Day: January 19, 2023

Kili Day 5: Barafu – Summit – Barafu – Millennium Camp

Our final ascent started at 00h30, in darkness, with us all lighting our way with headtorches. A snake of guides and hikers, among other snakes (other parties) all making their way up the mountain. We were already a good way up the mountain, which stands high above the surrounding land, and it was a clear night. There was an amazing view of the twinkling lights of Moshi way, way below us.

We continued in our snake for some time, walking polepole as instructed, but Coach Steve had an urgent call of nature and the group fragmented. I guess they didn’t want us all standing around in the cold (and it was pretty cold, though it didn’t penetrate my layers of insulation). Engr Anthony and I found ourselves with a guide who didn’t seem to have received the polepole briefing and we found ourselves asking him to give us time for breath. In the thin air, everytime I stumbled and gasped I had to wait and get my breathing back under control. The guide was helpful, carrying things like water bottles but we might have set a more realistic pace.

Talking of stumbling, i did quite a bit of that as in the limited light my depth perception was poor, and there was no shortage of odd rocks to trip over.

We weren’t quite at the top when the sun rose, but it was pretty spectacular.

It was pretty tough. As we neared the top I was getting confused (e.g. asking Nashon “where has Nashon gone?” and at Stella Point (where we met the rim I wanted to sit down but wasn’t allowed. We got some photos, but what happened thereafter is a bit of a blur until sometime later we were descending.

View into the crater.

Me at Stella Point

Me on the rim, more confused than usual.

Approaching the summit.

Uhuru Peak

Starting the descent

As you descend (in daylight) you get better views of the hill around you., if only you can stop to take a photo, and preferably not get your dayglo glove in the way.

Approaching Barafu Camp from above, our line of yellow/green tents in the middle.

Back at Barafu Camp we had time to relax, snack, pack etc. Some of the group were hours later getting down, and I think I might have enjoyed the experience more if we hadn’t rushed, but c’est la vie.

We were not allowed to stay another night at Barafu, so we had to hike down another 4km to Millennium Camp. On the way we passed the “Kilimanjaro Ambulances” used to evacuate stretcher cases. You’d need to be in a bad way to want top travel on one of those!

And so, to our last Camp, and a blissful night’s sleep.