I will be a happy person two weeks from today — I will have come off climbing a gigantic mountain with no less than all my limbs still attached, 10 toes and fingers, and nothing bitten by frost. Colin will be arriving in Tanzania, I’ll drag myself out of relaxation mode to grab him at the airport then it’s all daisies and roses from there on out (or giraffes and mojitos).
Until then I promise to be only mildly happy and filled with dread since the 19,000+ foot mountain is still in front of me and not behind.
Enjoy my tweets until then 🙂
@Mom – here’s my/our schedule….
Thursday, 14 June: Depart from Auckland where I will hypnotize myself into a slumber that will last all 19.5 hours of my flight ahead.
Friday, 14 June (same day because I’m back in time now): Spend 5 hours in Dubai taking in the sights (of the airport). Arrive in Tanzania in the evening lonely and slowly filling with dread.
Saturday, 15 June: Maybe have a small sleep-in. Meet with VisionFund Tanzania, World Vision Tanzania and our climbing guideman for all the updates and to cross our Ts. Rest of the team shows up (by show up I mean I’ll be picking them up at the airport) in the evening.
Sunday, 16 June:
Hang out day Meetings and other stuff like security training, child protection certification
Monday and Tuesday, 17-18 June: Going out to a community supported/funded by World Vision child sponsors and donors in New Zealand. Pretty sweet because each of our Kilimanjaro climbers are personally supporting a microfinance entrepreneur who they will meet in person on these days.
Wednesday, 19 June – CLIMBING DAY 1: Drive to the Rongai Trailhead at the Nalemuru Gate, 7,217’/2,200 metres at the entrance to the forest on the northeastern side of the mountain. From here walk –> gradually ascending through the forest to Simba Camp which is just clear of the forest at 8645’/2,635m. Total walking time on this day: 4 hours.
Thursday, 20 June — CLIMBING DAY 2: Simba Camp to Kikelewa Camp. The trail ascends on a good path through Alpine moorland to Second Cave at 11483’/3500 m. After a lunch stop here, we follow the trail left towards Mawenzi. Another 3 hours on a rocky path brings us to Kikelewa Camp at 12106’/3690m. Total walking time: 7 hours.
Friday, 21 June — CLIMBING DAY 3: Kikelewa Camp to Mawenzi Tarn. The path climbs up a steep ridge directly towards Mawenzi. At the top of the ridge, the path turns left and traverses across rocky landscape and then descends into the Tarn Valley where camp is made at 14,127’/4320m. The distance covered is only about 5 kilometres but this usually takes about 3 to 4 hours because of the steepness and altitude. Mawenzi Tarn, 14,114’/4,302m, a small glacial lake, fed from underground, sits in a cirque directly beneath the huge cliffs of Mawenzi. This is probably one of the most dramatic camps on Kilimanjaro. Total walking time: 4 hours of STEEPNESS.
Saturday, 22 June — REST DAY 4: This is a rest day for the group at Mawenzi Tarn. It will be possible to walk into the heart of Mawenzi with its soaring peaks.
Sunday, 23 June — CLIMBING DAY 5: Mawenzi Tarn to Kibo Hut Camp. Climbers retrace their path of the previous day for a short distance, cross several ridges and small valleys and then descend to the Saddle, a huge high altitude desert between Mawenzi and Kibo. The hike follows a 6 kilometre path across the gradually ascending slope to Kibo Hut. We will camp near the hut at 15,466’/4,714m. Total walking time: 6 hours.
Monday, 24 June — CLIMBING DAY 6 – SUMMIT DAY: Kibo Hut Camp to Uhuru Peak via Gilman’s Point. Climbers will be woken at about 11pm on day 5. After dressing in all our warm clothing, we will have a hot drink and then set off at midnight. The first part of the ascent to the Hans Meyer cave is quite indirect, going around large rock outcrops and it is not as steep as the latter part. The surface is loose and can be hard going. After the cave the scree slope becomes extremely steep and you have to climb in a zig-zag fashion. It takes an average of 6 hours to reach Gillman’s Point on the crater rim. On a fine morning, the views of the sun rising from behind Mawenzi are spectacular. Gillman’s Point is at 18,763’/5,719m. From here, the path goes around the crater rim for a further one and a half to two hours to the summit at Uhuru Peak, 19,341’/5,896m. The descent back to Kibo Hut can take a further 3 or 4 hours. After a rest and a meal we continue down to Horombo Hut, 12,208’/3,721m, via the lower route, a further trek of around 3 hours. Total walking time on this day: (SHOOT ME) 14 hours.
Tuesday, 25 June — CLIMBING DAY 7. Horombo Hut to Marangu Park Gate. The descent from Horombo to Mandara Hut, 8,934’/2,723m, takes around 3 hours, and the final part of the descent through the forest to Marangu Gate, 6250’/1905m, takes another 2 hours. Total walking time ’til I fall into a restful slumber: 5 hours.
Wednesday and beyond: Sleep, rest, relaxation, safari, Zanzibar, back to Auckland through Dubai — but this time with hubby beside me 🙂