Kili Summit Day: Hours away

Barafu Camp

The view from Tusker’s site at Barafu Camp. (Note: The toilet hut on the left.)

Our team is now settled in Barafu Camp – 15,091 ft.  I’m glad those couple of windy nights at Karanga Camp are behind us. As you can read in my pre-Kili writing, Karanga is on a steep slope. One wrong step and you’re running downhill to Moshi.

We’ve had our briefing to summit Kilimanjaro, now less than 12 hours away.  We were told to take the bare minimum we can! It’s very intimidating as you look up towards the summit and I’ve been seeing some folks at this busy camp that I think clearly need to get off this mountain.  As for me, I am okay. I feel pretty strong overall but will admit I am a bit nervous. Today, our climb took us up an incline exceeding 25% over a very long six hours. My backpack, 22 lbs. of required daily trekking gear, now seems incredibly heavy compared to the start of this climb.

We leave at 4 am Tanzanian time to reach Uhuru Peak. That will be tonight at 8 pm in Iqaluit NU and 5 pm on Gabriola Is. BC; both places I consider home. I do miss home, and I think constantly of my husband, family, and my BFFs as I take each step higher up this mountain, and I feel lucky to have so many good friends in my life. My next thoughts immediately turn to the desire for flush toilets again. I now know that concern over personal hygiene is inversely related to the length of the trip. I am not sure still whether it doesn’t matter or simply too difficult to manage especially when so cold. What I also won’t miss about this climb is sleeping with batteries and rolling over and getting a camera or cell phone in unexpected places! 

So cross your fingers everyone, I am soon going to see the top of Africa!  In a big way, you are all coming with me!  Please remember, “When you can’t breathe, nothing else matters.”  
R

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