February 16 Team Reaches Stella Point at 19,000 Feet
The entire group, all 41 of us, have left between 8:20am and 9:00am as we always do in small groups moving at their own pace within the support of the larger group. At 7:30am I spoke with Doc on the radio and he reported that Sheena, Cherry and he are all fine down at Millennium Camp.
We slept very well last night considering our new elevation but between 1:00am and 2:00am the climbers who were climbing through the night trying to reach the summit early this morning from Barafu Camp far below us began walking through our camp and of course we heard them talking and walking by. It kept us awake but it was also a good feeling knowing we were not going to be climbing through the night to the top.
Also as we started out this morning we are already seeing other teams descend, those that came down early around 6:00am to 8:00am had to turn back because they did not make it. They look tired and disappointed. Then beginning at around 9:00am we started seeing people from other team who had been all the way to Uhuru. They also look tired but of course they are proud of their accomplishment.
We are working slowly to Stella Point first at 19,000 feet (5791m) to see how we do today and, of course, to establish our crater camp on top of Kilimanjaro in the Crater itself. One thing we are starting to find out is that we are famous to everybody on the mountain both Berg Adventures and BCACL and every member of this team. Everyone knows who we are; we’ve been the talk of the mountain. Everyone gives us high fives especially with the porters and guides from the other teams. People will call me by name that I don’t remember ever meeting before and everybody is proud of Berg Adventures and admiring us for what we are doing.
Also yesterday as Brock went over the Baranco Wall, at the Baranco Camp which is across the valley with a good view of the wall, Brock’s team got to look back down and across at the entire camp who were outside of their tents cheering for every step of the Baranco Wall that Brock’s team advanced. It was really a heart warming and an encouraging sight for them to have. All these people from around the world were out yelling and cheering them on and of course taking photographs as they went over the Baranco Wall.
At 13:15 or 1:15pm Ray Hunter and Jan Mareels with their guide Damian reached Stella Point. Just so you’ll know I’m now here at Stella Point and it took me about 4 hours to get up here. From Stella Point I can see our Crater Camp being established across the crater and I can see that sign up on Uhuru. Uhuru Point is still a mile away and a few hundred feet higher.
Now it’s 14:05 or 2:05pm and Don Fraser, Tony Cuglietta, D’Alquen Jackson and David Palmer arrived at Stella Point with their guides. They have looked across the crater over to the Crater Camp and decided to move over to there and climb to Uhuru Peak tomorrow morning. As you can imagine many of the team members have been reaching Stella Point over the course of the day and I will keep you posted as we continue over to our Crater Camp.
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