September 16-24, 2013 – I made the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro (19,340 ft. or 5895m amsl) on September 22, 2013 at 3:20PM (Eastern Africa Time) with Rob, John, Auston and Roger via the Lemosho Route… 7 days up, 2 days down.
Stats from Garmin GPSMap 62s:
*GPS has slight skew
Distance: 42.55 miles
Avg Speed: 0.2 mph (total time was 187:02:05 (hhh:mm:ss) spanning 9 days)
Avg Moving Speed: 1.8 mph
Elevation Gain: 19,841 ft
Min Elevation: 5,480 ft
Max Elevation: 19,350 ft
Travel begins: After months of training and anticipation, it was time to go for the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro! Getting to Africa would be our first challenge. It is Friday, September 13, 2013. Yup, Friday the 13th. We should have gone RDU (Raleigh) to JFK (New York) to AMS (Amsterdam) to JRO (Kilimanjaro) arriving Saturday evening around 8PM. But… we don’t. I arrive at RDU and check bags 1 and 2 (mostly clothing), then head through security with carry on bags 3 and 4 (3 is day pack and hiking boots, 4 is my DSLR camera bag) and at 12:40PM I fly to JFK. Next stop, AMS boarding at 6PM… no wait, mechanical trouble, BIG delay set 10PM earliest maybe, we’ll miss connection in AMS to JRO. Delta transfers flights to Turkish Air for JFK to IST (Istanbul) to JRO. They send us out of security to baggage claim to get bags 1 and 2. Baggage claims laughs at us, no go there. Bags 1 and 2 remain on original plane. Off to Turkish Air who sees we are ticketed but rejects the ticket transfer from Delta claiming no contract with Delta. Off to Delta who says Turkish Air does have a contract. The path through IST falls through. What next? 1:30AM and original flight to AMS still hasn’t left. We can’t get re-booked on it either. KLM (Royal Dutch Air) instead books us Virgin Atlantic out of EWR (Newark) to LHR (London Heathrow) over to Ethiopian Air through ADD (Addis Ababa) to JRO arriving around noon Sunday… flight out of EWR starts really early Saturday morning.
Are we there yet? HA! KLM gives us vouchers for cab to hotel, hotel, cab to EWR. We get 3 hours sleep, cab across NYC and arrive at EWR. Virgin Atlantic claims strict rules, only 1 carry on. Can’t check bag 4, that’s the DSLR! Now I have nothing left but my passport, camera, meds and hidden cash… bag 3 has been checked by Virgin. The interior cargo of the plane is 50% empty. Grrrrr! Believe it or not, no more flight problems. Transfer to Ethiopian Air goes OK, flight through ADD to JRO goes OK. We’re at JRO baggage claim and bag 3 arrives, phewie! Now I have my day pack and hiking boots back, but no other luggage, remember, bags 1 and 2 were checked to AMS to JRO which only has 1 flight per day and first plane missed the connection, next flight lands late today, Sunday. We take ride to Bristol Cottages and try to settle in. Confirmation! Bags 1 and 2 are in fact on the flight landing Sunday evening and they arrive at the hotel at 10PM Sunday night. We wake up 6AM Monday to pack, weigh the bags for the porters and head out! OK, on to the good stuff!
Guide Service: Tusker Trail. I can’t say enough about them. They may not be the cheapest (I’ve heard that some guide services are as cheap as $1500; Tusker was $4700), but you DEFINITELY get what you pay for. Tusker gets a huge thumbs up and I would highly recommend them to anyone considering Kilimanjaro.
Day 1 – Monday, September 16, 2013: It’s a few hours drive from Moshi Town to the start of the climb, plus check in with the Tanzania park service, a ride up a crazy 4×4 road and then we gather up our gear and porters and prepare to start hiking! There is no impressive gate or entrance here, it’s just a hole in the trees with room for the trucks to turn around and a path ahead in the forest. With porters from other groups singing in the background, our guides set the pace, which was much slower than expected at this altitude (7,562 ft.), and our trek to the summit begins. We are in the rain forest and it is hot and humid. The trail is easy to navigate. Along the way we see a Colobus monkey and a Blue monkey. There are no snakes or any terrible amount of bugs to speak of. After a few hours of hiking we arrive at camp. The porters arrived ahead of us and everything is setup and ready. We have hot water for bird baths; tea, popcorn and cookies for snacking and our portered gear is already inside our tents waiting for us. A tasty dinner follows shortly after. This is how our arrival to camp is every day going forward. Nice eh?
Camp 1 – Forest Camp – 9,282 ft. journal excerpt: Way! No Way! These are the first words I saw on the card from Amelia. Very cute. I randomly opened another and it was from Ashton. Of course this writing is courteous of Gary’s Rite in the Rain gift (my journal pad and pencil). Great words ladies! Next I opened a “start of the climb” from Danny. Prayer flags enclosed. If they can go on the summit they will! There wasn’t really a chance to view any of these before we started today so at Camp 1 it was. Easy day today just up over 9000’. Pace was maybe 1 mph. Dinner was deelish! Zucchini soup, potato and red pepper salad, fried fish filet, a cookie and a crepe w/ Nutella and banana. I do have a mild headache today just like the ones I had in CO. We saw a blue monkey today. Monkeys will be our alarm clock in the morning. I forgot to mention that today we hiked through the rain forest. But, it was dry as a bone and very dusty. Also I have a tent to myself. I kinda dig it. I presume I’ll have a chance to write each night, guess we’ll see.
Day 2 – Tuesday, September 17, 2013: We started hiking around 8:20AM still in the rain forest. This is likely our longest day of hiking except summit day. It’s another beautiful weather day with the sun shining and the sounds other porters singing back at camp slowly fading away as we make our way forward. After a couple tough uphill climbs we took a mid morning water and snack break. I took full advantage.
Not too long after the break we climbed up to the heather and out of the rain forest around 9,900 ft. We have some nice long range views behind us looking west as we pass 11,085 ft. It is about here where we stopped to eat our boxed lunch. Finally we are traversing up the last ridge between us and Mt. Kilimanjaro. As we cross 11,600 ft. the heather is changing to lower brush and the Shira Plateau is ahead of us. As we round the bend of the ridge we get our first view of Mt. Kilimanjaro.
We take a break to admire and photograph the mountain, in awe of what we see. You mean we’re going up there? Wow! From here it is a short, mostly level walk across the plateau into Camp 2, Shira 1 Camp.
Camp 2 – Shira 1 Camp – 11,500 ft. journal excerpt: There’s a fine line between badass and dumbass. Thanks Stacy and you’re welcome! Cute card w/ a backpacker in the woods on the front. I believe we are around 11,500’ and 9.4 miles total so far. We are on the Shira Plateau at Shira 1. We started at 8:20am and arrived around 3pm. Talk about dirty from all the dust! The bird bath and change of clothes was refreshing. We have our first view of Kilimanjaro today. The near full moon rose just to the left. The pace is still about 1 mph. Apparently I slept well last night… reports of snoring. Hopefully I’ll get a lot tonight too. I’ve been fighting a bit of a headache today too, hopefully that goes away. It hasn’t felt like a real challenge yet. That should change soon. Tonight it is 38 F as we go to sleep.
Day 3 – Wednesday, September 18, 2013: It is another beautiful sunny day. We get started hiking around 8:30AM across the plateau heading towards steeper terrain. The plateau is scattered with lava bombs from the last major eruption, some 150,000-200,000 years ago, though there are still active fumaroles emitting gas in the crater. These lava bombs range in size from basketball to car to dump truck! As we approach the mountain, we begin to enter its weather zone. The clear blue skies are now behind us. It is mostly cloudy and a bit chilly. Today we have another boxed lunch. The box includes a 1/2 peanut butter sandwich and another 1/2 honey sandwich; both regular white bread with the crusts cut off. There is a piece of fried chicken (think smaller, non hormone enhanced size), a sliced orange, mango (or pineapple) 200 ml juice box, a hard boiled egg, a small banana (about 3″ long), a vegetable medley or slaw (light vinegar based dressing) and some cookies for dessert. We continue along passing 13,100 ft. as we press on to Camp 3 – Moir Camp. The clouds break a bit long enough for a couple photos of the mountain as we settle in.
Camp 3 – Moir Camp – 13,665 ft. journal excerpt: Good day today. We finished 1 hour ahead of schedule. Tonight we sleep at 13,700’ w/ a nice warm bottle of water at my feet in the bag. Right now I’m listening (and you are too) to Rising Appalachia “Across the Blue Ridge Mountains”… one of the most beautiful harmonies I’ve ever heard. Today’s card comes from Amy and has a butterfly on the front. The challenge is set and the mountain is in front of us. Tomorrow we hit just under 15,000’ at the lava tower, a good test, then back down to 13,7000’ at another location. The last 2 nights I’ve slept amazingly well. Tonight is the 2nd time I’ve ever slept above 10,000’! Guess we have a few more of these ahead of us. Dinner was amazing. Our crew is too. I’m content. Hope sleep comes easy tonight.
Day 4 – Thursday, September 19, 2013: My 38th birthday! It’s funny to think, but I didn’t even realize it was my birthday until we arrived at Camp 4. It’s also International Talk Like a Pirate day and there is a full moon tonight. It is much cooler this morning and not quite as sunny as we head up to the Lava Tower for lunch. The Lava Tower is over 15,000 ft. and will be higher than any of us have ever been. My previous highest was 14,270 ft. on Gray’s Peak in CO. Just before reaching the Lava Tower the clouds roll in quite low, surrounding us and we get some sleet. We put the covers on our day packs but I didn’t change into my hard shell as the sleet just bounced off and wasn’t too heavy yet.
We make it up over 15,200 ft. as we reach the Lava Tower and meet the crew for a hot lunch inside our mess tent. Today we have beef fajitas! The sleet came down fairly hard for a bit while we were eating. Other groups are ducking under rock outcroppings and huddling trying to eat their boxed lunches out in the elements while we enjoy the warmth of our mess tent and a hot lunch. Picking your guide service really matters. Thanks to Tusker Trail for our amazing experience and great customer service.
After eating we put on our hard shells as the precipitation continued. Nothing drenching but it’s always good to stay dry. As we leave the Lava Tower the trail immediately goes down a very steep section as we traverse in short switchbacks. There are a few more ups and downs throughout the afternoon, but mostly down as we head to Camp 4 at 12,717 ft. I learned in CO that without trekking poles I have a really fast downhill. My porter Pasca and I took off ahead of the gang. We had a nice view of the Western Breach during a break in the cloud cover. By the time we made it to Camp 4 we were back inside thick clouds with 50′ visibility and drizzle. When the gang catches up and we all head to the tents, we get our first look at the Barranco Wall. The next day we start out climbing that beast, an 800-1,000 ft. ascent up what I joking call a 4.11a, one heck of a scramble. At camp, I finally realize, oh yeah, it’s my birthday! Unfortunately at the moment we are unable to see the full moon. After a nice hot dinner to my surprise, the guides and other crew brought a cake into the mess tent with 3 candles on it and sang Swahili songs to celebrate my birthday! How awesome is that! It’s all captured in the video documentary of the climb. We all enjoyed a delicious piece of cake. As the night was winding down, I wasn’t quite ready for sleep yet so I got out my camera to play with a little night photography.
Shortly after going to bed, I had to get up to pee (thank you Diamox). As I stepped out of my tent I was amazed as it had gone from cloudy and foggy to absolutely clear. The full moon was shining on the mountain. It was almost like daylight. What an amazing site. After a quick restroom break I had to pull out the camera again. Note that in this photo that is the full moon, not the sun! You can also see the stars in the sky.
Camp 4 – Barranco Wall – 12,717 ft. journal excerpt: 38th Birthday, Full moon (which we saw for only a minute before the clouds rolled in), International Talk Like a Pirate Day… camping at the base of the Barranco Wall, Birthday cake at 13,000’ and singing by the Tusker crew, some Tanzanian song. Avast all ye non mountaineers! We be conquerin’ the Barranco Wall in the early morn. Arrrr! I opened Note from Home and got quick words of encouragement from Jenn and John. Danny sent an “open 1/2 way there” note… “Dirich cumhachdach” which means Climb Strong! We’ll need that for the Wall. I’m going to rate 4.11a before climbing it. Ha! I’ll tell you what I really think tomorrow. Danny also reminds us… the top is only half way. Well today was pretty amazing. We had a hot lunch at the Lava Tower. You’re not going to believe this but we had beef fajitas! Some other tour groups had a tent, some not w/ a box lunch trying to eat it while it was sleeting. Tusker Trail is doing it right. I mean, the chef baked a delicious cake at 13,000’ in a tent kitchen! (later we found out they carried it up the mountain) Another bottle of warm water at the feet too. I’m listening to Tool’s Lateralus album while I write tonight. I figured I would get to a 2nd page. We had some much closer views of the summit in between clouds during today’s hike. This mountain is truly enormous. And remember, it stands all by itself! Oh, I managed to get an SMS text out to my parents from this camp. Supposedly on a clear day we can do the same from summit. Crazy but true. Parents said SPOT Danny let me borrow has been working. Sleepy time!
Day 5 – Friday, September 20, 2013: Today we climb the Barranco Wall! I think we got started around 8AM; it was encouraged of us to get started early since the Wall gets pretty crowded and there is basically only one path. Not only that, Barranco camp is the most crowded, as it is a place where many routes come together on the mountain. Quite a few groups started ahead of us, and some behind. The crazy part is watching the porters carry all the added weight on their backs and flying by us hikers. The Wall is the most treacherous part of the hike in my opinion. If you fall here, it could kill you. There are no ropes or safety measures in place. Here is a glimpse of, in my opinion, the crux of the climb.
As we crested the Barranco Wall and started to make our way down the other side we came across something amazing. A French woman, late 30’s to early 40’s maybe… blind, with one hand holding a trekking pole feeling out the ground ahead and the other on the back of her guide, following him along the trail. Wow!
A little further along the trek we passed a Russian man in his 70’s making the climb as well. It’s truly amazing to see, and a great motivator as today’s hike was by far the toughest to date. Lots of up and down and up again. Still, we made amazing time and pushed up into Karanga Camp for a hot lunch and relaxing afternoon (quad recovery!).
Camp 5 – Karanga Camp – 13,232 ft. journal excerpt: Today we arrived at the Karanga Camp. We sleep tonight at 13,200’. So far we’ve trekked over 25 miles. I opened a card just now labeled “D to the McDrizzle” and wouldn’t you know it, it’s drizzling right now. Thanks Jes (and Tulley) for the hilarious card of this poor child face planting on a backyard waterslide! Today’s hike was my first real challenge. We climbed the Barranco Wall. I managed to get some video at what I believe was the crux of this 4.11a scramble. With 25 lbs. on my back you step through with your left leg so your right can swing across about a 2.5’ gap. Very similar to some 5.8/5.9 moves at TRC. Finally after scaling 800+’ we headed back down, then up, then down, then up again to get to camp. Damas just dropped by my tent. It’s 4pm, tea time! Will continue more later… …much later (after 8pm) I’m back. I thought of Marie, Jes, all my TRC buddies and my parents just now. And I miss good beer! Tomorrow we head up to Barafu Camp, base camp for our summit attempt. I should sleep well tonight but tomorrow around 15,000’ will be a bit tough. From the talk so far tonight, no one in the group is too concerned about sleeping (or attempting to sleep) while freezing above 18,000’. Seems like our goal is summit. Works for me. We decide tomorrow for certain. Oh! On our hike today we saw a French blind woman and a 75 yr old Russian fella along the way. If they are here, we have no excuse! Time to lay down, goodnight.
Day 6 – Saturday, September 21, 2013: Today we started out at, guess what time, 8:30AM to make our way to summit base camp. It is a nice sunny morning with a good view of the mountain. The hike will be shorter and not as difficult today. As we cross over 14,000 ft. we are clearly now in the alpine dessert. There is no more vegetation up here. We crossed through an interesting shale/slate field, lots of broken rock that you might think of as flagstone for a fancy garden path. The weather has become cloudy and much cooler now. And, as we approach the next camp, sleet sets in. Best part about arriving at camp around noon, another hot lunch and today it will be fried chicken! Yes, we had fried chicken above 15,000 ft.! About half the afternoon we spent hanging out in our tents either napping or listening to the sleet, just relaxing in preparation for an early dinner, early sleep and really early start for summit day. Our plan is to get started at 5:30AM, so we’re waking up around 4:30AM. A lot of guide services start at 11PM, 12AM or 1AM on summit day. I presume the goal is to attempt to be at the summit for sunrise. Most other climber’s I’ve talked to don’t like this saying that walking in the dark provides no good view. I imagine that’s true and glad we have only 1 hour or less of hiking in darkness on our summit day. Somehow I managed to not take any photos of Barafu Camp. I guess the sleet kept me in the tent all afternoon.
Camp 6 – Barafu Camp – 15,331 ft. journal excerpt: Summit day is tomorrow! This morning we left Karanga up to Barafu, 15,200’ base camp for summit. We’ve now covered over 28 miles. I found today’s hike to be relatively easy. I’m doing well and feeling strong. I opened 3 cards today from Tomás, Matt K. and Elyse. Thanks for the great encouragement from all of you! And Matt K., you KNOW I like good beer, so I will hold you to many visits to the Flying Saucer. Oh, thanks for the free queso Tomás. BTW, we had fried chicken for lunch when we got here today. How about that for awesome! We have an early 5pm dinner coming and a 4:30am wakeup, breakfast, then 5:30 off to the Roof of Africa!! … I decided to write a little bit more before going to bed. I think it isn’t even 7pm yet. Dinner was soup and spaghetti w/ meat sauce. We have an 8-10 hour summit hike tomorrow, then about 2 hours down, and some of that on scree. I’ll do my best to get a video of it without crashing too hard in the process! It will be a long day. My longest so far was Pikes Peak, starting at 5:50am and finishing at 4:30pm… but the summit there was 14,110’ which our base camp is at 15,200’! It starts to get dark and cold at 6pm, pitch black at 6:30pm. Only if skies are clear and moon is up will we have any moonlight. Not likely. I have 3 headlamps and batteries. OK, no more rambling… sleep so we can summit The Roof of Africa!
Mt. Kilimanjaro here we come!!
Day 7 – Sunday, September 22, 2013: Summit Day! Today is the day, the one we’ve all been looking forward to. It’s time to visit the Roof of Africa! We woke up at 4:30AM, ate a good breakfast, got dressed and were ready to head out at 5:30AM, headlamps on and good to go. While we weren’t trying to see sunrise from the summit, we got a great view of the sun coming up over Mawenzi Peak, one of the 3 volcanic cones on Mt. Kilimanjaro.
The sun continued to rise as it always does and the clouds cleared giving us beautiful blue sky as we crossed our way above 16,000 ft. The sun was really warm, so we stopped to adjust layers. Unfortunately the nice clear weather wouldn’t last long. By the time we crossed 17,000 ft. we were back to multiple layers, cold weather, cloudy skies with low visibility and snow covering the trail. Step by step we pushed onward and upward. I’m still feeling great… full of energy and excitement. The terrain and conditions really don’t change much as we head up over 18,000 ft. There is a bit more wind and maybe slightly less thick clouds. Visibility was still fairly low though. We were unable to see much more than 50-75 yards away.
Fortunately the higher we went, the better our visibility became. I believe we were literally coming out over the top of the clouds. We gained a little bit of sun and visibility with an opportunity to see towards the top of the mountain. There is still a little snow around, but none covering the trail now. Our last steep push up towards Stella Point is invigorating. From Stella Point, the terrain will be much less steep to the Uhuru summit. Before reaching Stella Point, we had a clear break in the clouds and could see the side of Rebmann Glacier. Although there are clouds around, the sun really kicks in strong now as we approach Stella Point at 18,829 ft. and our lunch break before summit. I really didn’t take many pictures today, but I did take plenty of GoPro video so you’ll have to see everything I’m describing in my video documentary.
From Stella Point we can see down into the Reusch Crater. It is huge! There are a few small glaciers there as well. It was really windy here. After our stop for lunch the final push to the summit begins! I did notice that at this point in the climb I was seeing a few trippy colors in my vision. I presume this was either altitude or because the sun was simply that bright. Either way, I felt great. Well, wouldn’t you know it, but of all the GoPro videos I took along the way, the one approaching the summit is the one with audio problems. Can you believe it, Ugh! Fortunately through the digital garbage noise I am able to make out what I said, so the video will have some closed captioning. Ah well. We made it to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro at 19,340 ft., the Roof of Africa!!! Of course I took photos here. 🙂
We did a few promotional photos as well for ZOE, Cisco (Rob and Roger) and the “Beer is My Friend” Aviator Brewing. The celebrations at the summit don’t last too long though. We still have to go back down to Barafu Camp where we started that morning. The path down takes us down a scree trail, and ugh, it was torturous on the knees. It was a loose sandy-like texture with hidden rocks in it all over the place… but it sure was fast! We had a bit of light snow while on the scree trail when we got back down inside the clouds. Honestly we weren’t sure if we were going to make it back to camp before sunset at 6:30PM, but we did which brought us to the end our 13 hour summit day trek. We enjoyed a hot dinner and crawled into our tents for sleep.
Camp 7 – Barafu Camp – 15,331 ft. journal excerpt: Summit Success! It feels really great! We were on our feet from 5:30am to almost sunset at 6:30pm. To date, this will now go down as the toughest summit I’ve ever done. I did have a mild headache most of the day though. Above 18,000’ I started seeing a few trippy colors in my vision. Everything else seemed fine so we pushed for the summit. I have a great photo in front of Rebmann Glacier (later found out it was the northern end of the Heim and Kersten Glaciers). What a really hard but great day overall. Oh, coming down on the scree trail was torturous! In the end we all made the challenge w/ various trials along the way. I’ve been to the Roof of Africa, the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro… EXCITED!! Now only 2 more days down to Moshi for an ice cold Coca Cola, a beer… and a shower!
Day 8 – Monday, September 23, 2013: After an amazing summit day, the only way left to go is down. To no surprise we started out around 8:30AM again to a nice sunny morning. By 9AM the skies were a pretty blue with light clouds and low brushy vegetation began to appear on the ground again. The pace is fast and rough on the knees. Ahead we can see the cloud cover over Moshi Town below. Today we’ll go 5,000 ft. down to Mweka Camp back in to the forest. Believe it or not, we make camp by 11AM! We enjoyed some relaxation and reflection. Another great offer by Tusker Trail is laundry service. We each put together a set of clothes that would be ported off the mountain, washed, dried, folded and returned to the hotel waiting for our arrival back in Moshi Town. How cool is that? Below in my journal excerpt, you’ll read a bit of toilet humor. I’ll spare you the photo as it suggests, but give you a description instead. Our toilet was basically a 6 post metal frame with a western seat screwed onto it with a 5 gallon bucket underneath and some sort of bacteria, poo eating liquid in the bottom. Yes, the first time you sit on it, you’re western brain will hesitate. But I promise you this, don’t worry. This is luxury considering the options!
It’s hard to imagine, but it takes a big crew to manage 5 climbers on the mountain between the guides, medical porter (our service had a porter carrying Oxygen and a portable hyperbaric chamber), head chef, cooks and other porters who carried all the gear and food and ferried water from source to camp every day. If I counted correctly and everyone is present, we had 24 total on our crew plus the 5 climbers. Thank you Tusker Trail for an incredible crew.
Camp 8 – Mweka Camp – 10,065 ft. journal excerpt: We are in Mweka Camp after descending about 5000’ this morning. Talk about rough on the knees! We got here around 11am, had some lunch and are relaxing this afternoon. Apparently I can’t write today. I’ll try to do better. At the moment I hear popcorn popping, a good sign 4pm tea time is coming up! What an experience yesterday, what an experience! We’ve gone over 41 miles so far and we have a 3 hour hike in the morning to get to the vehicle to take us back to Moshi Town. Have I mentioned I can’t wait for a real toilet? I’ll mock up a graphic of our “on the trail” toilet. It’s luxury vs. straight up nature though. Of course, on trail, it’s nature’s way out here. I should have said our “at camp” toilet. Anyway, enough potty mouth. How’s this for cool, I sent a stuff sack down the mountain today with 18 items for washing. Tusker invested in their own machines to service their customers. No, it’s definitely not all my clothing by a long shot, but it extra guarantees I have more than enough for my up coming 3 day safari in the Ngorongoro Crater. I’ll be in a lodge with heat, a bed and a shower every day. Ah luxury. Hopefully my photography skills will shine. I think I have some really good shots so far. I just won’t know for certain until I load them up at home.
Day 9 – Tuesday, September 24, 2013: There isn’t anything too exciting to talk about today, besides getting a cold Coca Cola, beer and a shower upon returning to the hotel. We start hiking down from Mweka camp on a nicely maintained trail. A nice round rock hidden under the surface found its way under my right boot and swoop, bonk, right on my ass with my left leg folded behind me and right leg straight out in front. I was shooting video with my GoPro too, caught the whole flop on camera. Honestly though, after looking at it, you can hardly tell anything happened, so it will not be included in the video documentary. We reached the sign out station and vehicle pick up point at 5,480 ft. From here it was a car ride down on roads back to the hotel in Moshi Town. After a shower we received our official Mt. Kilimanjaro summit certificates and a nice cold beer.
Camp 9 – Bristol Cottages, Moshi Town – 3,120 ft. journal excerpt: This afternoon we arrived back in Moshi at Bristol Cottages. Finally a shower and a cold Coca Cola. Done! We relaxed, had some dinner and a few beers together then sleep. Auston, John, Roger and Rob were to set out on a one day safari. I’m heading out on a three! There’s nothing much more exciting than finishing a long hike. We did around 48 miles. Wow. Tomorrow morning I’m heading off into the unknown w/ how the safari will go, plus what are the accommodations going to be like! Tomorrow is another day. I relaxed and started charging batteries, then I’m off to bed. (there were some beers in me when I wrote this journal entry!)