FC: Kilimanjaro 2010
1: Here we go! Our tour gu
3: The first of many elaborate and delicious meals.
4: Zoobay, our waiter and my not-so-secret crush.
5: There was a porter designated to set up a toilet for us before we arrived at every camp or meal break. And of course a special porter to gather and filter our water. What service! | (Stephen is only pretending.)
6: Our assistant guide, Aristedes.
7: There were 23 porters for the four of us. They hiked twice as fast as us in order to st up our camps before we arrived.
8: The subtle and dancing stream of water that had me and Stephen captivated. | Some of our meal crew and their kitchen tent.
10: Popcorn from a silver platter every afternoon! | Learning about Professor J and dancing to bongo flava. | A sampling of our collective stash of American snacks.
15: This was the only day we had rain and it didn't even come down hard. We were very lucky.
18: This was an abandoned ranger tower. Through the window of it you can see our camp.
19: No wonder every meal was delicious!
20: There she is.
21: Look closely, Aristedes is using his cell phone. There was reception all the way up just as long as it was an open area. | Being silly.
23: And this is how I earned the nickname, Dada Jiwe (Sister Rock). Christened by our chef who noticed me stuffing small boulders in my backpack.
27: Lava Tower and our camp site at its base (14,300').
28: The side of Lava Tower in the day and day break, with a mesmerizing view over the cloud line.
29: Thirty minutes of easy bouldering to reach the top of it's 300" peak. (We climbed up the back side where it wasn't quite so vertical.)
30: Another 30 minutes for silly pictures.
31: Arrow Glacier camp (16,000'). Towering over us is the Western Breach ascent route which we will take on the next morning. We will leave over an hour before sunrise to avoid the danger of falling rocks in the afternoon when the ice melts.
32: But before we left we enjoyed the best sunset of the hike. High enough to be over the trees and low enough to not have altitude sickness overtake any potential enjoyment.
33: Day 6, and the first day of truly miserable hiking. Every day before that had been great, easy in fact. But the elevation combined with the incline here made this section really brutal.
34: This is after several hours of hiking but before we arrived at our next camp. Brandy and I were having an especially tough time. This is a picture of her shortly after her first vomiting session. | I wasn't vomiting yet but as soon as we sat down to rest I started crying and couldn't stop for ten minutes or so. I didn't have any intense head or stomach aches but just a general and all encompassing feeling of exhaustion.
35: After six hours we arrived at Summit Crater camp (18,500'). There were truly spectacular glaciers all around us, but I was in no shape to enjoy them. My walking resembled a drunken stagger by this point and all I wanted to do was get to our tents and rest. | Our porters gathering water.
36: Fortunately, Destini and Stephen were feeling well enough to explore and take pictures. | So after sitting down for a bit I was not feeling any better. I walked up to Destini to see how she was doing and after asking, "hey are you ok?" I immediately started vomiting.
41: Stephen and Destini hiked up to the amazing ash pit and Brandy and I stayed behind and rested. So jealous!
42: This was our switchback laden path to the summit for day 7. | We set off hiking in the early morning to arrive at the peak for sunrise. | I hadn't been able to hold food or water down since the previous day, so this last 80 minute stretch was pretty tough. I stopped looking up at the path ahead and just focused on one step at a time. | This was the only part of the trip that Max the porter, who carried our portable hyperbaric chamber and other emergency equipment, hiked alongside us.
43: We made it! 19.340 feet
44: Shadow of Kili