Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Monday, 6 June 2011

The Mwalimu Nyerere/Mt. Kilimanjaro Charity Climb 2010 (post 11 of 12)

This is the eleventh of twelve posts on the December 2010 Mt. Kilimanjaro climb.
Sunday 13 December 2010
Unlike last year, this year we were the first group out of Barafu Camp, having left at around 2330hrs.

On the climb we had a breathtaking view of the lights of Moshi down below on a cloudless night. The climb from Barafu Camp to Stella Point on the crater rim remains the more difficult section of the Kilimanjaro climb and there are probably more people who fail on the Barafu – Stella Point climb then in all other sections.

Sometime during the climb, I told Solomon that I experienced great difficulty caused by the frequent stops that we make and suggested I walk ahead but Solomon said it was best to stay together because that would be discouraging to Jaffar. I stayed behind reluctantly but suffered tremendously. I liken the difficulty I faced in resuming the trek after each rest to that of a heavily laden truck that is stopped on a slope and has to be driven uphill. A small car that starts from the same position has little difficulty surging forward. I was the big truck, the others were sedans.

Eventually at some point Solomon decided that I should walk ahead with him and Jaffar and assistant guide, Ludovick, remained behind at a slower pace. We reached Stella Point at 0600hrs as the sun was about to rise from the eastern horizon behind Mawenzi. We reached the spot with a Russian climber, Dimitry, and his guide, Freddy.

L-R, Freddy, an unidentified guide, and Dimitry at Stella Point, just before sunrise.
We reached Uhuru Peak at 0715hrs with a woman and his Tanzanian guide.  I quickly took some photos with Solomon and he left to meet Jaffar and Ludovick. I continued taking some photos as the

The author of this blog shaking hands with Solomon (right) at the summit.
other climber and her guide left the peak. Suddenly I was alone on the peak on a beautiful morning, an experience I did not like one bit. Man is indisputably the most dangerous animal on the planet. So, presumably everyone feels safer alone.  Surprisingly, that is not the case. A human being left alone imagines all types and manners of threats that can threaten his/her existence. I felt that.

But until I would meet other humans that morning, I had set a world record as the person who was located on the highest point of the African continent, a record that stood for at least 43 minutes. 

I began walking quickly towards Stella Point to try and catch up with the two who had left previously. Before reaching Stella Point I met Jaffar, led by Ludovick and tailed by Solomon, slowly making their way towards Uhuru peak. My world record moment was over.

L-R, Ludovick, Jaffar, and Solomon slowly making their way towards Uhuru Peak

As they made their ways towards the peak, Solomon (right) gestures as Jaffar watches. Mt. Meru is in the background.

Jaffar and Solomon pause as they ponder the last stretch towards Uhuru Peak, seen ahead at the topmost point.
At the summit, Jaffar (left), and Solomon.
We parted and I slowly made my way to Stella Point and all the way down to Barafu Camp. Midway, in mid morning, I met with the Tusker Group leading David Shoop to the peak.

Barafu camp
After lunch and a rest at Barafu where Jaffar, Solomon, and Ludovick arrived later, we left for the long trek past Millennium High Camp and a night rest at Mweka Camp. The current news: Musician Remmy Ongala has died.

Next: The final day

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