I will be putting out a day-by-day post for the next eight days outlining what we would have been doing if this had been a normal year. Today we start the journey from the Ottawa train station.
This post will grow each day as we go through the days of our Kilimanjaro trek.
Departure date: 25 July – arrival Kilimanjaro: 26 July
bus Ottawa-Montreal + flight Montreal-Paris-Nairobi-Kilimanjaro
Departs with the whole group at 3:00 pm, we arrive at the airport in Montreal at 5:00pm. Around 10:00 pm, we board the plane for Paris and arrive around 10:30 am on Sunday, July 26. Soon after, we leave for Nairobi, Kenya, then on to Kilimanjaro International Airport
Day 2 is really a transit day. We are in the air for 15 hours, with stops in Paris and Nairobi. We will arrive very late at the airport in Arusha.
We advise group members to wear their trekking boots on the flight over – if luggage is lost it is difficult to replace your boots. That is a long time in your boots!
A tour of Arusha
Tomorrow we start for the beginning of the Lemosho Route!
a video of the first day showing the weighing of bags at the trailhead and the beautiful vegetation at the beginning of the trek
If you take a look at the altitude at Shira One, you will see it is over 3000m. Once you get over that boundary, you really begin to feel the altitude. Every effort becomes a challenge and you really need to take things slowly and be mindful of what you are doing. This is the world you live in for the next week.
These short videos give you a sense of what it is like on each stage of the Lemosho Route – no commentary, just the trail.
This is a good short video for you to watch. You will notice that the trekkers are going very slowly along the caldera, but all the time the altitude is increasing. By the end of the day, you will be over 3800m. A short, gentle day like this will help you to acclimatize for the journey ahead.
July 31 – Day Four
Descend to camp at Great Barranco Valley (3900m).
A morning of gentle ascent and panoramic views, walking on lava ridges beneath the glaciers of the Western Breach. After lunch near the Lava Tower junction (4550m), we descend to the bottom of the Great Barranco valley (3900m), sheltered by towering cliffs and with extensive views of the plains far below. Approx 5-7 hours walking.
This is a very long day. I remember this day very well as I went through bouts of altitude sickness throughout the day. Next time, I will be sure to take Diamox, something I didn’t do in 2017!
The guide says 5-7 hours walking, but I think it is longer than that. Remember, you are walking very slowly at this point, so taking your time is really important.
Day 4 up to the Lava Tower at 4,600m and dropping down to Barranco camp at 3,850m is one of the harder days. It can take between 6 and 8 hours depending on the group. It’s for days like this that we train so hard for this trek!
video footage from the Barranco Wall 2017. This is a tricky section where you have to hug the wall closely to get around a protruding rock
Heading from Karanga Camp to High Camp at Barafu. This is a slow and steady hike which takes 3/4 hours to get to high camp. Take your time as you ease your way to high camp.
Once we had all gathered at Stella Point, I actually turned off my tracker. To my oxygen-starved brain, I was done. To people back home, it looked like I had fallen off the edge of the world.
Finally, a great video taken at sunrise going up towards the crater. Look at how slowly these climbers are going! At sunrise, they are at Stella Point. The group makes it to Uhuru – a beautiful series of shots. You can actually see the curvature of the Earth! I really want to make it to Uhuru next time!
The final day coming from Mweka camp 3,100m and exiting the national park at 1,900m. These last two days are tough going up to the summit at 5,895, to 1,900m do not underestimate this challenge.