22 and 23 February 2011
Our apologies for the lack of news for one day, but as you will see, our last two days were really just one day for us!
WE DID IT!!
We all made it to the summit of Kilimanjaro and are now back to the relative safety of and balminess of High Camp (Barufu) at 15,100 feet (4600m). Tears of jubilation, exhaustion and relief abound. We love you all and thank you for all your prayers and thoughts that got us through this.
Here is how we did it:
On 22 February we trekked up to the High Camp were we currently are. We first arrived here in the afternoon and had a short rest before we hit the tents at 7 pm for a very short evening of sleep.
We awoke at 10pm to light snow and great anticipation. With headlamps securely fastened, we embarked on our Summit attempt at 11:45pm.
The weather did not cooperate. At first it was a low wind which then picked up and blew very hard for several hours. This caused the temperature to drop to below 0F (-18C). Our expedition leader, Kurt, said this was the coldest he’d seen Kilimanjaro since his first climb in 1996.
We all did a great job of staying warm and pacing ourselves that we moved so well that we made it to crater rim at Stella Point (19,000 feet), before the sunrise.
After much emotional tears and several group hugs we traversed around the crater rim to Uhuru Peak at 19,340 feet and then ………….. ALL 19 PEOPLE IN OUR EXPEDITION SUMMITTED KILIMANJARO AT 6:45 am!!!!!!
It was clear and beautiful as we watched the sunrise over the African plains. We had the most breathtakingly amazing 360 degree views over Africa. Clear skies above, the plains below and snow inside and around the crater and glaciers.
After we all took as many picture as we could, we headed back down to High Camp. We arrived here at 10:30am after almost 11 hours of trekking through the night and morning. We are about to have lunch (or is it breakfast or dinner???) and then we will leave to head down another 3 hours to Mweka camp at 10,000 feet (3048m). We will post some pics and more later when we can.
Everyone please understand that it was through your prayers and love that we were able to do this. We felt you with us every step of the way. WE LOVE YOU ALL!!!!