Just got back from the Kili yesterday evening. Here are a few of my Facebook notes from this morning.
Part 1: Missed touching Uhuru Peak/Kilimanjaro by just 4 hours. That was the level of my fitness. Climb is tightly regimented according to schedule or the climber falls sick. Been climbing from Dec 21. On Christmas night at our base camp at the School Hut, snow fell heavily for the first time in months. Started our climb to the peak at midnight.
Part 2: Very bad night for climbers. Heavy snow & rain before. I was one of the few who attempted Gillman’s Point. Past William’s Point already 5,000 metres above sea level, I injured my right leg. Couldn’t walk & strength sapped out of me. My 2 guides had to help or I would never have made it out of the snowcap.
Part 3: The romantic scenic pictures you see of the snowcap is a virtually enormous no-man’s land filled with foreboding boulders, rocks, & black stony land covered almost completely with thick layers of sticky snow. It is a spectacular sight…ethereal & eerie, ghostly & beautiful. That was where I became injured. “I’ve found this super internet cafe in downtown Arusha, frequented by expatriates & run by a pleasant Indian family who use superb technology . I can come here now and will do that tomorrow and catch up with comments and all the rest. They also have a nifty cafe here serving sandwiches, cake & tea.” xx
Part 4: I had to be shepherded by porters & rangers down the Kilimanjaro for 2 days, Dec 26/27th on a wheeled stretcher & straight into a waiting ambulance. My crew & guides were present the whole time. Twice, I have climbed the Kili & twice I have had to be ambulanced out. But this time, I was pretty close to the summit. Will retry my climb in April. Should make it!