On Saturday I will start my climb up the highest freestanding mountain in the world and tallest in Africa at 5,895 metres, Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Six days and 5 nights of the ultimate hill workout.
Have I ever climbed a mountain before? Nope. Did I want to a week ago? Nope. Have I been training for this my whole life? Nope. Am I glad I bought a pair of 15,000TSH hiking boots? You better believe it.
I'm taking the Machame Route with Arunga Expeditition & Safaris Ltd. (http://www.aruexpedition.com/) and here's the itinerary:
Day 1 (March 19th): Arusha - Machame Gate - Machame Camp:
After breakfast leave the lodge/hotel drive for 1 hour to Machame gate. Finish the formalities and start the hiking through the rain forest to Machame camp (3000m) in about 6 hours and overnight.
Day 2: Machame Camp - Shira Camp:
Breakfast. The hike begins through the forest, crosstie valley along the steep bridge going into the rock ridges and through heather. The route turns west into a river gorge, reaching Shire camp (3800m) in about 6 hours. All meals and overnight.
Day 3: Shira Camp - Baranco Camp:
Breakfast. Continue with the hiking east towards Kibo passing the junction, then east towards the Lava Tower. Shortly after this you climb down to Baranco Camp (3940m) in 4-5 hours. All meals and overnight.
Day 4: Baranco Camp - Barafu Camp:
Breakfast. Continue with the hiking through the steep rocky Baranco walls, then up and down until you come to Karanga valley. Then to Barafu camp (4600m) in about 6-7 hours. All meals and overnight.
Day 5: Barafu Camp - Uhuru Peak - Mweka Camp:
Very early breakfast, then start for the summit at 1:00am first to Stella point and then to Uhuru peak (5895m). It is recommended to take a few minutes for photos and then descend to Mweka camp for dinner and overnight.
Day 6: Mweka Camp - Mweka Gate - Moshi/Arusha:
Breakfast then descend down to Mweka gate for 3-4 hours. Collect your diploma if you make it to the summit then transfer back to Arusha in 2 hours or Moshi in 30 minutes.
The stories that I will have from this climb will definitely not be as cut and dry and straightforward as that itinerary. I'm planning on taking some notes while I'm up there and posting the censored versions here on my blog. And plenty of photos too.
I'll be MIA for about a week, so here's your chance to catch up on old blog posts that you may have missed since the beginning of January.
Baadaye for now.