Kili Climb 2013 – Day 9

Wednesday January 16 2013
Those who were able to sleep Tuesday evening were woken up at 11. The wind blew so hard during the night that it woke most people. We had toast with jelly, honey, and peanut butter available, along with peanuts and ginger snaps.

We were all so pumped, and had a word of prayer for safety and health before we took off. We loaded up and left at 12:10. AM
The temperature was cold, the wind was blowing, but seeing the lights of a few groups above us was encouraging. Then we noticed the amazing stars. Totally cool to pay attention to the stars from south of the equator. A large group of guides went with us, and sang off and on to us throughout the climb. It was so encouraging. We stayed very close together, just breaking into 3 groups a few meters apart.

By sunrise the entire team had reached the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Gillmans point at 18,710 feet. Due to medical condition, one of the team turned around at this time, but he is doing much better.

The rest of the team was able to make the lengthy trip from Gillman s, past Stella to Uburu, at 19,340 feet, the “Top of Africa”, also the highest freestanding mountain in the world. We made our way independently, so do not have a group shot but most “teams” stayed together. There was a fantastic view of the crater and glaciers while there.

We made our way down independently and most crashed at their tents before we go to eat and then make the trek to our overnight camp. At 12,000 feet.

Upon arrival at camp the team was internally exuberant about our accomplishments, but externally exhausted. Many indicated it truly was a ‘once’ in a lifetime experience. Fewer than half the team came to dinner, which our guide indicated was typical.

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