August 24 – Berg Adventures Team Underway

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Team at the trailhead ready to go

Alex with Jim setting his altimeterIt’s the 24th of August in the early evening and we are underway, the first day of our nine day traverse of Kilimanjaro.  We are on the wild western side of Kili this time, a different route than the guys from Toronto just completed a few days ago.  We drove out on a much longer drive from Arusha than when we go to the Machame route, in the thick forest and farmland of the south side.

On this side of the mountain we drive through more open terrain and then as we begin to ascend to higher elevations we pass through cedar forests.  Today not far from the park gate we found a crude toll road gate, just a simple wooden stick and women in bright colored, flowered dresses were charging a toll before we proceeded to the actual park gate.

At the toll roadAt the park gate Jim set his altimeter, in this case we decided we were at 7,800 feet (2,377m) and then we proceeded a little further to a drive before we began our climb to what we call The Big Tree Camp or the Forest Camp at about 9,200 feet (2,804m).  Of course when we got to the trail head I saw a lot of old friends, some guys were on the climb with the Toronto fellows earlier this month, but I had not seen them since February during the Climb for a Cure. 

It is great to all be together again, a Berg Adventures team on Kilimanjaro once again.  Alex, Julie and Jim all seem to be doing great, we’re certainly happy to be out here on Kili and be underway.