The following is an excerpt from my Kilimanjaro travel journal, written June 10, 2010
We just finished a dinner of tomato soup, biscuits and spaghetti in vegetable sauce with ginger tea to drink.
Dinner was at 5 p.m., and after eating we learned of the time schedule for tonight’s summit assault. We will be woken up at 11 p.m., served breakfast at 11:30 and then depart for the summit by midnight.
Joshua broke down the summit push into sections. The first should take an hour and goes over large rocks and boulders. The second is a fairly gradual incline that should take two hours. The next hour and a half will be steeper, followed by a brutal 90-minute to two-hour push to the crater rim at Stella Point.
The hardest parts will take place when the night is at it’s coldest: 3 a.m. to 6 a.m.
After watching the sun rise at Stella Point, we will take about an hour to reach Uhuru Peak. Once there, we will have up to 30 minutes to celebrate and take photos before beginning our climb back down. How long we have at the summit hinges on the weather. It will be cold regardless, but all of us are pulling for a wind-free night and safe passage to the top and back down.