One foot in front of the other all the way to Uhuru Peak (and down)
Day 6: Karanga Camp (3,935m/13,106ft) to Barafu Camp (4,650m/15,331ft)
The next two days are going to blend, in 36 hours we will have added over 6K feet in altitude to reach Kilimanjaro summit/Uhuru Peak and descend another 6-7K feet. All of this will be done with maybe 3-4 hours sleep.
Day Four: Shira Two camp (3,810m/12,500ft) to Baranco Hut (3,950m/13,106ft)
“Day four! Half way done”. This is the first line in my notebook that I wrote in my tent knackered after quite a day climbing to Lava Tower. And on the Kilimanjaro tour company website, it’s described as the “last of the ‘easy days’”. Easy days?!
Despite the claims of an ‘easy day’ it was going to be one of the longest days and the peak altitude would take us above 14K feet for the first time. With the landscape changing the paths widened as well and we found ourselves less single-file.
An update from the trails of Nepal, currently resting at Lobuche (4910M) after a days hike from Dingboche (4410M) before we push for Base Camp tomorrow!
Last update was on Day Four (of hiking). Here’s a recap of Day Five to Eight (today).
This was a relatively short day and minimum height gain, from Tengboche (3860M) to Pangboche (3930M). The scenery as ever was stunning, the photos on Instagram and FB demonstrate that. A big part of this trip is giving back to Nepal after it suffered not only directly from the earthquake last year but also in a shortage of tourism. Although not a result of the earthquake we did come to a bridge that had collapsed due to a previous landslide. The Nepalese ability in these circumstances to deal with it is very evident as they have done a great rebuilding job in affected areas.
We arrived early afternoon in time for lunch, which was served in a suntrap of a room on the (British) first floor (That’s the American second if you’re keeping up). Everyone was enjoying relaxing when a large group of German hikers arrived, they came with only a local guide and not an international guide. About 10-15 minutes after they arrived it was noticed they were ALL coughing. In an effort not to catch their lurgy we retreated to our rooms and had dinner served there. Not before Nick made the call to move to another tea house down the road for the night. A slightly eventful evening.
Day Six and Seven
We had two nights in the same location here – Dingboche (4410M). We used these days for acclimatisation, the first day a small group of us hiked up a little bit to a religious monument with great views over the valley which we would be walking through on Day Eight.
Day Seven the whole group took a big hike up a hill to between 4900M and 5000M for acclimatisation (since tonight, Day Eight, we’re sleeping at 4900). This was one of the toughest parts of the trip for me and after coming down I was very tired.
Here we are, the eve of Basecamp. It’s been a great day for photography, I’ve just been sat in my room in bed (sun up, really warm; sun down, super cold) flicking through the photos and typing this. We’re at Lobuche (4900M), I’m feeling OK at the moment so I think however hard yesterday was it’s helped me today.
We trekked through a rocky desert terrain this morning to our lunch spot (tuna pasta) making great time. After lunch we continued our hike up the glacial valley, pausing for some minutes part way as we came to a memorial ground for people who have died on Everest. As I put my bag down to wander around a local sherpa said “this is a sad place”, and I think everyone found it quite sombering. After this stop we crossed over the glacier and up to this small village of tea houses. We’re staying in the Eco Lodge, the Nepalese do quite a good job of harnessing the natural fuels available to them – solar, hydro, though not for any apparent commercial benefits. It’s very comfortable though a small luxury missing is WiFi in the rooms – a hugely minor complaint given we’re at nearly 5000M! It puts in perspective how amazing technology is given I’m even referencing it though.
Tomorrow we have breakfast at 6.30AM then hike to Gorak Shep (5140M) which will be our base for tomorrow night, have lunch and then continue onto Base Camp (5364M) before coming back down to Gorak Shep. The following day we push for the summit! Well, the summit of Kala Pattar (5550M) – the idea is to catch the sunrise since it’s supposed to offer better views than Base Camp. After that we’re back to Lobuche as we start our descent. Expect photos sometime over the next two days and then another update here around the 23rd or 24th.