In less than half an hour the team will be woken up to carry on with the last uphill trek of the challenge…1500 vertical metres to Uhuru Point. In order to get there, they will zig zag there way up the mountain in the dark, following headlamps of other groups ahead of them, footsteps of those in front and the singing of the guides. Every team member will have her own guide for the final 7km stretch from Barafu Camp (Ice Camp) to the summit.
It is a challenge far greater than any they have encountered thus far. The wind can be biting…The altitude can cause headaches, nausea and fatigue…and hiking during the night throws off the body’s normal routines. Many climbers find themselves wanting to use rocks as pillows and the trail as a bed. However, mental endurance and sticking together as a team will no doubt help them every step of the way.
After six hours of hiking they will reach Stella Point (5,685m). Stella Point is visible the entire way up, but for ages never seems to get closer. They will feel as if they have reached a plateau once they arrive. It can be a massive feeling of achievement and can help give the final push to walk the last 1-2 hours around the crater rim to Uhuru Point (5,895m).
Though Uhuru Point is the summit, it is not a great place to hang around. Sickness quickly sets in and the cold can become incredibly troubling. Hopefully they will all feel warm and happy – but with a bit of experience – we are guessing they will be eager to come down.
They will descend the same way they went up from Barafu Camp, stop their for lunch and continue down to Mweka Camp…23 kilometres from the summit. It is a long day to say the least.
Luckily for the team, the weather is finally on their side. It is difficult to imagine how snowy, cold and rainy Mount Kenya was just two weeks ago. Mount Kilimanjaro has hardly experienced any cloud cover in the past week. The sun is finally revealing its harsh summer rays that typically begin to leave this area parched for the next few months. Weather reports show nothing but clear skies. Perhaps the rain dances the team did on Mount Kenya are reaping rewards on Kili.
A text from the team came in this afternoon stating,
We are preparing for summit night on kili tonight. We’re all excited and a little nervous too. The weather has been good so hoping for a beautiful sunrise in 12 hours time. Wish us well!
The team has undergone an amazing amount of work in the past year and in the past 3 weeks…and we wish them more than well!!!
If you are eager to support this team’s endeavour, we would like to make one final push for their fundraising summit here at base camp.
Let’s see if we can’t raise a few dollars – and send them the news that we did so tomorrow morning.
- If you have just a dollar please donate $3.
- If you have more than a dollar, please donate $33.
- If you have even more than a dollar, please donate $333.
These last minute donations can be made online at: www.3peaks3weeks.org/donate.htm
Help 3 Peaks Climb On!
And a massive thanks to all of you who have helped 3 Peaks along the way – namely all of our sponsors and supporters (far too many to name – but you all know who you are). Thank you!