September 22, 2007 – First Glimpse of Kilimanjaro over the Clouds

Kilimanjaro coming out of the clouds

It’s the 22nd, and I am calling you from the Shira Plateau on Kilimanjaro. We have already reached an elevation of 11,600 feet, somewhere around 3500m.

As we were walking through the forest, last time I called you, the group was excited and a bit apprehensive. They were not sure what this is all about, what to expect, ‘were they going to be able to do it? Where are we camping? What to wear?’ Camping in this traverse across Kilimanjaro, even on our first camp; Big Camp, we reached just before dark; I saw a group of folks who were just trying to get used to what this is all about.. 

Yesterday we walked up through the forest, finally reaching the Moorland on Kilimanjaro; we climbed higher and higher to get to this elevation. We had rain for most of the hike yesterday, but the Berg Adventures staff had brought several large colorful umbrellas that they passed around to the team members, then we walked through the cool mist into this camp. No one had seen Kilimanjaro, that high flat glaciated mountain uprising far above Africa that we came here with the image of.

But sure enough, yesterday afternoon at Shira camp as is often the case; the clouds clear and we were sitting down at the dining camp, and a couple of people looked out and said ‘look at that’, the clouds started clearing, and you could see the first glaciers. After we ate we could see a beautiful clear view of Kibo; the central main volcano we will be climbing.

This morning we woke up to a great sunrise, it was a cold night, everyone slept well. That apprehension I was talking about is almost 100% gone now. Everyone is having a great time. They know their team. I just took a huge photo of the entire group, staff, IP climbers and the porters. It is a sunny morning and we are going to climb higher today towards Kibo.

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