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Remaining Snows of Kilimanjaro

Greetings all,

Just returned from trekking to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Thought for sure I’d take along the ashes of our rescue dog Trapper (likely 14 years old by now and who has slowed down quite a bit since January) but he’s still hanging on and we love him for it. [Some of you might recall when I trekked to Base Camp Mount Everest in October 2012 (see November 5, 2012 blog) I carried Andy’s ashes who had passed a few months earlier; had a nice ceremony for him when we arrived at Base Camp.] So this time no dog ashes (Trapper was at home with Susan and the twins) but still did the trek in his honor. And it was beautiful! It was also the most challenging trek of my life – especially the long descent to High Camp. After five days hiking (beginning at 6,000 feet) we began our final push for the summit at midnight and steadily climbed over 4,000 feet in a calm but cold (5-10 degrees) starry night, reaching Uhuru Peak at 8:45am June 13th.  Sunrise (around 6:45am) was breathtaking but no photos since my camera (insulated and snug) was in my backpack. There is a Swahili phrase “pole pole” which translates “slowly slowly” and that is the secret to a successful summit. So nearly nine hours after beginning our climb we stood on the roof of Africa (highest peak on the continent at 19,341 feet) but it would take until 6pm (another nine hours) until we arrived at our final camp – and THAT WAS A LONG, SLOW, ROCKY, SCREE COVERED, DUSTY, HIKE DOWN! Complete physical and mental exhaustion! But I did summit successfully and with no high altitude symptoms (no headache, no nausea, no trouble breathing the thin air). I felt GREAT at the summit!! And managed to spend an hour taking photos. Attached are a few images from the summit and the remaining snows of Kilimanjaro. Small tinga tinga painting purchased in Tanzania in 20o9. Two of Kilimanjaro’s peaks are depicted: Kibo on the left (elevation 19, 341 feet) and Mawenzi on the right (elevation 16, 893 feet)

Kibo (Mount Kilimanjaro) viewed from High Camp – Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania

Kibo (Mount Kilimanjaro) viewed from High Camp – Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania

Crater of Mount Kilimanjaro looking northwest with summit (Uhuru Peak) barely visible upper left – Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania

Trail to summit (Uhuru Peak), crater visible on right – Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania

Trail from summit (Uhuru Peak), southern ice field visible on right – Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania

Final push to Uhuru Peak – Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania

Celebrating with companions, Uhuru Peak – Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania

View from Uhuru Peak (top of Africa) looking northwest toward northern ice field (near top of image) and Furtwangler Glacier in the foreground – Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania

View from Uhuru Peak looking northwest toward northern ice field – Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania

View from Uhuru Peak  looking north into crater – Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania

View from Uhuru Peak  looking toward northern ice field above the crater – Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania

View from Uhuru Peak  looking east toward Mawenzi Peak (16, 893 feet) – Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania

View from Uhuru Peak looking southeast toward Mawenzi Peak and southern ice field – Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania

View from Uhuru Peak  looking southeast toward southern ice field – Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania

View from Uhuru Peak, closeup southern ice field – Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania

View from Uhuru Peak  looking southwest toward southern ice field and Mount Meru (elevation 14, 968 feet, 43 miles away) – Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania

View from Uhuru Peak  looking southwest toward southern ice field and Mount Meru – Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania

View from Uhuru Peak  looking south toward southern ice field – Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania

View from Uhuru Peak  looking south toward southern ice field – Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania

Summit Mount Kilimanjaro (Uhuru Peak) – Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania

One Comment Post a comment
  1. Martin Agran #

    Michael:

    Congratulations! Old guys rule! Presently in Indiana visiting my daughter. When you get back, eager to hear about your trip. Talk to you soon.

    Marty

    July 7, 2017

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