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Published: March 26th 2020
Start of the trek
After not achieving my goal of reaching Uhuru Peak on Mount Kilimanjaro, I book to go back in February 2016. This time I booked with a company called Climbing KILIMANJARO, based in Perth. I also chose the Machame route, one day shorter than my previous trip, but basically the same route. I also made the decision to book a single tent after my previous experince.
On a business trip to Papua New Guinea, I was talking to a friend, who asked, "So what are you going to do different this time?" Well I hadn't thought about that, but after thinking my answer was, "Not let others dictate my outcome." That may sound selfish, but this time, my decision was too prove correct.
So in Febuary, 2016, I return to Moshi and Mount Kilimanjaro. I had decided not to tell the other trekkers or guides of my previous attempt. I meet my companions, two Americans, both who had served in the Middle East and both younger than me.
And so we head off via the Machame Gate and progress well. At the Lava Towers, one of my companions starts to have issues with Altitude sickness. I am fine and
Porters with baggage and full equipment ready for the off
eating well. Having the knowledge of the previous years trip, I am well prepared for the days as we move forward. We reach base camp and I am now, start to grow nervous, knowing what is ahead of us and my previous experience. In our nightly briefing with our guide before the summit attempt, I tell him, "Poly, Poly" no need to rush. He says "Yes, we aim to summit at sunrise."
At 12 midnight, we set off for the summit. The guide has advised us to put all warm clothing on, good advice and there appears to be few making the summit attempt. Deja vu sets in with me, please let all go well.
As we progress, the one companion who had effects of Altitude sickness, starts to have more effects. He wants to take a 15 minutes break. At this altitude and temperature, stopping for that amount of time, would not be good. The guide tells him, "You either keep moving, or go back down." So we move on and get to Stella Point. I actually can see where I had been a year ago and feel great.
140 metres to Uhuru Peak my goal.
Looking past out camp site to the Summit
My companion who was suffering with altitude sickness decides to turn back, a good call. My other companion, although in great shape, decides to go down as well. I pull him over and explain to him my last years experince. I am going on I tell him, I am not stopping now, I want to reach the summit. He agrees, I am nearly in tears, just 140 metres to go. So we head up with the senior guide and our companion heads down with the other guide.
The last 140 metres ascent to Uhuru Peak did take us an hour and the euphoria of reaching the summit was amazing. We had our photos taken together at the summit and made the descent to the base camp, before heading down to the overnight stop, we had bypassed the previous year.
I had achieved my goal, what a feeling. Yes I would do it all again, Mount Kilimanjaro will always be in my heart. I gave my Merrell Hiking boots to the guide to give to one of the porters. Most had done the trek in sand shoes or desert boots, I felt for them but the joy they expessed
The Summit, Jeff and I have our picture taken at the famous site. Jeff's I phone was not working due to the cold. What a feeling !
with us when we were presented with our certificates, was genuine. I hope they understood that my words of heartfelt thanks to them for their help in achieving my goal was as genuine.
Tot: 2.506s; Tpl: 0.054s; cc: 13; qc: 30; dbt: 0.0285s; 2; m:saturn w:www (22.214.171.124); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.3mb