Starting on December 19th, my mom, my older sister (Lindsey), Keela, Audrey and I began our climb of Mount Kilimanjaro. The route we chose to take is the Shira 8-day route, which starts on the western side of the mountain and winds its way through some of the most beautiful rock formations and landscapes I have ever seen. Throughout the journey, I kept a journal (mainly so that hilarious events could never be forgotten). I've decided that instead of writing a novel (and I would put you all through that pain if I hadn't already written the journal) about the trek, that I would share with you some of my favorite quotes (and pictures) from each day of the climb. ENJOY!
"So, the rocks are cool"
"We crossed three rivers on the way to camp; mother's tiny little legs (and Lindsey's hiking poles) failed her at the third crossing so she got wet (and slightly mad)"
"I dub this camp, 'camp in the clouds'"
"Apparently, today is the end of the world. Thank god I'm surrounded by rocks."
Me enjoying a glacier valley
"Mother fell again today. Lindsey just laughed and took a picture"
"After rest time and lunch, we did an acclimation walk. It was pretty hard and tiring, but the view from the top of the cliff was wonderful. And the rocks were sweet."
Holy slate towers
"Theme of the day: wet and cold."
Lava Tower and sad Keela
"Our acclimation climb to 4,800 m today was rough; we had to cross at least three streams, had to walk over a myriad of fallen slippery rocks and had to traverse freshly fallen perfect for snowball making snow."
View of part of our acclimation hike
"Apparently all of my rain gear has failed me. I'm one really cold freaking mess of soaked clothing."
"I love bed tea"
"More rain and more wet clothes. Sleep will not come easy today; we start of final ascent to Uhuru Peak at 11 pm"
Day 7-Summit Day
The summit began at around 12 am on Dec 25. We climbed for about 6 hours by headlamp until the sun rose (the sun rose just as we reached the first bench mark of the climb- Stella Point). Oxygen levels at base camp were 75% what they are at sea level, and that level quickly dropped as we continued to climb. The going was pretty rough, both mentally and physically but despite a minor breakdown halfway through the final ascent I MADE IT TO THE TOP OF MOUNT KILIMANJARO!
"The night was clear, and the stars were magnificent. I on the other hand, was not feeling so magnificent."
Looks of exhaustion (and slight pain) at Stella Point
"By the time we reached Stella Point, I was literally about to cry"
Sunrise at Stell Point
Sipping our tea at Stella Point
"The glaciers were beautiful, the view was amazing and the rocks, I mean COME ON... it's a freaking volcano!"
Up above the clouds
I could not believe how cool the glaciers looked
"We took some classic pictures with the Uhuru Peak sign, and of course mother insisted on some santa hats"
Linds, Mama Deborah, our lead guide Henry and I
The entire group (all 14 members) made it to the top!
Audrey, Henry, Keela and I with the upside down Tanzanian Flag
"Could barely move my body this morning, and the thought of descending down the mountain for six more hours made me want to hold myself up inside my tent."
Porters, guides and the climbers
"It's only official once we get our golden certificates because, you know, pictures don't count or anything"
Enjoying a Kilimanjaro beer while waiting for our golden certificates
Holy Kilimanjaro that was fun. But I certainly won't be doing that again anytime soon.