Kilimanjaro Lemosho Route: Day 7

Previous entry.

Summit day. Team Kelele Kilele (noisy summit) awoke around 11 PM to get ready for our push to the summit. We left around midnight with a full moon overhead--while some people used headlamps, the terrain was clearly visible without one. The weather was cold but movement helped keep that from being too big an issue.

Leaving camp, we first scrambled over some rocky terrain before reaching the scree fields. The never-ending scree fields. We climbed the scree for hours and hours before finally reaching the end near sunrise. We had made it to Stella Point.

This left only Uhuru Peak (5,895 meters, 19,341 feet) left to finish our expedition up. A relatively short hike surrounded by beautiful glaciers brought us to our goal. While we were somewhat sad that only 11 of our 12 team members first made it, we were overjoyed to find our 12th member being helped up by our wonderful guides when we were on the way back to Stella Point. All of us made it to the top.

We went back to Barafu Camp for lunch and a short break before continuing on down the mountain. This went on for several more hours, passing through rocky terrain and alpine forests, until we stopped for the night over 18 hours after we began our summit push.

A long, hard day but well worth the effort. Our wonderful group worked together with our exceptional guide and support team to push through extreme adversity to summit success. Most of our group experienced at least some issues on the push to the top but perseverance paid off in the end. It was an experience I'm sure no one will forget, hopefully with the bright parts heavily overshadowing the unsavory bits.

Next entry.