February 14 - Velentine Treats to Start the Day

Listen to Audio of Wally's Call (.wav)

Hey it’s Valentine’s Day in Africa and I’m calling you from over 15,000 feet (4572m).  It’s very windy up here today.  We’ve left Lava Tower Camp and we are beginning our traverse to what will be our support camp for the summit attempts that will be taking place.

Colleen - The stretching coachMichael Boni had left some words of wisdom with this group during a meeting they had before they left Vancouver.  He told them about some items that may be useful for their trip.  One of them was a long lasting sucker.  Steven came around this morning and he handed out beautiful heart shaped Valentine’s Day suckers, so that was a good start to our day.

We are going to be reporting to you today as we move along.  Our day started with everyone checking in with Leila and Doc at the little medical check table at breakfast.  They had their pulse-ox read and reported how their night went.  Now we are moving along the trail, our big long line of guides, porters and BCACL climbers.  The summit is above us in the mist, along with the wind we have a lot of clouds today.  The group is doing well and we’ll report to you as we move along towards our next camp and closer to the summit of Kilimanjaro

Sheena and Cher

February 14 - 2nd Dispatch: Team Continue to Progress up the Mountain

Listen to Audio of Wally's Call (.wav)

It’s still Valentine’s Day.  John, from Star TV, and I are here together on top of a ridge, he’s filming the group as they walk by.  I am happy to report that the wind has died down.  It was really quite hectic around camp this morning as we prepared to leave with the strong wind gusts.

Matthew and GuideIn one of the transmissions that got dropped from the satellite phone earlier in the trip I had tried to tell you that on our first morning Colleen lead the group in stretching class down at one of the lower camps.  It was a funny morning, a group of climbers from Seattle, Portland and Chicago came over and joined our big group for Colleen’s stretching class and became our friends.  Those guys have moved ahead since and I have to say our stretching classes don’t happen anymore in the high winds and the higher altitude.

But as I said the wind has improved.  Sheena and Cher just came by, they’re looking tired and their moving slowly but they told me their guide was doing a great job at helping them out.  Here comes Heather and Matthew.  Matthew has been looking great!  He had some difficultly the first days on the trail with his balance.  He’s gotten better as the trails have gotten harder, he’s amazing, it’s remarkable to see how well he’s moving.

Heather with her beautiful African beaded hairdo

I’ll also mention that Sheena, Cher and Heather are three of the girls who got those beautiful, African, braided hairdos way back in Arusha which seems like a long time ago now.  Their smiles are beautiful here on the mountain and I think their hairdos are actually quite appropriate for living up here.  We’re doing great as we move along.  This is a long day and a big day but our traverse around the mountain continues to go well.

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