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Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Conquer the Barranco Wall and Reach Karanga Camp

We slept in this morning... to the decadent hour of 7:00 AM. The idea was to let the majority of porter traffic get out ahead of us so as to reduce traffic jams on the route up the "Great Barranco Wall". It was easy to go for the slow start in such a beautiful place. The morning light show as the sun found its way into our deep valley and the surface of the cloud sea below us was magical. We left camp at 9:30 and promptly found the traffic jam we’d hoped to avoid. The route begins with a system of rock ledges and small but steep scrambles so there are a number of natural "choke points". Generally we try to let porters have the right of way since they are balancing heavy loads on their heads and moving much faster than we will go. But it is high season and there were hundreds of porters and climbers tackling the wall at once. We waited on a few of the more spacious ledges and eventually made it to the more open middle sections of the wall (where the climbing is really just steady uphill hiking). It was a thrill to top out the wall and have the big views of Kibo and the hanging ice fields and glaciers above us. Then the hiking became routine and beautiful as we traversed under the mountain’s south side and came to the steep-sided Karanga Valley. It didn’t take us very long to go down one side and up the other to get to Karanga Camp at 2:00 PM. This camp is on a broad and open slope with unobstructed views of both the mountain above and the world around us. Mt. Meru, our 15,000 ft volcanic neighbor is prominent out to the West. Our afternoon followed a now familiar pattern, meals and naps interspersed. Coming out of the dining tent after dinner, we were all mesmerized by the stars above and the lights of Tanzania below. Best Regards, RMI Guide Dave Hahn

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