March 3, 2006 – A Surprising Summit Today

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

Congratulations Frank on reaching your high point!It’s the morning of Friday the 3rd of March and I want to take a moment to augment those very capable dispatches that are coming to you from our anchor team, Jeremy King and Mountaineer Rob Dunn.  This morning a beautiful east African dawn sunrise came to us at this special camp we have permission to use, high above the Barafu Camp on this side of Kilimanjaro.

There are layer of clouds everywhere but I could look up and see a very special place and this is Stella Point up high on the crater rim and as you know this will be the team’s goal for today, 19,000 feet (5790m).  They will cross Stella Point and then descend down in and actually sleep on top of Kilimanjaro tonight at the BAI Crater Camp.

This morning Frank Reesor or Babu who has been out front the whole time and has been an inspiration to us all, came to me and then later to his guide Matthew and said ‘this is my high point I need to go down’.  So now Frank and Matthew and a couple of cooks have descended down to the BAI camp at Millennium.  Jeremy on KilimanjaroYou’ll remember from our previous dispatches such as BCACL a couple of weeks ago, we always maintain this camp at the top of the forest.  So Babu will be down there tonight, we’ll keep in radio contact with him.  He gave me a t-shirt to take to the top to get some photos of and I certainly intend to do that.

The rest of the team is moving out as I speak.  Darrell and Rodrick who always like to travel together, Rodrick is Darrell’s favorite guide.  They went out quite a bit ahead of the rest of the group and already high on their way to Stella Point.  We will contact you once we reach the crater rim and our crater camp which is a very special place and we look forward to giving you an update from there later today on Friday.

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

[broken transmission] …I’m looking over at Uhuru Point which is 300 ft higher than where I am right now and Darrell and Rodrick reached the summit of Kilimanjaro at about 3:30 this afternoon.  I spoke with Darrell on the radio and he sounded really emotional and happy and he’s done a great job for the team and I know for himself, his brother’s memory who he’s been climbing for a lot on this trip and for everybody back in Nova Scotia.  We are really proud of him and Rodrick.

Rob on KilimanjaroThe rest of the team at Leila’s pace, the big time Pole, Pole pace crossed Stella Point just a few minutes before the other team reached the summit, so they are a few hundred feet lower and they are walking across to our crater camp.  Please understand back in Nova Scotia and elsewhere around the world this team is going to bed on top of Kilimanjaro 18,700 feet (5700m) in the crater.

If you are wondering about Frank, we’ve been in touch by radio all day.  He’s down at Millennium Camp and they are reporting very heavy rains down there, more of those torrential rains.  But we know he’s resting well and he’s still part of the team.  Some time tomorrow we will try to reach Uhuru with the rest of the team and slowly work down.  The entire team will be together for one more night on the mountain.  I’m extremely proud of this entire crew.  We want everybody back home to know, we did it, we’re proud and we miss you all.  You’ll hear more from us, maybe we’ll do some interviews…[lost transmission]

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