Saturday, June 14, 2008

African Adventure: Kilimanjaro Trek Day 3 (April 2)

Day 4

Its the end of Day 4. We covered 10.9km, started at about 4000m and finished at 4900m in a marathon 8hr and 40 min hike. This was by far the hardest day, but for me by far the most fun. I just can't describe the different aspects of today: we climbed a wall, walked through valleys, then ended with a steep ascent up a scree field. For Gena it was a hell day and the biggest physical challenge of her life, but she triumphed. Aaron woke up with a severe headache, a symptom of altitude but was fine after taking some advil and I seemed to be OK with just a slight headache.

We arrived at the last nights camp spot surrounded by clouds and had no idea what the surrounding terrain looked like. As usual however, it cleared over night and we awoke to breathtaking and spectacular vistas. Right above us towered the snow covered peaks and below us we could see the town of Moshi through the clouds. It was truly incredible. Gena often asks me "WHY?", the view and hiking through such a place is the answer I tell her.

I think we have all acclimatized very well to the altitude. None of us has lost our appetite, and we all sleep quite well, although Aaron has been cold.

So here we are at 4900m (16100 feet) and its getting dark. After I send this e-mail, I have to sleep as tomorrow we attempt the summit. Our guide will wake us at 12.15am, we will have some tea and biscuits, then begin the 6hr hike to the snow covered summit. It will be freezing cold with wind chills down to minus 25 C. We should arrive by about 6 am to see the sunrise and will be able to stay on the summit for only a short time, hopefully long enough to send another e-mail.

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