KILIMANJARO (5,895 m) 2010

Final – Kilimanjaro Expedition (Summit Day)

On the summit night, we got up at 11 PM and were on our way to the top before mid-night. We walked and climbed for seven hours in cold and wind… Actually, I didn’t expect that the climb would be so challenging. I wasn’t disappointed to have this challenge — it was a good test for all of us… It was memorable — this type of challenge is not easy to forget.

It was so cold during the whole climb that night. I think the weather was -20C plus wind chill.  My hands and feet were freezing. I didn’t have proper gloves for this kind of weather — I didn’t expect this summit climb would be so cold. Truth is I couldn’t find warmer gloves or warmer clothes in Italy as it was in the middle of the summer before I left…  Actually, our local guide told us that this type of weather occurs once in few months or so. So, we just got “lucky”…

I was so lucky our local guide had an extra pair of wool gloves and gave it to me… I was finally able to feel my fingers.

We reached the first summit point– Stella Point (5685m) and then we trekked to Uhuru Peak (5895m)! It wasn’t easy.

When we reached the summit, we didn’t see the sunrise but blizzard, more cold and wind. However, it was a very satisfying moment — we reached the roof of Africa — 5895m. This is as high as you can get in this continent… And what an amazing journey up to this point!

On the Summit Day – a photo with a local guide…

Group members on the roof of Africa…

Going down through the rain forest…

After spending probably 15 minutes at the summit, we walked back to Barafu camp –about 3 hours. Here we had an hour rest,  collected the rest of our gear, and headed down to Mweka hut (3100m).

Back to the camp…

Next day, after a good breakfast, we left via a  scenic trail back to the Park gate.

Through the mud- will be back to town of Moshi..

I found my ipod on my last day of trekking!…

The expedition is over — on the way to the hotel…

At the hotel — our Kilimanjaro adventure came to the end…

Kilimanjaro was an amazing experience! I will admit I got some sort of mountain fever now… This trip was a real test to my inner (also, outer)  strength but it also gave me confidence to pursue even more challenging mountaineering adventures…

Last view of Kilimanjaro on the way to the airport…

 

PART II – Kilimanjaro Expedition

On the second day of our trekking, we walked from Machame Camp to Shira Camp which is a climb of about 4-5 hours with  altitude ranging from 2980 metres to 3850 metres.

On the first day, we basically trekked through the rain forest. On the second day of our trek, we finally came out of the woods and fog. A beautiful view of Mt Meru and later — Mt Kilimanjaro opened up in from of our eyes.

Mt Meru in the distance

Porters carrying huge loads on their heads, shoulders..

A bit dizzy from altitude but still feeling good…

The team stopped for a water break…

First glimpse of Kilimanjaro…

My groupmates looking at Kilimanjaro…

Posing into the blue…

Kilimanjaro behind..

Another pic of Kilimanjaro…

Walking into the Shira Hut camp…

View from the Shira camp…

So nice to find our tents set up…

Sunset from the Shira camp…

Next day, we walked from the Shira Camp left for Lava Tower (4600 mtrs)  and way down to the Barranco Camp at 3950 mtrs. It was about 5-6  hours trekking. Going up and down is the best way to get acclimatised. Lava Tower is a huge solitary rock.  High up, in the distance we could see the walls of the Western Breach.

I believe this was the most emotional day for me during the whole  Kilimanjaro expedition (probably more emotional than the summit day…). I could not stop my tiers in my eyes when I saw this beautiful view of Kilimanjaro in the distance. It was breathtaking (of course, discounting altitude…) For some reason, I remembered J. saying that he wanted to explore people the same way I wanted to explore mountains… I was thinking that there is some truth in this but I still need people. I could not have done this without my group mates — they were amazing! I know J. would’ve enjoyed being at the mountain as well. The view was incredible…

A giant Lobelia…

Leaving the camp…

New day for me…

Porters, trekkers passing through…

Teammates taking a break…

On the way to the Lava Tower…

View of the Western Breach…

Lava Tower…

By the Lava Tower – a teammate…

My teammate…

Down to the camp…

Going down to the camp…

In front of Kili…

Up to the camp for the night…

Kilimanjaro view from the camp…

Chef de cuisine…

Aaron and John..

In the cook’s chair…

Sunset from the camp…

Camp view…

Another view of Kili…

Different colors over Kili…

Another view from the camp…

Last sunset pic….

Kilimanjaro Expedition – Uhuru Peak 5895m Aug 2010

I just came back from Kilimanjaro trip… What an amazing experience! During the summit climb, we started at around midnight and submitted at 06:45 AM — after 7 hrs climb in the dark, ice and wind… Below are couple links to some pictures — a glimpse at my Kilimanjaro adventure…
http://picasaweb.google.com/116543411752061693595/KilimanjaroExpeditionUhuruPeakAug2010EditaSPhotos?authkey=Gv1sRgCOza35jxt9OwCg&feat=directlink

http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/sredir?uname=Heather.Geluk&target=ALBUM&id=5505596967134453569&authkey=Gv1sRgCIiH49Ge6K3ugQE&feat=email

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