Wednesday, April 20, 2016

500 Days Till Summit Day

On September 2, 2017, Wil and I will summit Mt. Kilimanjaro. That's 500 days away. Between now and then we have a lot of training, planning, packing, training, flying, fretting, training, repacking, shopping, and training to do. And we should do some training. And then there's the climbing...

We'll be joining our friend Jenny Hadfield on this adventure ... along with some other friends we met trekking the Inca Trail. In the months to come we'll be talking about this trip in more detail, but here's the itinerary for the main part of our trip:

Day 1 (August 26): Arrive at Kilimanjaro airport and transfer to the hotel in Moshi, where we'll spend the night.

Day 2 (August 27): Rest day in Moshi, and we'll need our guides. I'm hoping we'll go into the Moshi town center as well.

Day 3 (August 28): This is when stuff gets REAL. We'll have breakfast at the hotel, and then we're off, starting our 3-4 hour climb in the village of Nalu Moru (1,950m). Fingers crossed we'll spot wildlife -- colobus monkeys!!! -- as we climb through forest. Tonight we'll camp at 2,600m with views over the Kenyan plains. 

Day 4 (August 29): In the morning we'll climb steadily to the Second Cave (3,450m) with views of Kibo. After lunch we'll head toward Mawenzi, camping in a valley near Kikelewa Caves (3,600m). We'll be walking, in total, 6-7 hours.

Day 5 (August 30): Today we'll spend 4-5 hours walking, mainly to get acclimatized to the altitude. So we'll either walk to gain altitude and return to the same camp to sleep, or hike to the Mawenzi Tarn Hut (and spend 2 nights there instead). 

Day 6 (August 31): If we didn't hike up to Mawenzi Tarn, we'll make that short but steep climb today.  If we already did, we'll explore the area to get more acclimatized. Only 3-4 hours walking. 

Day 7 (September 1): Today we'll spend 4-5 hours crossing the "saddle" between Mawenzi and Kibo to reach the Kibo Campsite (4,695m) at the bottom of the Kibo crater wall. We'll then relax for the rest of the day to prepare for our final ascent. 

Day 8 (September 2): SUMMIT DAY!!! Wake at midnight to a light breakfast, then start climbing at 1am. We'll switchback up steep scree -- possibly snow? -- to reach Gilman's Point on the crater rim at 5,861m between 5 and 7am. Two more hours of hiking along the rim will take us to the true summit, Uhuru Peak, by 9am. This is what we came for!

Then we'll descend back to the Kibo Huts to have lunch, collect our things, and then re-cross down to the Horombo Huts for dinner and sleep... zzzz.... This is, obviously, the longest day -- 10-12 hours of walking.

Day 9 (September 3): Down, down, down we'll go, through moorland to Mandala Hut (2,700m), and then all the way to the National Park Gate at Marangu (1,830m) which we should reach after 6 or 7 hours at around 2 or 3pm. We'll then be driven back to our hotel in Moshi for a well-deserved celebration and more rest. 

After all that excitement, on the day 10 we'll be heading out on a 7-day safari ... so exciting!!!

Fancy joining us for this adventure? Read all about it on Coach Jenny Hadfield's site!

1 comment:

  1. No thanks, Sunny & Wil, the thought of it just petrifies me and my knees wouldn't stand it. Dad.