Friday, October 17, 2014

Kilimanjaro Challenge, 2014. And, just like that, our adventure is over

On 10 October 2014 the team stood at Uhuru Peak,
 raising awareness for this school and the work they do.
Educating the deaf started in King William's Town (Eastern Cape) in 1888.
The Congregation of the Dominican Sisters of St Catherine of Siena
 moved their school to a property in Melrose, Johannesburg called "The Haven"
The school was named after St Vincent Ferrer, a 14th century Dominican preacher,
renowned for restoring hearing to the deaf.
The school has been educating deaf children for the past 75 years.
To find out more about the school,
visit their website:

On the way back to the Park Gate

One last backward look at the mountain

There was still plenty of ice on the path were walking on.

Known as "Old mans beard", this moss can be found throughout the lower slopes

We reach the gate...
Bianca and me

Our team of porters.
Many of whom we never got to interact with.


From L to R:
Tumine, who carried my bag up and down the mountain...and with a smile.
Filbert, who set up and cleaned our toilet daily.
Gilbert, who made certain that our tents were pitched and bags stowed at every camp
Manase, who made sure that we had water to drink, wash with AND that we ate.
And finally...
Albert, our cook. He produced magic from his kitchen and onto our plates.
Asante sana to you all.

This is the song that every group of porters and guides sings once a climb is completed.

Edita Mboya, our Wild Frontiers contact at Key's Hotel. Moshi.
Many thanks for all that you did for the team.

Award time...
The envelope please...

Gold certificates for all.
To quote Winners:
"We stand proudly as we are counted amongst the people 
who stepped on the highest point of Africa. Kilimanjaro".
And Bianca contributed the following:
"I made it! The past week has been a journey that I am still processing.
It started with an idea from David in January this year and 2 days ago it became a reality. 
The 7,5 hour summit was the toughest hours physically and mentally that I have ever endured. The cold was beyond excruciating but we all pushed through. Thank you to our 2 amazing guides especially Isaac. Thank you to my team mates David, Winners and Terence. 
It was an honour sharing this journey with you. David thank you for saying "we leave no one behind" and for picking me up at times an giving me a push over the rocks when needed. 
I admire you for climbing again knowing what was in store. 
And let's not forget your age - you are amazing.
Many thanks Bianca...

Back at the airport...
Time to head home and back to reality

Kilimanjaro International Airport...
from the other side.

Time to head south.

A "smoking" lounge

Most airport departure areas are not the most comfortable.
This was no exception.

A final view of the mountain.

Johannesburg at 22h00.

And my suitcase pops out of the chute.
Now the trip is over.

This is the itinerary for the October, 2014 Challenge...

The Rongai Route
Sunday 05 October 2014  
After an early breakfast, a senior guide will conduct your climb briefing.   
You will then be driven to Rongai Gate, where you will meet the rest of your guides and porters. 
 After the formalities at the gate have been completed, begin your ascent to the first cave en route. 
 The climb should take approximately 2 to 3 hours.  
This part takes you through the cultivated area of the mountain, 
where you can see how local farmers tend to their lands on the slopes.  
Overnight at Simba Camp (1,800m).
Monday 06 October 2014  
Early in the morning, begin trekking out past the second cave, and on to the third cave.  
This should take you approximately 6 to 7 hours.  
The climb today is relatively difficult, taking you through forest and well into the moorland.  
Overnight at Kikelelwa Camp (3,800m).

Tuesday 07 October 2014  
This is an acclimatization day - you will hike further up the mountain, 
then return to third cave for overnight.

Wednesday 08 October 2014  
Continue ascending to Mawenzi Tam Hut, which should take approximately 7 hours to get to.  Overnight camping at Mawenzi Tam Hut (4,330m).
Thursday 09 October 2014  
Depart to Kibo Hut, which should take you approximately 4 to 5 hours.  
Settle down for an early night camping at Kibo Hut (4,703m). 

Friday 10 October 2014: 
Summit Day!!   
Today you will be heading for the highest point in Africa - Uhuru Peak (5,895m).  
You will be woken around midnight to commence the 5 hour hike,
 on heavy scree up to Gillman's Point (5,686m).  
You will be walking in the dark as the ground is frozen and this makes it easier to ascend this steep section.
 As you reach the Crater Rim, the sun should be rising to display Africa in all its glory beneath you.  
The views are spectacular and it makes the entire journey worth every step!
Continue another 1 or 2 hours to Uhuru Peak, along the wide paths of the crater rim, peering down onto massive glaciers shining in the morning sun. 
Arriving at Uhuru can be quite emotional, with the strain of the summit finally behind you and Africa surrounding you! 

After a few photographs at the summit, begin your steady descent to Kibo Hut for a rest and some nourishment, then continue to Horombo Hut to camp for overnight.

Saturday 11 October 2014  
After breakfast, descend to Marangu Gate.  
You will be transferred to Keys Hotel for a well-needed shower and an evening of celebration. 
 Overnight at Keys Hotel 
Sunday 12 October 2014  
Your tour ends today after breakfast and you will be transferred from Keys Hotel to Kilimanjaro Airport.


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