I hope you enjoy this small subset of our many many photos from the climb along with a brief description of the day's hike!
Day 1: Park Gate (1400m) to Machame Camp (3000m)
Approximately 8 hours of steady hiking.
The warning signs at the bottom.
Signing in at Machame Camp, Day 1.
Day 2: Machame to Shira Camp (3840m)
Approximately 6 hours of steep trekking.
Morning shower: one for soap and one for rinsing.
First up gets the warmest, cleanest water.
Leaving Shira Camp, Day 2.
Day 3: Shira to Barranco Camp (3950m)
Approximately 6 hours of steep climbing to Lava Tower (4600m) with a dramatic descent into a valley followed by a final steep ascent into the camp.
Lava Tower, 4600m, Day 3.
Barranco Camp with Breakfast Wall looming in the background.
Day 4: Barranco to Karanga Valley Camp (4200m)
Breakfast Wall - a vertical rock face with a tiny goat track that is attempted immediately after breakfast. The view of the summit from the top of Breakfast wall is incredible. This is well and truly above the cloud line! From there, approximately 5 hours of trekking to the next camp.
Breakfast Wall goat track, Day 4.
A view of the summit from Karanaga camp, end of Day 4.
Day 5: Karanga Valley to Barafu (Summit Base Camp) (4630m)
Approximately 6 hours of steady uphill hiking along the lava ridge to the Barafu camp.
Hiking to Barafu, Day 5.
Arriving at Barafu, Day 5.
We never knew if (or when) we might be forced to turn back. As I said, each day was an accomplishment in itself so as we arrived into the next camp, we took a photo of us holding up the number of fingers of the day we'd just completed.
SLEEP 4 HOURS (7pm to 11pm), RISE AT 11PM FOR SUMMIT ATTEMPT.
Very steep 8 hour climb. Arrived at Uhuru Peak Summit (5895m/ 19,340 ft)
Sunrise from the summit attempt, near Stella's point.
A view of the top, Stella's Point, the rim of the volcano!
Celebrating with some friends at the top on Uhuru peak.
Summit to Barafu (noon, Day 6, still no sleep)
A very steep 4 hour skree-slope decent.
After arriving at Barafu, rested for 1 hour while re-stocking packs.
Barafu to Mweka Camp
(still no sleep, late afternoon/evening, Day 6)
Approximately 6 hours of steep, slippery, treacherous descending on sharp rocks.
End of Day 6, Mweka base camp.
Dinner time in the mess tent.
Day 7: Mweka Camp (3110m) to Park Gate (1400m)
A final descent of about 5 hours to the park gate.
Signing out at the park gate.
Receiving our officially numbered gold certificates of success, end of Day 7.