Enjoying our moment at the top of the African continent.

February 17 – From the Summit of Kilimanjaro (19,340')

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

This is Wally Berg calling you from Berg Adventures International for the BCACL team from the top of Kilimanjaro, Uhuru or Freedom Point on the 17th of February.  Twenty-eight of us came up here this morning and we had two come up here yesterday and more importantly in the last 24 hours our team has spent its time on top of Kilimanjaro at Stella Point and at our Crater Camp which is at 18,700 feet.  We really have been on top of Kilimanjaro for almost 24 hours now.

This team has performed wonderfully; words can’t describe how proud I am of all of them.  This morning in the crater at our camp, Kim, Tanja, Darcy, Crystal and Trina decided to walk back up to Stella Point and down off of Kilimanjaro without the ascent all the way up to Uhuru.  The rest of us decided to go all the way up to the very top and now I’m pleased to say that slowly one by one and in small little groups I watched Rochelle, D’Alquen, Ron Berg, Steven Braak, Don Fraser, Marc Lawrence, David, Colleen, Ted, Eric, Laney, Bridget, Tony, Rachel, Matthew Clark, Wayne, Mark Fugman, Janet, Susan, Jennifer, Cory and Danise all come to the top.  We were here for awhile and then another small group showed up, Matt McKay, Nancy, Gerry, Stephan and Loren and of course Leila is still with us and all of the guides and the wonderful Berg Adventures staff that has been helping this group.

Tears were abundant as we spent our time up here in the clear African morning.  We took many photos, group photos, sponsor photos, individual photos.  We could not stay long at the top as it does get cold and people have to move on and of course the entire team with Doc and all the others down at Millennium will be together again in just a few hours.

Before we left however, Don Fraser pulled us together and he taught everybody the phase ‘Mungu Ibariki Tanzania’ and he told us that means ‘God Bless Tanzania’.  The tears flowed even more freely as we stood arm in arm and we all sang out with the Tanzanian television station taping this, those Swahili words, ‘Mungu Ibariki Tanzania’.  We are going to go down now.  Stick with us, the adventures are just beginning!

Uhuru Peak - The summit of Kilimanjaro

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

It’s about 5:30 in the afternoon on the 17th and I’m proud and pleased to say that the entire team is back together, reunited at Millennium Camp.  Gerry and Nancy just walked in and they were the final members of the team returning from the summit today.  We are enjoying being reunited with Doc and the rest of the team, hearing stories.  Just a few moments ago, after we all got together, the clouds parted and far, far up above us and the glaciated summit of Kilimanjaro where 40 of us had been in the last 24 hours to the very top and the rest of us had been all across it in the last few days, climbing and having great adventures.

We are still 7,000 feet (2133m) above our pick up point where we will be driven back to Arusha tomorrow, so we are still really on Kilimanjaro but we are down now safely from the high, cold summit and believe me we are very proud.  We are very tired but this is a crew that has, as Nancy just said to me, an amazing and exceptional success rate.  We are talking to other climbers down here who were turned back by the mountain and they really give us an awareness that we came in prepared.  We came here with heart and strength and had exceptional success on Kilimanjaro. 

We are going to enjoy walking back down through the forest tomorrow and we have great adventures to come on safari.  So stay with us each day as we tell you how it’s going in Tanzania with the Berg Adventures, BCACL team.

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