We woke up at midnight, ate some cookies and drank some tea, before switching on our headlamps and starting the slow trek towards the summit, just 1345m above us.
There was an unusual amount of snow and ice on the mountain, so we would have benefitted from crampons, but instead, we had to take our time climbing up and trying to avoid slipping.
Our trek took us past Stella Point at 5685m altitude, where we rested for a short while, before pushing ahead to the summit, which was now almost at an arm’s reach.
We arrived at Uhuru Peak, the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, at 5895m altitude around 0745.
Uhuru means “freedom” in Swahili, which is how you feel admiring the beautiful views from the highest point on the continent.
After catching our breath, we took some summit pictures and shortly after, started our descent.
We almost gave our guides a heart attack when we decided to leverage the large amount of snow and slide down the mountain from Stella Point.
Once our guides saw the fun Delanii and I were having, they followed and soon there was a queue of about 30-40 climbers sliding down the path we were creating – especially given our tired legs, it was the most fun 500m slide I’ve ever had.
The slide down meant that we reached Barafu Camp pretty quickly. After packing up and eating a bit, we continued our descent to the Mweka Camp at 3100m altitude, which we reached in about three hours.