Getting to Base Camp

Day 6 on Mt. Kilimanjaro

And now we are five.

Near base camp. Phil LaBelle, 2017.

This morning we had a sad departure as both Craig and Barry had to head down the mountain for medical attention. Both had been experiencing the effects of altitude sickness over the last couple of days and especially last night and this morning. One of the reasons we all chose Tusker was for their focus on safety. Unfortunately it meant saying goodbye to two wonderful men at least for now. (We hope to see them when our group descends in a couple days and get back to our hotel.)

It was a cold day of hiking, although a short one overall to Barafu, our base camp. “Barafu” means “ice” in Swahili, and it certainly fit today. Fog for much of the day; no views of the summit. And it was that damp cold that gets into your bones. We gained about 2,000 feet of elevation over three miles on a steady incline.

Barafu Camp is large, and it’s situated on a rocky area. We went over the plan for tomorrow—wake up at 2am, leave around 3 for a morning summit—and now we just need 0t get to bed early.

The cold rain today is a reminder that all is never picture perfect. We can’t see the peak that was clearly in view even this morning. But I couldn’t have imagined a better overall experience. Noah and I have both acclimatized well, the trek has taken us through many different terrains. We’ve talked baseball and met new people. Many strangers have commented on Noah and his age during the hike; some have come and asked for his photo. He’s been truly remarkable for a twelve year old as we seek to reach Africa’s highest peak.

Tomorrow! To bed early tonight for the early wake up. I hope to get some sleep.

Daily Totals: 2.1 miles, 1800 feet of gain.

Trek Totals: 27.7 miles and 8450 feet of gain.

Elevation: 15,000 feet.