just before 8:00 and got down about 10:30. We now need to pack up camp and hike for another 2.5 hours+ to our final camp.

Our entire team was successful – which makes the celebration even greater! Thanks for the support.

On Their Way to the Top!

Sarah, the team’s leader, posted this today:

We are heading up to the top of Mt Kilimanjaro – Uhuru Point – tonight at midnight. Everyone is feeling good, excited and a little anxious. It should take us between 6 to 8 hours to summit, ascending 3500ft or 1000m. We will then descend back down to our high camp at 16000ft and then onto our final resting spot tomorrow night at the Milenium Camp at 12500ft. We will put up a post tomorrow morning to let you all know how we did.

Spirits are high and we are thinking of you all. Send good thoughts our way!

As they’re making their final ascent, the sun will be rising…

Countdown to sunrise on summit:

days
0
-133
-9
hours
-1
-5
minutes
-4
-3
seconds
-3
-5

Sunrise on Mt. Kilimanjaro Summit Night
The sun is starting to rise on summit night.
A couple headlamps are visible in the foreground.

Day 5: Karranga Valley to High Camp

Kristen at Karanga Valley Camp
Getting ready to depart Karanga Valley Camp

We are so close now!!!!! It is absolutely amazing how great this is!!! Today we left Karranga camp at 9:30. We climbed to Barrafu camp to have lunch at 1:30. Then, under the amazing leadership of Outward Bound and Chagga Tours we were able to secure a camp site at Kosovo. It is another 200m up – which means we are that much closer, and that have that much less to walk tonight.

Team Outward Bound has declared this “Christmas Eve”, and Santa might be over New Zealand at this time. We are just waiting with anticipation what lies ahead. Tonight we will go to bed at 6:30. We will wake up at 11:00 to start our final ascent for the summit. The ascent will be cold and dark. I am organizing my snacks, electronics and multi-layers of clothing now.

Hopefully next time I blog I will have a report on what it is like at the roof of Africa 🙂

Day 5: Morning at Karanga Camp

View of Mt. Kilimanjaro from Karanga Camp
View from my tent this morning at Karanga Camp.  That’s the Chagga Tours flag.

It’s 7:30am Sunday morning at Karanga Camp.  Weather is absolutely perfect this morning, about 7 degrees, sunny.  We’ll be above the rain now, when the clouds roll in.

Today’s destination is Barafu Camp (4600m / 15,260′).

Day 4: Barranco to Karranga Valley Camp (13 235′)

Mt. Kilimanjaro View from Tent at Barranco
View from my tent this morning at Barranco Camp.

Today was a different day.  We got to sleep in (I was up at 5).  We started our hike at 9:00.  Today we tackled the Barranco wall – and Team Outward Bound won!  It is an enormous cliff wall, with switch backs all the way up – 1000′. We often had to use the technique of “3-points of contact” to be safe.  Our guides are amazing.  In tricky spots they stand on the down side, ready to save us.  Luckily our whole team is fit and able – and we handled it like champs!  It certainly is humbling when we watch the porters carry our gear and jugs of water on their head up the wall at twice our speed.  We then went up and down through a few valleys and across small streams.  We arrived at camp around 2:30.  Now we are all chilling in our tents and getting some rest.

The trip is still great!  The Chagga tour company are so helpful.  Our food is great!  For breakfast we had porridge, french toast sandwiches (with cheese, cucumber and tomato) and mango.  Lunch was at camp.  We had fried chicken, french fries, coleslaw, salmon sandwiches and soup and pineapple.

It is cold and rainy today (and yesterday too – but I think I forgot to mention that).  It was about 5 degrees this morning.  Nights are below zero.  It is crowded in my Mummy sleeping bag, with 2 hot water bottles, my camera, GPS watch and cell phone and socks and mitts that I need to dry out.

This is an amazing trip of a lifetime!  I love everyone here.  I love the physical and mental challenges.  I love that I am still feeling healthy and strong!  Only 1 full night sleep before summit.  This afternoon I made a list of things I want to do while at the summit – hope I feel up to fulfilling them all (and my camera still has battery life).

Love to all!

Day 3: Perfect! – Barranco Camp

Shira Plateau to Barranco Camp
View during hike from Shira Plateau to Barranco Camp.

What an amazingly perfect day!!!  We left at 8:15 and hiked for over 9 hours.  We went up to over 15000 feet, and then descended to sleep at about 13250 feet.  Our group decided to go all the way to the Lava Tower which is a detour that takes you higher than required.  All 13 of us made it successfully.  I am happy to say that my head and tummy feel great.  The effects of high altitude have not bothered me yet.  I do get dizzy any time I change from sit to stand – but I do not care :-).

We continue to receive donations to this wonderful Outward Bound worthy charity – thank you all!

Tomorrow morning we attempt the Barraco Wall.  2.5 more sleeps until Summit.  Our wonderful Chagga guide said that I did so well today, summit will be ok!  Thanks to all for the encouragement!!!

 

Day 3: Shira Camp – Barranco Camp

Everything is great! We are about to start our third day on the mountain – a 9-10 hour hike. It is sunny and beautiful. I love this!!!

– Sent by Kristen via SMS text message. Still no data.

[Today, she will hike from Shira Camp (3840m), reaching an altitude of 4600m after a 5hr walk to Lava Tower, then overnight at Barranco Camp (3950m)]

Machame - Mweka Route
Mt. Kilimanjaro’s Machame – Mweka Route. [image from UltimateKilimanjaro]

Day 2: Another Great Day – Shira Camp

We are now at Shira Camp.  I am sad to say that my cell connection is not good, so I realize these blog posts are not getting posted in a timely manner (or at all).  I will write anyway.

Today was another fantastic day.  We walked for almost 7 hours, and gained about 900 meters of elevation.  The landscape is Mooreland.  The bushes are lower, the rocks are mossy.  We had another great day of weather – no rain, and a comfortable temperature.  I was even in a tank and shorts for part of the day.

The porters and guides with Chagga Tours are great.  They are so caring.  We arrive to camp and they have hot drinks waiting, tents are set up, and they bring us a basin of water to wash.

I am taking in every moment of this adventure.  Thank you all – I love this 🙂

Machame to Shira

Sorry, We’re Experiencing Technical Difficulties!

It was all going a little too smoothly!  As Sarah noted in her Jan. 14 post, it’s not always easy to get the bandwidth required for data communications, so Kristen hasn’t been able to update her blog for the past 24 hours.  She was scheduled to finish her climbing early today, at 3pm (7am EST), but seeing no activity on both Sarah & Kristen’s blogs, we’ll assume that she’s still unable to connect.

Flowers from Kilimanjaro

While she can’t send us her update, she did manage to send flowers!  We were all a little surprised, even shocked, to receive flowers yesterday with notes of thanks as she started her climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Flowers went to a few people that had helped her prepare for this journey. The girls received theirs at school and were very excited. Taylor recognized the thank-you cards and figured out that she wrote and arranged before she left – how thoughtful of Kristen (not surprised)!

Flowers from Kilimanjaro
Cameron & Taylor with their flowers and thank-you notes.

Blog Comments

identiconThanks to everyone that has been commenting! As Kristen noted, she loves receiving them and it’s a great addition to this log of her journey.

Last night, we changed from the “Mystery Man” silouette to the Identicon. These avatars are dynamically generated based on your email address, unique to each. Cameron really wanted the monsters!

Hopefully this is my last post and Kristen can resume soon!
Markus

Day 1: Success! Machame Camp

Machame

I am just waking up for Day #2.  #1 was a complete success.  We drove through the town of Moshi, and it was wonderful.  I loved seeing the local people working and playing and noting cultural differences.  We then started our hiking.  It was 12 km, 1000′ elevation, and took 5:40.  I felt great.  I was tired at the end…but no headaches and aches/pains or blisters.

I am having trouble with cell reception…but that is understandable – I am on Kili 🙂

Ready for Day 2 🙂

Day 1

Today is the day we start our climb :-). We are at the gates, and waiting for the climb to begin. Our gear is packed, our porters are getting organized – we are anxiously waiting to take our 1st steps on the mountain. We feel strong and ready! I have already been teased for my constant giggling, and excitement. I hope I can report the same thing 5 days from now.

Thank you for all of the well wishes and love from home.

Kilimanjaro National Park - Machame Gate
Kilimanjaro National Park – Machame Gate – Altitude 1800m

Kilemakyaro Lodge

There are not enough positive adjectives to describe the day I have had today!!! We started the day opening up our cabin door to a view of Mt. Kilimanjaro. She is beautiful! It is amazing how you can see a thousand photos of something, but it is still so different in real life! It is hard to imagine that I will climb to the top – it is so high!!! We had a group breakfast to discuss the plans for the day. The fruit here is delicious!! Here’s a photo taken from my breakfast table:

Breakfast by Mt. Kilimanjaro

Late morning we had a group hike through the coffee plantation. It was very hot and humid – but my pack and boots felt great! In the afternoon we packed our duffel bags for the porters to carry, and my day pack.

Tonight we will have dinner, and then head to bed early. We leave for the mountain at 9:00. My job now is to have everything charged and organized for the mountain!

A great day in Tanzania!!

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