Climing Kilimanjaro - Day 5

Trip Start Nov 27, 2009
Trip End Dec 18, 2009

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Kibo and Horombo Huts

Flag of Tanzania  ,
Monday, December 7, 2009

Day 5:

This is it, time to go to the top. This required climbing from Kibo Huts to Gilman’s Point (5681m) and then too Uhuru Peak (5895m) with a total gain 1195m. What was pretty cool though is waking up and seeing the ground covered under a thin layer of snow which had fallen over the night and covered not only the area around Kibo Huts but also right up the mountain cover the path up to Gilman’s and right down into The Saddle. Now this is the part of the climb when things really start getting tough and really requiring a lot of physical and mental effort. Now I know that I’m not the fittest person in the world, but if you really want this anyone could make it, also the pace that the porter and guides set up this part really helps a lot with this. Either way this part is tough and the snow doesn’t really help that much. After much zigzagging our way up the mountain and slowing watching the moon and stars moving across the sky and then looking down and seeing all the snow down in the saddle. Then looking to the right of the saddle and seeing the lights of Tanzania and then to the left there is the lights of Kenya is something that you don’t see every day. But after many hrs of climbing we finally made it to the Gilman’s just as the sun was rising over Mawenzi Peak at 6:30am with 27 of the 39 that started the mountain make it. Not to mention the amazing views that we got from Gilman's Point.

However there was still another 2hrs to get to Uhuru Peak. This 2hrs over 2km (1km/hr ) was a long and slow process manly due to the fact that there is now only half the amount of air that
there usually is at sea level. not to mention the large amounts of snow that had fallen, Bernie was saying that if he wasn't there Filex would of actually said no to continuing up to Uhuru Peak because of the large amounts of snow can make things quite slippery when things start to melt. But then up over the next small hill after much stopping and starting from felling just downright crap, we has the first sighting of the sign that marks the top. Standing at this point is defiantly something that you don’t all that often, knowing that at the point in time (8:36am) you are the highest person in the entire continent of Africa. And then began our journey back down to Kibo Huts, which absolutely killed my knees. Not getting back to Kibo until 1pm. That’s 14hrs of none stop walking up and down the mountain and there was more to come in that same day.

After finally getting back down to the Kibo Huts we had 2hr rest before starting again all the way back to Horombo Huts, not getting there till 6pm making it a total of 30hr from waking up at the Horombo Huts on Day 4 to getting back to Horombo Huts the next night, with only 4hrs of sleep between that. Boy did we sleep well that night...
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