Thursday, October 16, 2014

Kilimanjaro Challenge 2014. Further up the mountain



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:
 http://www.stvincentschool.org.za/


It looks as if this might be my "retirement" occupation.
"D.B hair cutting salon".
I was told by our guide that the cross on the wall is there
because the building is too close to the road and needs to be moved.
If that is correct, then almost every building will have to be demolished.


Most of the motorbikes I saw were brand names I had never heard of.
But the majority of owners take extremely good care of their vehicles,
as it is possibly there only source of income.


Can't be more specific that this...
I must add that there were also "regular" facilities AND two bathrooms


A roadside workshop.
One of many that I saw


Setting off from Rongai Gate.
It was VERY dry and dusty,
the board was almost undecipherable as it was covered in dust


Our first overnight stop...
Simba Camp at 2625m and the walk took us 3.5 hours to get here
The hot water came in useful for removing the dust that seemed to have infiltrated everywhere.
Manase, our "waiter" brought us hot water to wash in every day.
But, Wet Wipes do the job just as well...cleaning out the "bits" that you don't want to expose to the cold.


The baseball cap and Buff were worn on a daily basis.
My travelling companions were in my back pack every step of the way.
Both made it to the summit but refused to come out for photographs as it was too cold


I used these poles and boots in 2006 and they served me well on this trip as well.
I discovered that the poles were less useful on the climb,
but VERY useful when I came off the summit.
The Hi-Tec boots were made in China
and fared better than the current ones that the rest of the team were wearing.
Those are being made in Indonesia.


Fine dining, mountain style.
Please note the candle that is being supported by a potato.
Albert, the cook worked magic in his kitchen to provide us with a variety of healthy meals.



Table for one?
Nope, just me testing my camera remote control


PLENTY of carbs...I don't care what is being said about "that" Banting diet,
you need carbs for energy.
Vegetables with every meal.
In 2006, the main ingredient was green peppers,
this trip it was the same...


This is Tumine, who carried my bag the entire week.
And always with a smile on his face, despite being loaded with 20kgs.


One of many mountain "selfies"...


The mattresses supplied by Wild Frontiers on this trip were thicker than in 2006.
I was unaware of that, hence the extra air mattress for each team member.
I was able to blow it up within seven breathes at every camp.
And it folds away into a small bag and weighs next to nothing.


This mini Maglight Pro + was extremely useful.
It can be used in bright or dimmed  mode.
The lens cover can be used as a stand to keep the torch upright if you want to stand it on a table.
I used it in my tent every night and hanging off a lanyard from the roof it lit the entire space perfectly.


Toilet paper is a trade-able commodity on the mountain.
ALWAYS have a roll on hand.
After my experiences with the KLDT( Kilimanjaro Long Drop Toilets) in 2006,
I had organised that the team had a private chemical toilet.
There have been some toilet improvements, most notably at Kibo Hut and Mandara.Hut.
But these are still squatting toilets with nowhere to hold onto.
The extra cost is WELL worth it!


A tent with a view...


I would put this product on a pedestal
and give it an award for the most useful item I took with me.
It can be used for liquids of ALL sorts!
It solved my dilemma of having to get dressed to go to the toilet in the middle of the night.


It was raining in my tent...
Not pouring, but there were a couple leaks that I quickly repaired.


2nd Cave Camp...where it poured with rain.
Luckily we were already in camp and in our tents...
But it did cause me to miss afternoon tea.

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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