Sunday, January 10, 2010

Mount Kilimanjaro

We ascended the Machame Route and descended the Marangu Route and complete the trek in 6 days. We conquered Uhuru Peak, the roof of Africa and the highest point of the highest free standing mountain in the world, at 5,895 meters on Christmas morning at 7:00! This is the Machame gate, where vendors sell last minute stuff to tourists, which was a fortunate thing since Gordon misplaced his sun hat somewhere on the incredibly bumpy 8 hour journey between Nairobi and Arusha. This is where the adventure began- 4 days going up and 2 coming down. We had 4 porters and 1 guide. Some other groups of 2 like us had 10 porters and 2 guides, which were carrying portable toilets and tables with chairs. I am glad we decided to go cheap and simple. At the gate, porters have to weight their items, each is allowed to carry a maximum of 20kg. It was also within moments of this photograph that we realized our guide spoke a minimal amount of English. Our first night on the trek we stayed about 5 meters beneath this sign near the path on the left. This was our view of the mountain as we ate our breakfast. These men were smoking a questionable substance at almost 3,800 meters! On our second day we arrived at camp after walking 2 hours in the pouring rain. It was a colorful campsite with everyone hanging out their clothing to dry. It rained or snowed every day of our trek up and down the mountain. We collected our drinking water every day with our Katadyn water pump, worth every penny and ounce. Beginning our 3rd day of the trek, which was about 7 hours total, starting at the 3,600 meters Shira Hut up to 4,800 meters and then back down to 3,800 meters to camp at the Barranco Hut. Next Adventure (Portland, Oregon) shout out. Lava Tower at 4,800 meters, very cold and snowy. When we arrived at Barranco Hut, I had a headache from the altitude quick ascent and descent, and went to bed at 4:00pm after taking 400mg of ibuprofen and drinking a lot of water. the beauty at sunset This is a shout out to my Dad and Sister who love to stack rocks, there were awesome rock stacks all over the mountain lining the trails. On our way up to our final camp before the summit bid, surpassing the Karangu Hut where people who do a 7 or 8 day climb stay a night. Sunrise from about 5,700 meters. We started our bid at midnight, Christmas morning, from our camp at 4,800 meters. Approaching 5,100 meters we became delirious from exhaustion and altitude. Our muscles were sore from the prior 3 days of hiking and we had only 4 hours of rest during the night while climbing 7 hours from the day before. The guides continually say "pole, pole" which means 'slow, slow'. This phrase became annoying, so much that Gordon refused to buy tee-shirts with this phrase on it, as well as the phrase "hakuna matata" which means 'no problem'. We made it! Our trusty Merrell hiking boots and all. The mountain was crispy, with a fresh layer of snow from the night. It was a white Christmas of much celebrating to do with minimal energy. Now we had to go back down! Ugh. On the third day we were doubting if we could make it. But we persevered. Climbing a mountain is hard, the motivation and courage that one must have is indescribable. But, we did it! On the way down from Uhuru Peak, there were people still trying to summit who were a strange green color and vomiting, yet still going up! This is our last night on the trek at 3,100 meters elevation. On day 5 of our hike we were walking a total of 13 hours and journeyed from 4,800 meters to 5,895 meters and back down to 3,100 meters. Our legs were very tired and our beds felt good. It rained really hard this night and it was a slippery slide down another 1,400 meters to the Marangu Hut at about 1,700 meters. Kili Shout Outs! Denise Maxwell- we chewed gum most of our way up the mountain Sascha Hobyan- we saw people smoking at 4,600 meters elevation, remember Cuzco? Dad and Debbie- thanks for the hiking boots Cutlips- the footwear up the mountain was atrocious, nike could do some business there! Dooney- because we met an awesome Australian guy named Greg Dave Heath- to another mountain enthusiast relative Down Hill Doug- we thought we were going to have frost bite on our toes! Wilders, McDenkos, Saleems, Scholes, Ricks, Smith - thanks for wishing us luck

1 comment:

  1. darlin' are these the boots Dad and I bought ya 8 years ago? God Bless you and Gordon! What sites in the world you have seen together. db:-)