Kilimanjaro: Okita & Team Complete Climb, Descend to Mweka Gate
Our climb kept pushing us as we descended from our high camp at Barafu (15,200') all the way to Mweka Camp (10,000'). The feet and knees were talking to us and what they were saying would be inappropriate for the ears of young children.
But we all made it, in part to the fantastic pizza our chef Tosha made us for lunch. Pizza, at 15,200'! On a two burner stove, no less.. Incredible!
At Mweka the gods were smiling down on us, granting a rare sunny day at this place that exists on the edge of the rain forest where clouds always seem to hang. Of course, Tosha beat us to Camp to prepare another wonderful dinner.
Last night brought everyone a night's sleep they haven't had since they were bouncing about in diapers. 10+ hours of solid sleep was had by all, just the right medicine for our tired bodies. It was amazing to see a bunch of mostly middle aged men bounce back from an intense 13-14 hour day and trot down a slick, slightly muddy trail to the Park gate at 6000'. In fact, they even beat many of our porters down. A first!
At the Mweka gate we were greeted by our outfitter and the busses and enjoyed our last meal 'on the mountain.' This time cold drinks were available, and many bottles of the local brew were consumed. The gift shop was happy to provide some the chance to get something special to bring home.
The highlight of this time was certainly the singing and dancing our mountain crew did celebrating our week together. The joy and kindness these hard-working individuals shared with us all week was distilled into a few minutes, and really reminded us of how special this trip was.
Yes, the mountain was fantastic, but it was the people we shared this time with that proved to be the most special part of the climb. These people, who lack so much in material things compared to us Westerners, are so rich in spirit and generosity that we as a team were all moved and reminded of what's really important in life.
And in the end, there was this team of climbers that came together to climb a mountain and left as friends, sharing an amazing story that will never be forgotten.
Hope to see you all again!
RMI Guide Brent Okita
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July 25, 2022