June 29, 2007 – Climbing the Barranco Wall

Climbing the Barranco Wall

Hey this is Jim Barr calling from 13,900 feet at Karanga Camp. We had a pretty aggressive day starting off from the summit of the Lava Tower, where we spent last night at 15,900 feet, and than coming down a really cool trail system that brought us from the alpine desert back through the Sierra moorland.

We had an amazing opportunity last night at the Lava Tower; our location provided us with an amazing view of Mount Meru as it was coming through the clouds, almost as if it was rising from the mists. It was pretty stellar. We had a great night playing cards with our friends Eric and Nelly - just a quick shout out to Eric, because Sue who always needs to be the one to win, had the pants beat off her by Eric.

Our kitchen crew have been just outstanding; Eric and Nelly have been serving up some great food. We're just enjoying some fruit cake for dessert; we had some chicken and fish - everything is super good here. But I have to say it hasn't been easy.

Mt. Meru through the clouds

Things have been a little interesting with some of us suffering from headaches and upset stomachs, but I'm happy to say everything is good, and hopefully within the next 48 hours we should be standing on the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest peak.

In order to get there we had to get through the Barranco Wall today which put us in helmets and keeping our eyes open for falling rocks – but nothing like that happened. The Wall was a bit challenging as we had to scramble on our hands and feet, but everyone made it through - not a problem.

We're still working on our Swahili. Today we learned that 'cheka' means laugh of which there's been a lot of on the trail. Lots of entertainment and lots of good times with good things to come over the next few days as we make our way up Mount Kilimanjaro.

On behalf of everyone here, I look forward to sharing more stories with you tomorrow. I know everyone is really excited to get home and share their own stories and photos with friends and family. We say hello to all of them - bye for now.

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