Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Monday, 7 December 2009

On Kilimanjaro again (Post 9 of several)

With Gerald Hando (left), at the summit

Tuesday October 6 (continued)
With the energy boost from the Red Bull I surged past Yahoo, Ben and Notburga who had stopped at Stella Point for a rest. Gerald Hando was nowhere in sight. I careered past several other climbers dragging themselves towards Uhuru Peak.
Yahoo (left) with Gerald Hando taking a stroll around the summit. Mt. Meru is seen in the background.
I felt I was high on whatever combination of items they packed into one of those cans; I didn't want to stop lest I lost the momentum and as I approached Gerald, who has stopped for a gasp of air, I told him I would walk ahead to Uhuru Peak so that I could take his photo when he arrived. He insisted that we remain together, so I stopped.

With Gerald (left) and Yahoo (right)
We reached Uhuru Peak just before 09:30 a.m. and Gerald explained later that he was overcome with such emotion that it took some effort to retain composure. It is a feeling that I too experienced during my first climb, and appears to be something felt by most first-time climbers. One of the guides told us a group of climbers broke down and wept uncontrollably on reaching the peak.
Gerald powering up for the descent and his show at Clouds FM, 'Power Breakfast'
One thing I do not recall seeing at the summit last year are monuments (crucifix type) of climbers who reached the summit but died in the process. Someone said there were several of those at the summit. I also noticed several along the Lemosho route. Most are of porters.
Allen, the harmonica player and mountain guide (seated in front), joins us for a photo with an unidentified guide (in brown coat)
We took the customary photos and had left within 30 minutes. Yahoo, who had joined us, walked ahead to meet Ben and Notburga who had remained at Stella Point for a rest before turning towards Barafu Camp.

Later, we teamed up with Yahoo and my most difficult part of the Kilimanjaro trek, the descent, began. Gerald and Yahoo would rush down ahead towards Barafu and frequently had to wait for me as my thigh and ankle muscles strained to cope with the rapid descent. I had suggested that they should not bother waiting for me but Yahoo insisted they would keep me within sight.
A view of Mawenzi Peak taken during the descent
On reaching Barafu Camp at 1:00 p.m. I was extremely exhausted. I applied some heat cream on my thighs and legs and got some relief. We rested for 2 hours and embarked on a 6-hour trek from Barafu through Millennium High Camp (at dusk) through a rocky section to Mweka Camp.

Next: The last hop

1 comment:

Alli said...

The writing keeps you so interested waiting for the next segment wondering what will happen next.
What a fantastic journey. Wish I could find the energy to make a climb.

Keep keeping us informed!!
Alli xxx