2013/14 East Africa Scout Expedition Part 3|
Click here to read/see Part 1,2,3&4 of the entire Expedition
At the start
Moshi, the legendary start to many a climb of Kilimanjaro.
15th December- start of hike
Chrisís Birthday party had to wait until the end of the climb. We woke up early and then packed our hiking bags and day packs in preparation for the climb ahead. We received breakfast at the restaurant at Honey Badger lodge. The head guide (Eppa) came to check our equipment and suggested we rent essential that we were unaware of for such a climb. Taking a kombie to the start of the Macramť route (although we were originally going to take the Marange route) having had our lunch we then started along the mountain trail. We eventually arrived at the camp (0800) which the porters having gone ahead of us had already set up. Dinner was eaten quite late and we had a sleep (so good that we did not want to get out of our sleeping bags).
16th December-day 2 of hike
along the way up
We were woken up by waiter (Isam) at about 6.30 and were told that the hot water for washing our hands would be ready in 15 minutes. We soon set about repacking our packs, which took some effort to do as not all of our gear would go back into our packs Brendan, Nicholas and Dylan had already started to put on some warm clothes. The water to wash our hands soon arrived, hands were washed, and we headed towards the dinning tent where there was breakfast which was soon devoured. We then proceeded with the hike, at first it looked like it would be an easy day as the first few meters of the dayís hike was a very shallow incline BUT we were wrong! The path soon got steeper and steeper which made the going much harder. On the up side we had many more - and much longer breaks, as Norman had started to develop malaria and because of his back. Almost every time we stopped the guides would almost immediately prompt us to drink water and of course Dylan had forgotten to fill up his water bottles so the head guide found Isam and asked him to fill the bottles and bring the bottles back. It was no sooner that the bottles had left, than they returned filled up to the brim. We were soon close to the point where the lunch stop was held and the rain came down on us. It was a scramble to get our rain coats and ponchos on before we got wet. The guides however did not have a problem they simply took out their umbrellas.
It was now a mad dash to get to a nearby cave where we would have lunch and be able to put on the rest of our rain gear without the fear of getting wet. Soon lunch was over and our guides had abandoned their umbrellas and had donned their ponchos. The gators ( part of our rain gear are used to keep the rain from going into our boots ) were a bit difficult for some of us to put on as none of us had ever used them before but Marsel ( one of our guides ) helped us with them. We soon set off again towards our next camp. It did not take long to reach as it was not as steep as before, which was hard going, but now ahead was the next camp located near a lava field. The way ahead of was a shallow descent of about 50 vertical meters.
We arrived at camp at around 1 oíclock. We were so tired that we dove into our tents trying to acquire some rest as well as warmth after a brutal dayís hike, in no time Isam came to tell us that hot water is here for washing and that dinner was ready. We then went to the dinning tent were after one small bowl of soup we couldnít eat any more of the delicious dinner before us. We went back to our tents to hit the sack like a bunch of sloths for we were so tired.
The driving snow
17th December day-3 of hike
Isam woke us earlier than usual. Breakfast was properly made to perfection. We ate a bit, but Dylan ate as much as he could. Soon after that we left on the days plan to get to the lava towers (4650 mamsl (meters above mean sea level) and then drop down to Barracco camping grounds (3950 mamsl). It was a gentle start to the day, which meant nothing an hour or so later. It got steeper and rockier. We could see ice ahead of us. Norman still struggling was ahead of the rest of us (except the guide, Marsel).
Suddenly Dylan stopped (and so did his appetite). The disgusting yellow color on the floor by his feet made me and everyone else look away. The weather changed sides against us as it started to rain, but apparently it wanted to murder us, so it sent its best forces, large amounts of snow beating down on the surface of the mountain and fast chilling wind. We escaped its furry behind a big rock, where we ate lunch. During lunch we were able to get the guides to show us the short cut, bypassing the lava towers. We went on, eventually the snow stopped. Anxious to get to the toilet Nicholas hurried ahead with Chris just strapping along a few meters behind. Soon some porters came and took our daypacks (what a relief). We arrived at camp at 1630, signed in and then vanished into our tents for a while. We were barely able to get out of our tents for dinner but the smell of food seemed to do it.
18th December day-4
Chris at the top Uhuru peak
Woken in haste as the tents were shaken and we were told to come for breakfast. When arriving to the dinner tent we were ordered to eat but our appetites had dwindled as we struggled to finish a small bowl of oats. Isam made sure that we all had full bottles of water for the climb. The time had come for the challenge of the hike where we were to scale the barranco wall. Approaching the wall with both excitement and fear of not making the top we started to climb. Step by step we climbed higher and higher up the wall with aching body parts we arrived at the top to be welcomed by a breath taking view of the vast area around and below us but was short live when Dylanís appetite gave out more of the unwelcome yellow gung. We dip down and up and eventually down into karanga valley which sat below the lunch point. We had a break before going up to lunch. On going up, the decision was made that Dylan could no longer go on for it would be harder on all of us and it would take longer to reach Barafu camp (Swahili for ice), Dylan agreed with the decision and we all had to say goodbye to him and one of the guides (Martin). After lunch and saying goodbye to Dylan we started up towards Barafu camp through a thick fog and a steep slope. We walked what appeared to be the toughest uphill to the small camp on the edge of Barafu. Soon we arrived with excitement and fatigue as we staggered into the dinner tent. We were soon welcomed by the hot water for the coffee/milo/tea. Tired and cold from outside, we snuck in to the tent, put on all the warm clothes we owned in our bags which were carried by our porters from day one.
On the way down
19th December day-5
We grugdingly got out of our warm sleeping bags at about 2300 and put on our last jackets etc. We each had 4 longs, 1 shirt, 2 fleeces, 2 thick jackets, as many socks as possible, 3 beanies, 2 pairs of gloves and a scarf on. We had coffee and then went on our final ascent to the roof of Africa. We slowly walked up the mountain with breaks every now and again. Suddenly, before getting to the top of the first part, we were down to 3. Norman was politely asked by the head guide to return back down and get some rest. It was a shock to all of us. Soon after that we hit the ice; it was quite thick and endless. At around 0200, after pushing hard, Nicholas and Brendan folded due to lack of oxygen and an injured knee. Chris was able to get to the top, even he wanted to give up several times, but our skilled head guide was able to keep him going.
We left Barafu camp after lunch and made our way down the mountain side. Norman fell behind so we left him in good hands of our skilled head guide. We got to the largest camp on the mountain, Mekwa camp for our last night of Kilimanjaro at around 1700 and waited for Norman before having dinner and going to bed.
Chris receives his certificate
20th December the last day
Waking up at our usual time we had breakfast and started to walk quite late. Chris decided to stay with Norman and the experienced guide whilst the rest of us stormed down the hill to the last point which was the Mekwa gate. This was the exit point from Kilimanjaro. The three of us Nick, Brendan and Marsel were soon joined by Chris who said that Normanís condition was getting bad so Marsel asked if the 4x4 could bring him down so that we could get him back to Honey Badger lodge for treatment and rest. We got back to Honey Badger. Chrisís dinner took place at honey Badger lodge and was paid for by Amos. Honey Badger chefs made the main dinner, but Norman kept a cake for dessert since the beginning of the expedition. Then we went to bed.
Chris's 21st dinner at Honey Badger
21st December rest day
Chris and Nicholas went shopping. The rest spaced out for the remainder of the day.
Our attempted climb to the roof of Africa was only achieved by Chris.
A Merry Christmas to all our readers.
A few more pics:-
Norm is still trying to learn how to use his smart phone but will teach him by the end of the trip.
so here are a few more pics of the mountain:-
1 at the start
2 along the way up
3 the driving snow
4 Chris at the top uhuru peak
5 on the way down
6 Chris receives his certificate
7 Chrisís 21st Birthday dinner at Honey Badger
This past week...
Great daily notes Nic, thanks ! The pictures of your adventures have come through fine. What fun! Thanks for the surprise call. Hope your medication for malaria works. Best of wishes to you all.
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