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Africa @ the Millennium

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Trekking photos

 

Our first view of Kili - just above the tree in the clouds  

 

 

 We arrive at the mountain looks like we are expected   

 

A welcoming party    

  
A few last minute preparations 

  Looks as if a few other people had the same idea for New year's eve!  

 

    The porters preparing the gear notice the North face gear on the left versus the baskets and plastic buckets

 

The gnarly route through the jungle to our first base camp - only got a few shots since it started pouring rain

 

Leaving from our first camp

  Our second camp - tent city - note the lone outhouse on the right

Conrad and Dave caught in a candid moment

 

Alex having a reflective moment

 

The porters basking in the morning sun in front of the summit of Kilimanjaro

 

   

Panoramic shots from camp 2  

More panoramic shots    

Another panoramic shot

As we were hiking suddenly the clouds came in and the scenery was transformed to a rocky moonscape

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

Shots from camp 3 - some people were starting to get signs and symptoms of altitude sickness, we are now at 13,000-14,000 feet

 

 

Camp 4 is where I started feeling the full effects of the altitude - walking to the toilet was a tiring experience accompanied by rest breaks for shortness of breath - it was maybe 50 feet up a gentle slope!

 

As we were leaving the camp I unintentionally  got a shot of a porter being carried out for altitude sickness

 

We are now heading to our last camp which is where we will sleep for a few hours before we leave at 1130 pm for the summit

 

Dusten,Chris,Conrad and Stacey (in the back with the yellow and blue jacket)

The last camp before the summit venture

 

 We lay down around 3:30 pm and tossed and turned until our 11 pm wake up call. As we were packing up our gear around midnight I had the most wonderful moment above me the sky was asparkle and crystal clear with the stars of the southern hemisphere, coming up towards me was a sea of headlamps with sparklers and banging pots with people shouting happy new year.  and ahead of me was the biggest challenge of my life.  And, oh yeah, it was the turn of the century.  Everything for a moment was captured in an indelible memory. 

 

(thanks for the photo Josh)

The climb was tough, switchbacks in the dark - cold and endless.  The last little bit of the trail before the rim was skree which is like walking in loose gravel at a 45 degree angle.  I think for around 200 metres it took me at least half an hour.  Once you reach the top you have to hike about a 1/4 mile along the rim to Uhuru peak.  That is when I shut down.  I started freezing (thanks for the jacket Todd) and felt like I had all the energy sapped out of me.  I plodded along slowly with Josh until we reached this marker.  I didn't even have the energy to smile and I think my headlamp may still be on.  what's funny is I look as if I am alone but there were at least 20 other people milling about waiting to take their photo at the top of Africa - 19,340 feet. 

 


 Excuse the Canadian habit of switching between metric and imperial. Eh?