Day 8: Arusha to Ngorongoro Crater #kilimanjaro #africa #tanzania #lemosho #serengeti

Sun, Feb 8

8th– Arusha ->Serengeti (B, L, D)

Satellite Track My Journey

Wake up very early at 6:00am Leave the city behind and start a long journey towards Ngorongoro Conservation area, it is time for the World Heritage Site – Ngorongoro Crater.  You will descend into the caldera floor that represents 260 km2 of paradise on earth. The game drive aims to satisfy your senses and complete your wildlife safaris for this time After full day of game drive, transferred to Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge for dinner and overnight stay – r o o t e d .

Ngorongoro Crater

Ngorongoro Crater

As you know, there is minimal wifi on the mountain, so this post is posted on the proposed date of the climb (as well as subsequent posts).  I will have an update below for when we return with added tidbits.

Images above are from Google Images

**Update to go below**

Feb 8
Camping in the crater was one of the toughest nights out camping. Staying overnight at 18,000 ft definitely can inflict some altitude sickness upon you. We had moderate headaches all throughout the night. Every movement from taking out our sleeping bags, to rolling overdid dinner, to just getting changed made us out of breath SpO2 was 74%.  After getting thru the night, we made about a one hour fast descent down to Barafu hut. Our appetites didn’t quite recover and neither did our headaches. Still we headed down to the High but where we finally got rid of our headaches and kept going beyond the Mweka hut onto our final destination of the Mweka gate. Our knees were completely shot. The downhill mileage was really a lot for one day. We took pics with our team and headed into Moshi to stop them off. Now we’re headed to Arusha where we will embark on our next journey with a safari tour!

Day 7: Lemosho route to Arusha #kilimanjaro #africa #tanzania #lemosho

Sat, Feb 7

7th–Mweka Gate -> Arusha (B)

Satellite Track My Journey

Day 6: Mweka camp (3100 m) – Mweka Gate (1980 m). Hiking time: 3 hours

Your Kilimanjaro experience ends at Mweka gate. Thank the people who made it all possible and say ‘fare well’ (for this time) to newly found mountaineer friends. Sign out of the national park with your certificate before heading to Arusha for the best shower of your life at Karama lodge & Spa – u p l i f t e d .

http://www.teamkilimanjaro.com/tipping.html

http://www.climbmountkilimanjaro.com/on-the-mountain/tipping/

Lemosho Route Little used and more remote than other routes. The route is one of the few where groups may be accompanied on the first day by an armed ranger, as the forests around the Lemosho Glades are rich in buffalo, elephant and other big game animals.

  • Day 1: Londorossi Gate (2100 m) – Mti Mkubwa camp (2750 m). Hiking time: 3 hours
  • Day 2: Mti Mkubwa camp (2750 m) – Shira 2 camp (3840 m). Hiking time: 6/7 hours
  • Day 3: Shira (3840m) – Lava Tower (4630m) – Barranco camp (3950m). Hiking time: 7 hours
  • Day 4: Barranco camp (3950 m) – Barafu camp (4550 m). Hiking time: 7 hours
  • Day 5: Barafu camp (4550 m) – Uhuru Peak (5895 m) – Mweka (3100 m). Hiking time: 8 hours to reach Uhuru Peak 7/8 hours to descend to Mweka
  • Day 6: Mweka camp (3100 m) – Mweka Gate (1980 m). Hiking time: 3 hours

‘ A variation on the Lemosho Route inserts two extra days in the itinerary for acclimatization and also to avoid having to climb up to the summit in the dark.

  • Day 4: Barranco (3950 m) to Karranga Valley (4000 m). Hiking Time 4 hours. This segment takes you up the infamous ‘Barranco Wall.’
  • Day 5: Karranga Valley (4000 m) to Barafu camp (4550 m). Hiking Time 3 hours
  • Day 6: Barafu camp (4550 m) – Uhuru Peak (5895 m) – Crater Camp (5640m). Hiking Time about 8 hours
  • Day 7: Crater Camp (5640 m) – Mweka (3100 m). Hiking time: 7/8 hours to descend.

Karama Lodge & Spa

As you know, there is minimal wifi on the mountain, so this post is posted on the proposed date of the climb (as well as subsequent posts).  I will have an update below for when we return with added tidbits.

Images above are from Google Images

**Update to go below**

Feb 7
Today we made the long treacherous most difficult ascent to Uhuru Peak. Don’t let anyone tell you this trail is easy. Loose rock,gravel, and sand  quickly want to swallow your feet at every step.  That is what welcomes you from Barafu base camp to Uhuru peak. We started our journey at around 9am where most other companies started theirs at midnight in the dark. I can’t imagine doing this steep ascent in the dark. We started a little later because we wanted to camp in the crater.  We finally reached Stella Point where there’s the start of a beautiful view of a glacier.  After addition of extra layers, we slowly made a more gradual ascent to Uhuru peak. I was definitely having a mild headache despite taking diamox 250mg Po bid and drinking plenty of water with electrolyte solution (and having to pee every 2-3 hours!).  There are some beautiful glaciers to appreciate on the way from Stella Pt to Uhuru peak. Sadly, they’re slowly receding. On the way up I kept thinking about that poem “The Road Less Traveled”by Robert Frost. The only part I could remember was: Two roads diverged in a yellow wood and I, I took the road less traveled and that has made all the difference.” At the same time I was reflecting on my own life and decisions I had made. I’m incredibly lucky to be where I am today and to have the most amazing support.  I want to continue traveling that road less travelled.
Once we reached Uhuru Peak it was such a joyous and bittersweet occasion. A long and arduous journey with an amazing reward for our efforts. We were at the Roof of Africa and truly taking in all its splendor. I couldn’t have been more proud of our team who helped us reach this magnificent peak. Every step brings you closer to your goal. Pole, pole = slow, slow in Swahili. The Tanzanian people are incredibly gracious and showed us such great hospitality. Their kind souls and sense of community are easily evident the first day you meet them. Hakuna matata!!!  After we reached the peak, we headed down to camp in the crater. There was quite a bit of snow all around so we got down quickly by sliding on our butts on the snow. It was actually quite fun!

Day 6: Lemosho route #kilimanjaro #tanzania #africa #lemosho

Fri, Feb 6

5th–Mweka Camp (B, L, D)

Satellite Track My Journey

Day 5: Barafu camp (4550 m) – Uhuru Peak (5895 m) – Mweka (3100 m). Hiking time: 8 hours to reach Uhuru Peak 7/8 hours to descend to Mweka

It is as if all the tiredness disappeared once you reached the peak. Feel proud, think of loved ones, print memories of a lifetime in your head and on your memory card. Descent route leads back to Barafu camp, where you have a rest, before continuing all the way to Mweka Camp. Your lungs will welcome every breath of air, rich in oxygen, and you will start to realize what achievements you have been through – a c c o m p l i s h ed.

Barafu Hut on Descent

As you know, there is minimal wifi on the mountain, so this post is posted on the proposed date of the climb (as well as subsequent posts).  I will have an update below for when we return with added tidbits.

Images above are from Google Images

**Update to go below**

Feb 6
Woke up this morning at 8am. I slept horribly and B had a headache. It got better as we got things ready and headed from Barranco camp to tackle the Barranco Wall. This has been the best part of the trail so far!  It was steep but had a nice combo of climbing as well!! We passed thru the semi-desert area and steep descent into Karanga Valley before having lunch at Karanga camp. After lunch we headed up the slow steep ascent that seemed neverending towards Barafu Hut where we stay the night. Most of the other companies start heading up to Uhuru peak (aka summit) at midnight. We get up at 7a and hit the road by 8:30am to hit Uhuru peak (Uhuru means freedom in Swahili).  It’s supposed to be a 6 hour ascent to the top.  Hopefully after we summit, we will head down to the crater rim for lunch and then head further to the crater floor to setup camp. I pray neither of us get sick. Tomorrow will be bittersweet.

Day 5: Lemosho route #kilimanjaro #africa #tanzania #lemosho

Thurs, Feb 5

5th– Barafu Camp (B, L, D)

Satellite Track My Journey

Karanga camp offered you a great interval and it is time to approach the Barafu summit camp.

Karanga Camp

The trek is relatively short,allowing you to rest and eat at the campsite while preparing yourself mentally for the pending task. Make sure you eat and drink properly – p r e p a r e d . Summit night –Uhuru Peak.  All the research, planning, booking, imagining, excitement and training will climax in your attempt for the Uhuru Peak summit. You will need all your mental and physical abilities for the steep ascent to the ‘roof of Africa’. Boost your energy level from the stars. Let the moon shine your path. Feel connected to everything around you and instead of seeing the mountain as an obstacle, become one with it. The first rays of light will give you that extra push you need at Stella Point and the reward that waits at Uhuru Peak will not be disappointing, perhaps rather life changing – e l e v a t e d .

As you know, there is minimal wifi on the mountain, so this post is posted on the proposed date of the climb (as well as subsequent posts).  I will have an update below for when we return with added tidbits.

Images above are from Google Images

**Update to go below**

Feb 5
Woke up at 6 am again and saw the stunning view of the glaciers. It’s so incredible to see the sunrises and sunsets of the mountains. Nature never ceases to amaze me.  We hit the trail around 8:30a or 9am towards Lava Tower. The scenery changed from semi-desert to desert climate. The plants became fewer and fewer as we ascended 2000m. As vegetation went away, there was more of a rocky desolate surface. We hit Lava tower around 1:15p and had a nice snack there and then continued our way to Barranco camp. It is a steep initial descent with large and small rocks and ice. After the initial descent there was a 2000m gradual descent back into the semi-desert climate. Our knees took a beating today. We used our walking poles heavily and still had heavy quads and sore knees. Upon arriving to Barranco camp, we were greeted with a close up view of the glaciers and the Barranco wall (we’ll tackle that tomorrow).  Stunning. Today, the gear we needed: glove liners, fleece, shell, walking poles, sunhat, sunglasses, snacks. The stars here are incredibly beautiful in the darkness.

Day 4: Lemosho route #kilimanjaro #africa #tanzania #lemosho

Wed, Feb 4

4th– Barranco via Lava Tower (B, L, D)

Satellite Track My Journey

Day 3: Shira (3840m) – Lava Tower (4630m) – Barranco camp (3950m). Hiking time: 7 hours

Barranco Wall

This is one of the best days for acclimatizing, as you will trek high via Lava Tower and sleep low at Barranco hut. You will cover a great trekking distance in different, almost unreal sceneries. One of the highlights is the Senecio section before you reach Barranco camp. Make sure you hug one of these spectacular plants. Will you fell small? Maybe. Will you feel connected? Definitely! – h u m b l e d .

A great description from another person’s account.

As you know, there is minimal wifi on the mountain, so this post is posted on the proposed date of the climb (as well as subsequent posts).  I will have an update below for when we return with added tidbits.

Images above are from Google Images

**Update to go below**

Today we did a rather uncommon thing to make up time. We bypassed a typical stopping place to camp and trudged on to the next camp. We went from big tree camp to Shira 1 where we had a hot lunch. This was a pretty tough ascent… The 7 hills. My legs were pretty sore after this. After lunch, we went from Shira 1 to Shira 2. This was mostly flat and a kind gentle walk except til the end when there was a small ascent. Probably would’ve been no big deal for fresh legs, but I was ready to throw in the towel. Good gear to have for today: 3L water, warm weather hiking gear, sunscreen, hiking poles, snacks, Chapstick with SPF, sun hat. We were pretty shot by the time we got to Shira 2. Kudos to our chef who whips up the most amazing meals.

Day 3: Lemosho route #kilimanjaro #africa #tanzania #lemosho

Tues, Feb 3

3rd–Shira camp 2 (B, L, D)

Satellite Track My Journey

Today is a long trekking day that takes you from montane forest to the open spaces of Shira 2 camp. Let your body and mind adapt and find their natural rhythm in harmony with the spectacular surroundings – s y n c h r o n i z e d .

When you reach Shira Camp Kilimanjaro you will notice a small hill just above the camp. It is worth climbing this hill as you get a great view of the valley below as well as a panoramic perspective all the way out to Shira Camp 2. You will also see the high-alpine landscape that dominates day-3.

Shira Camp 2 is the first point at which you will have a full view of Uhuru Peak. A frightening and inspiring reminder of what is to come on day 3-6.

Day 3: Shira 1 (11,500ft) – Shira Camp 2 (12,500ft). Hiking time: ? hours

As you know, there is minimal wifi on the mountain, so this post is posted on the proposed date of the climb (as well as subsequent posts).  I will have an update below for when we return with added tidbits.

Images above are from Google Images

**Update to go below**

Feb 3, 2015
Left Stella Maris lodge and headed 2 hours to the Londorosi gate to check in for the Kilimanjaro hike. We went thru desert type environment which later changed over to a rainforest climate. After checking in at the Londorosi gate, we had to drive to the start of the Lemosho route. From there, it’s a 7km hike to the first camp Mti (big tree). It took us about 2 hours for the two mile trek thru rainforest. We saw some black and white carabas monkeys snacking in the tree. So far, this first leg has been fantastic! We’re at 7700 ft at this camp. No altitude sickness yet, but we’re on acetazolamide 125 bid.

IMG_9706

Day 2: Lemosho route #kilimanjaro #africa #tanzania #lemosho

Mon, Feb 2

2nd– Shira Camp 1 (B, L, D)

Satellite Track My Journey

Leave Mti Kubwa Camp towards Shira Camp 1.  Few things are as humbling as being passed by porters on a mountain hike so don’t forget to cheer on your porters who will set your tent, fetch water and prepare the equipment at the next campsite –i m p r e s s e d .

Day 2: Mti Mkubwa camp (2750 m) – Shira 2 camp (3840 m). Hiking time: 6/7 hours

Shira Camp 1 to Shira Camp 2

View of Kilimanjaro summit from Shira Camp

As you know, there is minimal wifi on the mountain, so this post is posted on the proposed date of the climb (as well as subsequent posts).  I will have an update below for when we return with added tidbits.

Images above are from Google Images

**Update to go below**

Feb 2: Bags still aren’t here. Spending the day close to Moshi in Stella Maris Lodge. Very cute and well organized hotel where the proceeds go to benefit the primary school on the grounds. Met our guide and driver, Mussa and Abu. Drive into Moshi town it was bustling with food markets! Went to the Materuni Waterfalls (http://www.tanzaniantrails.com/materuni-waterfalls.html)
Had social hours in huts with a special brew of millet and banana. The server takes first sip and then passes cup amongst friends. Stories are told. Lessons are learned and debated. Lastly, we toured a local coffee grower/brewer. It was the ultimate pour over coffee and all without a grinder! Fresh beans.. Skinned… Roasted… And brewed fresh. Tried local jack fruit! Delicious and sticky gooey. Mussa came to pick us up to take us to the airport and we met out assistant guide Abu. Thank goodness our bags arrived! We did a bag check and started packing our gear for the start of our Lemosho route!!