The following is an excerpt from my Kilimanjaro travel journal, written June 9, 2010
Two straight days of sun and warmth turned into cold and rain today.
We awoke at Mawenzi to strong wind, frigid temperatures and a cloudy sky. A cold breakfast outside of the dining tent left us all chilled to the core before our 10-kilometer trek even began. Hiking poles came in handy as wind whipped against us on the Mawenzi ridge, but after clearing it and dropping down onto the saddle rim we found some relief. The wind died down and we warmed up quickly.
After spending Tuesday acclimatizing at higher altitude, today’s hike to the Horombo Huts campsite took us down about 2,000 feet to thicker oxygen and somewhat warmer temperatures. The clouds turned into light rain after lunch, though, forcing most of us into our tents for shelter. It wasn’t a big deal, however, because the day’s plan called for a 10K morning followed by an afternoon of rest and relaxation in the campsite. It’s all part of the plan.
The rest today is expected to pay off tomorrow when we awake at 5:30 a.m. and hike nine kilometers and gain about 3,000 feet to high camp Barafu (4,662 meters/15,295 feet). It will serve as base camp for our nighttime assault on the summit.
I like our team’s chances of getting all seven of us to the summit at Uhuru Peak. As a group, we’ve been strong throughout our trek. Plus, Jonathan felt better this morning and — thanks to a little Diamox — seems to have cured his altitude sickness. So far so good.
If all goes well, in about 36 hours we should all be celebrating at the summit.