Day 3: A different New Year

The Shira Camp is exposed, so last night was a bit nippy!

Today, our goal was to acclimatize ourselves to the higher altitude. Therefore, we trekked for about five hours to reach the Lava Tower at 4630m.

On the way, we passed a group of climbers from Bahrain, who didn’t seem to be doing very well and our guides advised their guide to turn the group back – reminding them that they were only half way to their ascent and even the summit was only half way!

At the Lava Tower, we had a bite to eat, before descending for two hours down to Barranco Camp at 3950m – following the advice of experienced mountaineers: “climb high and sleep low”.

At Barranco Camp, we enjoyed a beautiful sunset and saw what must be one of the most beautiful views from an outhouse, before crawling into our tent for the night.

 

Day 2: Out of the jungle

Our second day on the mountain started early and we were en route at 0700.

After just an hour, we were out of the jungle and in a moorland zone, leading us via a rocky ridge to the Shira plateau, from which we could see the first beautiful views of the Western
Breach with its glaciers.

In all, we took about six hours to cover a distance of just nine km to reach Shira Camp, at 3840m altitude.

Day 1: Pole pole!

I’m excited! We arrived to Moshi, a small town in Tanzania, yesterday from Kenya. From Moshi, at 900m altitude, we had just a 45 minute bone-shaking drive to the base of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa.

My girlfriend and I have chosen to climb Mount Kilimanjaro through the Machame Route, a route considered the most beautiful on Kilimanjaro by many and the same one I had used in 2003 when I climbed the mountain for the first time.

Our expedition group, consisting of the two of us as well as two guides, a cook and a group of porters registered at the Machame Gate office and after having our backpacks weighed, we started trekking from 1490m altitude.

The route to the first camp, Machame Camp, was almost entirely jungle and we were also welcomed by rain, which lasted the entire 18 km and seven hour trek to the camp, which was located at 2980m altitude.

Delanii’s jacket, supposedly fully water-proof one from a leading manufacturer, failed miserably on the first day, so our assistant guide offered his jacket to keep her dry for the remainder of the trip.