September 25, 2007 – One Foot in Front of the Other


Paul Blanchard, from Ottawa, smiling his way up KilimanjaroIt is September 25th and it’s a beautiful morning, clear skies overhead, and I’m calling you from the Karanga Camp, we’re still at the level for sleeping about 4100m. This is becoming an accustomed elevation for this group now as we traverse around Kilimanjaro. The Lava Tower Camp where we stayed the previous night was quite a cold one. Someone said they saw a thermometer that read -10 degrees Celsius and I certainly believe that. The group was very aware of high altitude chill at Lava Tower. Now yesterday’s hike we had a lot of up and down, including a long descent down into the Barranco water basin just before the feature we call the great Barranco Wall. After that, the group finally paused for their lunch, most of them not arriving until 2:30pm in the afternoon and then we continued up and down some more and arrived finally at this camp Karanga.

It’s been beautiful, it’s very clear. Last night we looked down below us and saw the bright lights of Moshi, the town of Moshi below, and we looked up and saw the glaciers gleaming on Kilimanjaro. And of course we have that full moon which is part of why we selected these particular date to be on Kilimanjaro. It’s set up there high above us in the sky and everything around us was very lit. Beautiful atmosphere, great team and the mountain is getting closer and closer as we step upward now towards our high camp, approaching the crater. I’ll give you a call when we reach our camp at about 16,000 feet later today.

Alan, from Washington DC, sipping on a warm beverage and enjoying the viewsCarlos, our Brazilian climber, enjoying the sunset on Kilimanjaro


It’s the afternoon on the 25th now and I’m calling you from that special high camp (4900m) we use far above the crowded camps below on the main Barafu route on Kilimanjaro. It’s beautiful here, I’m looking across at the jagged spire of Mawensi over 17,000 feet in elevation across from me to the east and I am looking up at Stella Point where we will reach the crater rim of Kilimanjaro with luck tomorrow. The entire group is doing well, now we’re getting down to the climb being right in front of us, there’s little apprehension.

Linda slowly, “pole-pole”, is making her way up to the crater and hopefully to the very summitLinda came up to me awhile ago and said “you may have to get me a stiff talking to” meaning that her nervousness about her performance on the mountain is getting in the way. I’m not worried about our ability to get Linda up with all the encouragement and a stiff talking that we may have to get her relaxed to know that the same “pole, pole”-one foot in front of the other slowly, slowly has gotten us this far across Kilimanjaro will get us all the way up to the crater and hopefully to the very summit. But you know tomorrow night one step at a time, we’ll be camped at the very top in the crater, at the BAI crater camp right next to the massive glaciers that are in the crater at the very top of Kilimanjaro so it’s getting colder, the air is getting thinner and our little community of Berg Adventures staff and IP trek climbers are really having a great time. We’ll keep reporting to you as we climb higher towards the roof of Africa.

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