Mt. Kilimanjaro: Making Their Summit Attempt

Posted by: Dave Hahn | September 22, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro
Elevation: 10,000'

As planned, the climbing team was up at midnight and on the trail shortly after 1 AM.  There were stars and a big bright moon, but plenty of clouds as well.  It was tough to know just what we could expect in the weather department.  Yesterday afternoon and evening had produced a couple of inches of new snow on the ground, starting just uphill from our camp.  We set out walking in it.  The best thing was that there was no wind.  We made pretty good time, stopping roughly every hour to rest.  Predictably, it was tough going.  It was dark, unrelentingly steep, and progressively colder as we ascended.  We were breaking altitude records for a number of the team.  But we had extremely good and capable help from our guide team.  Freddy Kileo’s crew of Vendelin, Francis, Eliapenda and Kundasai, along with Oswald, really came through.  Everyone felt challenged by the climb, but the team rallied in the face of all the difficulty and discomfort.  We pulled up onto Stella Point on the crater rim just at sunrise, which was stunning.  But at Stella, we also got hit with some pretty mean wind gusts.  We pushed on toward Uhuru Peak, the highest point in Africa, and conditions improved.  We weren’t alone up there on this beautiful day, but we weren’t paying too much attention to other teams.  There was excitement and pride in the fact that our entire team had made it to the top.  We shot some happy pics and shook hands and hugged.  Chris and Jeffrey Hendricks celebrated their one year anniversary on the summit.
We didn’t spend too long at 19,340 ft above sea level. It was cold and we wanted to get down to more abundant oxygen.  Leaving the top at 7:30, we were back down to Barafu Camp by 10:30.  We brunched, packed our bags and got on the trail again.  In the course of the afternoon we dropped another 5,000 vertical feet to 10,000 at the Mweka Camp.  We are back in the giant heather zone and looking forward to finishing the descent tomorrow. 

Best Regards
RMI Guides Dave Hahn

An RMI Team en route to the summit of Kilimanjaro, Tanzania (19,340 ft) Looking up toward the summit of Kilimanjaro, Uhuru Peak.  Photo: Dave Hahn

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Comments

What a great accomplishment!  Congratulations to everyone.  Happy one year, Chris and Jeff!  I’m trying some wedding cake in remembrance.

Posted by: Joan on 9/22/2013 at 8:31 pm

So awesome! Chris and Jeff, an anniversary to remember! love, margit

Posted by: Margit Liesche on 9/22/2013 at 5:46 pm

Impressive as hell. All of you. Congratulations.

Posted by: Mara on 9/22/2013 at 11:21 am

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