Wednesday – 09/19
We were awakened at 11:30 PM after a restless couple of hours. It is really hard to get any sleep at 15,000’ with 15 people piled into a room, all of them attempting to hydrate AND taking Diamox (for altitude, but a side affect is frequent urination). Boy was it cold! We gathered for some tea and toast before heading outside just before 1:00 AM. Our hike would take us from Kibo (15,430’) to the summit (19,340’) over 6km (about 3.7 miles). The sky was absolutely blazing with starts and an incredibly bright orange Mars. We could see lines of lights snaking up the switchbacks from all of the groups who headed out before us. The goal was to be on the summit ridge around sunrise and hit the top, quickly get some pictures and head down. At that attitude, in that cold, the least amount of time on the top would be for the best. We passed about a dozen groups on the long zigzag climb to the crater rim. My feet and hands were cold the entire time. The slow steady pace made it hard to keep extremities warm despite three pair of socks and two pair of gloves and hand warmers. The rest of me was warm; I had on six tops and two bottom layers.
|With action dave and 50 "friends" on the top|
We rested for about an hour then had a light lunch before heading down to Horombo hut. It was a bit hot during the last hour but the high from reaching the peak carried us down in 2:50. We had dinner and were all in our respective bags by 9:00 after a very long day (up for 21.5 hours and hiking for 10.5 hours).
Andy and Robert joined me for the 3 mile out/back run, which was dusty, but didn’t have much traffic. It felt great to be out running again…it also felt like I hadn’t run since Saturday. At our celebratory dinner I had African pizza (pineapple & banana) and we all had a pint of Kilimanjaro beer. I believe the last time I had a beer was over 25 years ago!
Friday – 09/21
Another 6:00 AM wake up and then out for the final run in
Africa. Robert an stuck with the same dirt road but went further out into the country-side covering about 7 miles in 62 minutes (probably more but who knows). After breakfast we visited the Ashante offices and headed into Moshi for some shopping. It was pretty wild going from shop to sop (led by various middle-men who seemed to appear out of nowhere). We did finally get the price and sizes we wanted so that we could all have a matching team soccer shirt. The remainder of the day was spent lounging by the pool discussing plans for future adventures! Tanzania