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Kilimanjaro: Team Stands atop the Highest Volcano in Africa

We reached Mweka Camp at 2:50 PM to finish our 16-hour climbing day. 

The “day” began last night at 11 PM when we woke for our summit bid.  After a little breakfast, at 12:05 AM we hit the trail behind Naiman - our lead guide. 

Our team made rapid progress, passing several other teams on the dirt and rock switchbacks.  It was a fairly cold night, and that was before the winds started up.  By our second rest break, a few hours into the climb we were adding clothing layers and putting on bigger gloves.  By our fourth break, most of the team had all available clothing on.  We hit the crater rim at Stella Point by 5:40 AM and took just a brief pause there for food and water before pushing on toward Uhuru - Kilimanjaro’s summit.  The light of day came slowly and beautifully on as we walked on the rim at 19,000 ft.  Sunrise was most welcome at 6:30 but by then our attention was on the phenomenal shadow cast by Kilimanjaro in the skies to the west… exactly over the summit of 15,000 ft Mt Meru.  

We hit Uhuru at 6:40 AM and shed a few tears, shook hands, hugged, and snapped photos.  It was an amazingly beautiful time of day.  But it was also bitterly cold and windy, so we got out of there at 6:55 and headed back to Stella without delay.  Winds were really picking up at Stella then and putting a lot of dirt and dust in the air, so we cruised right on over the edge and started dropping altitude.  The descent was a combination of careful steps and full-on boot skiing through steep gravel and pumice. 

We were back to camp at a respectable hour 9:40 AM, rubbing our eyes and wiping dirt and dust off our faces.  Our fabulous staff treated the team to a full brunch/lunch of 15,000 ft pizza and coffee, after which we left camp bound for Mweka - 5000 ft lower.  The trail down is direct and rough, we certainly were cautious and ready to be done for much of it. 

Now it is a relief to be camped in the forest for one more night.  The air has moisture again… and oxygen in abundance. 

Best Regards

RMI Guide Dave Hahn & team

Comments (4)

Congratulations! Enjoy the safari!

Posted by: Jeff Tracy on

Congrats to all! I am in awe…

Posted by: Mnica on

Hooray and congrats to all ... especially the Falatyn - Mishky contingent.  Very proud of you but harboured NO DOUBTS you’d all complete the trip.  Big big “check the box” for this one.  Love to all and safe returns.

Posted by: Peter F on

Wohoo!  Congratulations to the team - you set a goal and you smashed it!  Now on to warmer days (and nights). I had to laugh when I read that “most” of the team had all available layers on at one point. I can guess who the one may have been who didn’t… :-)

Posted by: Sarah & Ella on

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