All posts by Kristen Baumann

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.

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

Day 1: Success! Machame Camp


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!!

The location could not be found.

We Made It

We made it! I had a fabulous 10 hour flight from Amsterdam to Kilimanjaro. I saw the snow peaked Alps, Mediterranean Sea and Sahara desert. I did a happy dance when we got off the plane. I am in AFRICA!!! Tonight we are heading to the lodge, and off to bed.

Love to all!

1 More Sleep

Well – there is no turning back now.

The majority of my gear is packed. Today I packed my duffel bag (that the porters will carry) and my backpack (that I will carry) and weighed them. My duffel can only be 25 lbs. Then, I unpacked it all and put it into my suitcase for the airplane. I will bring a suitcase, and it will stay at the Lodge while I am on the mountain. OBC has provided an excellent packing list, and I am following it religiously.

My girls and I are all a little hesitant tonight. I will miss them like crazy. They aren’t sure they want to try life at home without Mom. Cameron has stated a few times that she wanted it to stay Saturday forever; she’s not looking forward to Sunday. Luckily, we all have Markus – he is our rock, and convinces us all that everything will be fine.

One more sleep, and I am on a plane to Africa…a dream come true!!!!!

(This post was posted from my phone – to practice for the mountain!)