December 21 – Experiencing the Beauty of Kilimanjaro

This is Sharon West reporting for today’s dispatch.  Around 1:00am last night the team saw the most magnificent and glistening view of Kili in the moonlight, it is an image that will stay in our minds forever.                         

This morning we left Machame Camp at 9,800 ft (2986m) at 9:00am right after breakfast.   To give you an update for the team, Sandy our adventure racer is carrying as much weight as she can strap on because she is constantly training, Kevin and Annette are allowing us to share their honeymoon with them and myself who is enjoying every precious moment.

Today’s trek was challenging and steep.  Kevin was experiencing high altitude symptoms in the morning but hung in like the real trooper he is.  Sandy ’s fitness, nutritional and adventure knowledge has been an immense help.  Her suggestion to put duct tape on my blister worked perfectly.

The views were incredible today with clouds constantly rolling under, on and over us with some occasional rain.  However the rain did not dampen our spirits.  Finally in the afternoon we saw Kili again which is an immense, magnificent, daunting, scary and now it is simply calling and challenging us.

It’s truly unbelievable that we are here in Africa climbing Kili.  We have a beautiful campsite, we enjoyed late afternoon tea and took a short walk to help acclimatize and then we had a hot dinner in our tented dining room.  We are very much looking forward to tomorrow and we will try to send another dispatch then.