If you’re looking for a general overview of my climb up Mt Kilimanjaro, this is the post for you. I’m not going to go into too much detail here, or post a ton of photos, but I will give a brief description of each day, and a link to each post (eventually) for more detail if you want it.
It’s our first day! We meet our guide at 830am at the Springlands Hotel where we’ve been staying, load everything up and head to the mountain. It’s a 3 hour drive to the Londorossi gate where we sign in, get all our gear weighed for the porters, and read up on the rules for the climb.
Today is an easier climb than expected. 2.5 hours through the jungle to Mkubwa Camp at 9020ft. We start at 1pm and get there by 330pm. Look how fresh and clean we still are!
Our set up is super nice, more like glamping than I ever would have expected. And with the sun setting at 630pm, we’re in bed by 730pm and ready for an early start the next day.
Today is a much harder hike than the first day. We spend the first hour in the jungle before an abrupt crossover into moorlands.
We travel up and down over ridge lines until we reach the Shira Plateau. Just as I’m starting to get really tired, we round the corner to spectacular views of Kilimanjaro! I practically skip down the rest of the way to Shira Camp 1.
This is another easy day. We walk across the Shira Plateau to Shira Camp 2, taking only about 3 hours to gain the barely 1000ft.
Another tough day today, and this is where things start to fall apart a little (but not too much!). We spend about 4 hours getting up to the Lava Tower at 15,190ft before descending to the Barranco Hut to camp.
Even though we were supposed to eat lunch here, we were only given about 15 minutes before half way through eating, we were told to head down. Then it was break-neck pace towards camp, which had me a bit miffed. But once we got there, I got over it because of the breathtaking beauty of this spot!
These trees are so awesome!
Tomorrow the Barranco Wall!
Aside from summit night, this was definitely the hardest day for me. We left camp at 7am to begin our climb up the Barranco Wall. It’s really more like a scramble.
It takes us 90 minutes to get to the top, and the views are lovely.
Amy goes ahead at this point with Attley, while I follow slowly behind with Innocent, taking several pictures along the way.
Finally we get to Karangu Camp for lunch, but instead of staying the night here like we originally planned, we push on for base camp. This completely exhausts me, but I make it eventually to our tent at 14,930ft.
Our guide really wants us to summit tonight, a day early, but I insist we summit on our regularly scheduled night as I can barely move from the day’s hike. I know Amy really wants to summit tonight, too, but I’m pretty sure after the work getting here, there’s a really good chance I won’t make it.
Kilimanjaro Climb Day 6: Acclimatization
We sleep in today since we don’t have anywhere to be, and head out for an acclimatization hike up above base camp. The views are lovely, and you can see the route we’ll be taking up the mountain this evening!
Tonight is it! We’re up at 1030pm, prepping our gear for the long slog up to the summit. We leave camp at 1130pm and are incredibly fortunate to have almost no wind and much warmer temperatures than I possibly could have envisioned. Not to say that we didn’t still bundle up, but I need a lot less layers than I thought, at least to start.
There aren’t many pictures of the climb because it’s all done in the dark, but just as the sun starts peaking out over the horizon, we make it to Stella Point!
This is the official summit of the mountain, though Uhuru Peak is the highest point and another 45 minute hike along the crater rim. I’m so elated to be here (though I’m probably too exhausted to really tell)!
After taking every picture I can possibly take, we finally start the long and arduous journey back down. My knees and feet ache and I’m just ready to be done now. We sort of glissad down the scree back to base camp, sleep for an hour, eat lunch, pack up and head down to the Mweka Camp in the jungle. We spend a short night here before finishing the final 2.5 hours down to the Mweka Gate and the end of our climb!
The first shower back at the hotel might be the best thing I’ve ever experienced! 8 days is a long time to go without one, especially with as much sweating as we did, and all the dirt and ash from the mountain.
Overall, climbing Kilimanjaro is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but so worth it. I feel such a sense of accomplishment that is so hard to describe. Zara Tours was fantastic and I highly recommend them. Thanks again to everyone for your love and support! I couldn’t have done it without you!!