Entries from Kilimanjaro
January 15, 2016
Posted by: Seth Waterfall
Jambo! This is Seth checking in from Karanga Valley. Only one more day to high camp!
We have broken out of our daily pattern of clear mornings and rainy afternoons. Today it was cloudy and with rain showers all day. Even though we are not having ideal weather the team is in very high spirits.
Everyone did great on the Barranco Wall this morning. We let most of the people in our last camp get out early and then started up the 800-foot wall. The bottom part of the wall has some really fun scrambling and we all had a blast climbing through that section. We were lucky in that the rain held off until we topped out on the wall.
We hovered around 13,000’ all day and the terrain is really cool at this elevation. It’s right at the edge of where plants live and so sometimes it looks like a barren waste land. But then you turn a corner and there can be a giant heather forest. It’s great trekking here.
Light showers started up after we topped out on the wall and continued to build into a real rainstorm as we pulled into camp. Our tents are nice and dry though and the cook made us a great pasta lunch. We are doing good.
I’ll check in again tomorrow from our high camp.
On The Map
Bobby- we are so proud of you! Just a few days until you can sip tequila!
Love Annie, Grace, Davis and Susan
Posted by: Susan Gallagher on 1/16/2016 at 7:28 am
Annie and team,
I have only seen Kilimanjaro from a distance; cannot imagine the extraordinary experience of being on that awesome mountain and climbing towards the top! Thinking of you today and tomorrow, hoping for fair weather, safety, and boost of energy as you near the summit. Thanks for staying in touch through these blogs and photos!
Posted by: Helen (Gillette) on 1/16/2016 at 7:01 am
January 14, 2016
Posted by: Seth Waterfall
Well we have definitely established a rhythm with Kilimanjaro. It was very nice and sunny again this morning and at 9:30am the clouds started building. By 1:30pm it was raining heavily again.
The only thing different from yesterday is that we were out on the trail when the rain hit. It was only for about an hour so not a huge deal really, but it sure is nice to be in a dry tent now.
We covered the longest stretch f the whole trip today, other than summit day and everyone did a great job. We also reached a high point for every climber here at 14,900’. That’s always a fun thing.
Now we have two easier days and after that we go for the summit.
That’s all for now.
On The Map
I am in awe of each of you! Know you are happy to have a few of the high days behind you before summit. Bobby you and all of the team are in my thoughts and prayers each step of the way! JoAnne H
Posted by: Joanne H on 1/15/2016 at 10:18 am
Congrats on reaching a new high in climbing. Didn’t know it rained that much there.
Hope you are having the time of your life. Stay safe.
Posted by: VaLinda Novak on 1/15/2016 at 7:58 am
January 13, 2016
Posted by: Seth Waterfall
Hi from Shira Camp at 12,500 ft on Kilimanjaro. It’s currently raining cats and dogs!
We started the day under clear blue skies, had a great breakfast and were hiking by 8:30 in the morning. The clouds started to build at around 9:30 but we had sun breaks for our whole hike.
The terrain was fairly steep right from the start but every one handled it well. The vegetation was very different from the lush rain forest we were in yesterday. As we gained altitude the fauna had a more alpine feel that corresponds to our high elevation.
After we arrived at camp the cooks made a great lunch and while we were eating the rain started. It is nice to be in camp for it so we can rest and relax with the sound of raindrops on the tents.
One of our climbers would like to say hello to Mrs. Price’s second grade class. Thanks for following along with our climb.
On The Map
Woo Hoo Eileen!
L&D is keeping tabs on your journey! We are excited and impressed at your sense of adventure and climbing skills! Looking forward to hearing all about your adventure upon your return!
Posted by: Anne & Christine on 1/14/2016 at 10:44 am
Love “tagging along” on your trip - here’s to the journey! Cheers to Team Fuller and everyone else…onward ho… Wishing you all amazing sights and sounds, sweat and laughter… ;)
Posted by: Jiffy Page on 1/14/2016 at 6:25 am
January 12, 2016
Posted by: Seth Waterfall
We are all up at our first camp and everyone is doing good. Dinner ended a little while ago and the team has headed off to the tents for a long night of rest.
We got an early start this morning with breakfast at 6:30 and we were on the road just after 7:30. It took us about two hours to drive to the national park gate where we spent some time getting organized and sorting out the climbing permit.
Once we were all checked in, we started our trek through the rain forest. Everyone on the team was excited to get going and we spent the next several hours hiking and chatting as we gained about 4,000 vertical feet.
Everything went smoothly except for about five minutes of rain right before we hit camp. That’s no problem for this team though and anyway our tents were nice and dry inside when we arrived.
Tomorrow we climb up to the Shira Plateau. I’ll check in again from up there.
On The Map
Tell Annie all of us are thinking of her and are so proud of her!!
Posted by: Dianne Burd on 1/14/2016 at 8:28 am
What exceptional athletes! Enjoy the journey, the memories will last a life time.
Posted by: Kat Malcom on 1/13/2016 at 6:57 pm
Seth here. We are all finished with dinner and everyone is off to their rooms to finish the last bit of packing before we head out to the mountain tomorrow morning.
The plan is to meet up for breakfast at 6:30am and be ready to go by 7:30. We have a couple hours of driving to the national park entrance and it’s good to be early.
All the gear looks good and tents and food are all set to go. The team is starting to get excited. We are all looking forward to getting the trek under way.
I will check in again tomorrow from Camp 1.
Slow down Eileen… :-) I hope you are having an amazing adventure! Whoop, whoop!!!!
Posted by: Mark on 1/14/2016 at 5:58 am
To the brave and the bold, have a safe and happy adventure that many will dream of but few will undertake. Safe and happy travels to all! Tell Bobby – Love you from Mom
Posted by: JoAnne Hemphill on 1/12/2016 at 9:58 am
Jambo! I’ve just returned from the airport with the last of the arriving climbers for our first Kilimanjaro Climb of 2016! Everyone has made it and although there were some delays along the way all the bags are here.
The crew is a mix of folks on their own and some that have been friends for a long time. Either way we will all be turning into a big team starting with a meeting and gear check in the morning.
After that we are off to the mountain. Wish us luck.
Eileen: Stay safe lady and have fun!!!! Can’t wait to hear the stories when you get back!! What an adventure. Looks awesome!
Posted by: Lizanne on 1/18/2016 at 8:02 am
Annie D, enjoy every second! You inspire me!
Posted by: Julie Muniz on 1/12/2016 at 5:23 am
Mark Tucker here at Kilimanjaro International Airport. Wi-Fi is a bit tough to get, as you can imagine out here in the bush, so I’m doing a quick voice call to say we had a great trip. Thanks for checking in. We had a wonderful evening at the Kikoti Lodge. We went for a sunset hike to the rock, about a mile or so with a guide because we are outside of the park. Saw a few tracks and a beautiful sunset. We had the Lodge come pick us up in a four-wheel drive for the ride home and then the scourning… Lo-and-behold 15 feet from the trail that I was on, a large male with his girlfriend- a big, old lion. I was cohabitating with the beasts. I don’t know, ignorance is bliss, I guess. Pretty exciting. Lots of buffalo today, and elephants and everything else you can imagine on the way out of the park. Then a quick snack and a shower before the big journey home. But fear not, we’ve got the infamous Seth Waterfall right behind me. You guys can stay tuned and listen to his action up on the hill. All is well here. Everybody’s making their way back to the homeland, doing just fine. Thanks for watching.
RMI Guide Mark Tucker checking in.
Learning from the leopards. The climb part of this trip had so much to do with conserving energy. How to rest at our relatively short breaks en route to Uhuru, the name for the summit of Kilimanjaro, was a learned skill for some. I should make a print of the resting position taken by our leopard sighting today. Although we will not be able to mimic the tail hanging down from the tree limb, which for spotting purposes is a very helpful silhouette for finding this elusive creature in the bush. They are the best at figuring out the most perfect lounge chair that Mother Nature provides in a cranny or a nook of a tree. Such a beautiful solitary cat that made an appearance for the team to round out the infamous big-five list for this safari. Unfortunately a few too many biting flies were in the mix, guess you have to pay to play. Beautiful sunset here at or home for the night the Kikoti tent camp. Remote and quiet for a final night on safari.
We had a fantastic day on safari! We made a group decision to get up early and get going - it was definitely the right choice. Our new favorite home for now the Plantation lodge, just outside of Karatu, packed us a to go breakfast that was amazing. After the normal registration and fees at the park entrance. We locked in the 4 wheel drive hubs and descended the 1500+ feet into one of the most perfectly formed and probably the most spectacular calderas on the planet, the Ngorongoro Crater. The initial sightings of game woke us right up and prepared us for the adventure ahead. A quick stop at a designated picnic area where we consumed more of the fresh bill of fare until we finally decided we had to continue our duty to “Safari on dude!”
We watched some lions literally napping in the shade of our Land Cruiser. We saw three Rhinos and I must add that we had perfect weather, when normally clouds an cool temperatures are to be expected.
On our way back to the lodge we stopped to visit a local Maasai village, a pastoral people who tend their herds of cattle, sheep and goats and live a peaceful co-existence with the wildlife. All this brought us back for beverages back at the pool of the Plantation Lodge.
We are looking forward to another exciting day on safari tomorrow.
Tough job today. Had to get up, pack for safari, and game view the day away. What a great contrast from mountain life. Nice banquet last night- summit certificates for all and a special cake to boot. Once again the team excels at any challenge put in front of them. To take on a safari you have to be, let’s say “awake”, well most of the time. Napping is an option, especially after a great lunch in the bush. While dining at lunch in Lake Manyara National Park, we observed a troop of baboons frolicking in close proximity. Always a bit unnerving when no bars separate human from beast. Goes to show we are still living on the edge here in deepest Africa. A bit breezy today, which kept the dust and bugs at bay. Off to Ngorongoro Crater in the morning, the eighth wonder of the world.