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Published: January 6th 2013
Getting close to the summit
thought1: oh my god! its so beautiful, i am top of the world!
thought2: i am walking in desert of rajasthan
thought3: right there, that is the peak, it will be over soon!
thought4: who are all these strange people
thought5: its afternoon and i am walking in desert
thought6: the peak is right there! it will be over soon!
That is what was going on in my head when I was heading towards the summit of Kilimanjaro at 19,000ft.+ They say altitude makes you delirious, and I know what they means.
When we were woken up from a short nap, all the snow and clouds of last night were gone, and we were looking at a clear sky with full-moon shining like a big lamp. Needless to say, it was cold, but we were prepared. So we got ready, had something to eat and set off to reach the summit around mid-night. We will be climbing ~3000+ft. I wanted extra time as I knew it will be a slow going. The trail was completely visible in moon light and we did not use our head lamps at all. The trail starts with a
Moon and sun shinning
rocky section, and then soon converts into switchbacks over scree. I remember hiking a few of them, but then I was just too delirious to remember anything. I was just putting one foot in front of other, drinking water then the guide told. Just when it was getting too much, we reached the first landmark at 18000ft+. This is were we stopped, ate some. I was almost ready to give up there, but then it looks like a flat road to summit from here. So I geared up for the last part and started the journey, most of which I don't remember 😊
Once on top, it was a different story. All the tiredness and illusions were gone. Sun was rising and we had made it! It was like a different world all together. Glaciers just sat there in middle of no where. We have never seen full glaciers like this anywhere. We did the usual photo op, and then started back. I soon realized that my hands are actually freezing under glove layers and really paining. So I had to stop and remove the glove, dangerous at that temperature. That is when I realized my rookie mistake, under
all the layers of technical gloving, I had a thin cotton layer! It was of course wet and causing frostbite. Thankfully I took it out before any real damage. The guide and Rahul helped me warm up the hands and put the technical gloves back.
From here the way down is just sliding on the scree which is never easy for me. We reached our base camp quite fast this way. At the camp was waiting some nice food and warmth. After the food we had to get ready for long descend. We had another 7000ft to descend, making day's descend 10,000ft! I cannot imagine doing that in one day anymore. It was really hard going and there is no way to describe how tired I was. The trail is full of rocks, and my toes were really giving me problem. Every step was causing a shot of pain on my toes. Somehow we did make it to campsite, one of the last people to arrive, but hey, we were there. At the camp there was food, and some celebrations with drinks.
Tot: 0.19s; Tpl: 0.017s; cc: 5; qc: 45; dbt: 0.0116s; 1; m:saturn w:www (220.127.116.11); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb