A Girl, A Guy and a Mountain Podcast
Summary: Come with us on our trip to Africa's highest mountain: Mount Kilimanjaro. Share the experience and become a member of our expedition. This is an (almost) uncut recording of our diary, covering the 8 day trip start to finish. There's a total of 21 episodes and weâ€™ll publish about one or two per week, as our travel schedule permits.
Concluding our adventure at mount Kilimanjaro, we set out to go on a week's long Safari. This episode was recording during a little break just before we left Moshi. Ruth talks about our recovery from the trip at the Springland hotel. A look at the fuel gage of our Landrover makes Chris wonder if the adventure is not over yet.
Down from the mountain (3h decent), after a short lunch at Barafu camp, we pressed on to Mweka camp. The actual decent from the peak was like sliding down a snow slope. Just that it was all ash and gravel. We reached the camp site late in the afternoon. A 4 hour walk led turned from slate, gravel and dust into a muddy rain forest trail. Ruth recaps the events of the previous ascent.
Our climbing party had to walk around the crater rim for another 90 minutes. Finally at the peak (5896m), Chris is ready for a blood transfusion. Ruth was struggling the last 30 minutes as well, as exhaustion was finally catching up with her. We reached the peak at dawn. As the sun was slowly climbing up in the west, the Moon was still up further in the east, just sinking down on the the massive glacier on top of Kibo. Our guides estimate that all ice will be gone within 5-7 years.
Reaching the crater rim at 4:30 AM was an overwhelming experience of accomplishment. Chris was not only totally exhausted, but also struck by emotions. You can actually hear Ruth cheering in the background, while you wonder if Chris will ever make it off the mountain. The walk up was a beautiful experience. Ruth had timed the trip so the final ascent would coincide with the full moon. We needed no flashlights, the moonlight was bright enough to light the trail. This was one of the many ascents of mount Kilimanjaro with no supplemental oxygen.
After a short walk, we arrived at the Barafu camp site (4600m). This is the last 'base camp' before the peak. About 80 tents are ducked to the ridge that leads up to stellar point. Arriving in the early afternoon gave us the opportunity to relax, enjoy the great view, across the Kibo saddle to Mawenzi (5149m). The walk up here led us along wide slate fields. Trails were covered with gravel, but easy to walk. The camp was equiped with brand new toilet houses. They have a concrete foundation with a 10cm (4 in.) in the ground. Not sure if anyone is able to aim that accurately, even on sea level...
This episode features Thomas, one of our guides. Somewhere between Karanga and Barafu, on a wide slat field. The landscape looking like Mars, we expected one of the NASA rovers turning around the next corner. Thomas talks a bit about his many times on the mountain and his favorite routes. As you can probably hear, the mood of our climbing party was very good. Weather that day was nice and sunny, albeit a bit windy. The flowers discussed are all featured in the blog section of this web site.