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Author Topic: MC's Kili TR  (Read 12720 times)

m.c. reinhardt

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MC's Kili TR
« on: Sep 15 2007, 14:43 »

Well, I just wrote Harry a referral letter for the great service I received on Kili. I told Harry my letter was the short version. Harry replied, "Now you made me curious about the long version!" So, here it is...my TR for Kilimanjaro.

My pics can be found here. The format allows you to scan and just click on a photo you want to enlarge or you can view as a slideshow. (If you click slideshow, you will not get the captions. Use the dropdown box marked style (top rt.) and click slideshow to get captions.)

My official summit pic (click to enlarge all thumbnails):


Kili peering out through the clouds taken from the plane.


M.C.s Kili Climb June 25, 2007 Lemosho/Machame route

I summited Mount Kilimanjaro on June 30, 2007; my 50th birthday and a full moon. The adventure began with quite a challenge. My luggage did not arrive at JRO on June 23rd. I had one layover day in Moshi and I had a safari planned on the back end of my climb. There was not any leeway to delay my trip. My luggage did not arrive the next day; in fact the airlines had no idea where it was. Zainab Ansell, owner of Zara, (company I booked with through 7summits.com) heard about my plight and took me to the Springlands Hotel gift shop to buy supplies; sunscreen, mosquito spray, toothpaste, etc. Zainab footed the bill. She then sent me over to the rental shop to try to put together all the gear that I would need to summit Kili. My own gear (that was in the missing luggage) was pretty much top of the line and I had used several check lists to make sure that I would have everything Id need for this mountain. Now, here I was in a small room with used gear and I had about an hour to put everything together without a checklist!!! So, I proceeded to dig through the piles of gloves (trying to find a matching pair), found a decent sleeping bag (not down but it would do) and continued to round up enough gear to get me up Kili. The most challenging item would be hiking boots! I had purchased ASLO TPS 520 GV Gore-tex leather boots and broken them in before leaving for my trip. The only boots in this rental shop that remotely fit were an old pair of mens leather boots that were too wide. A good pair of thick wool socks would do the trick. The rental shop did not have wool socks; in fact there were no wool socks to be found anywhere in the town of Moshi! There was also the problem of thermal underwear, nalgene bottle insulators for summit night, gu-gels, protein snacks, etc. So, I went to dinner still unsure of my plans. Lo and behold, an angel sat next to me at the dinner table!!! Michi Henning, who had just come off the mountain, heard that I did not have proper hiking boots and offered to loan me hers. After dinner, I went with Michi to her room and tried on her leather boots. They were too narrow but she did have a pair of lightweight hiking boots that fit! I could wear her boots for the beginning of the climb and then the mens leather boots for summit night because Michi then presented me with two pair of SmartWool socks!!! I was elated! She also loaned me (a perfect stranger) her thermal underwear, hiking shorts, glove liners, gaiters, handi-wipes, gu-gels and protein snacks. I was extremely touched by her act of kindness! Now, I had a shot to climb Kili. I rushed back to my room to hand wash the thermal underwear and the shorts. I then placed a fan on these items in hopes they would dry through the night. Good news, the thermals and shorts dried in time. Morning came and off I went in a jeep to the Lemosho/Machame trailhead with all of my used and borrowed gear. I was ready!

Day one was fantastic! I was not with a group; it was just my guide, Raymond, and me. As we hiked through the rain forest we saw eight black and white Colobus monkeys (including one baby) jumping from the top of one tree across the trail to the top of another. It was spectacular! We stayed at Big Tree Camp. Around dinner time, my guide received a radio message that my luggage had been found and that a porter would bring it up the mountain and meet us at Shira 2 Camp on day three; great news!

The next day, the weather was perfect (not too hot) as we left the rain forest and continued on through the Moorland terrain; beautiful flora and landscape as far as the eye could see. We camped at Shira 1 Camp. Raymond and I took a quick acclimatization hike and watched the sunset. As the clouds dissipated, I caught my first glimpse of the mountain top. It was breathtaking.

On day three, we proceeded to Shira 2 Camp (a little out of our way but worth it to get my bag)! When we arrived, the Rangers did not know anything about my duffel. I was disappointed to say the least. I envisioned my bag, on a porters head, wandering around the mountain! I proceeded to Lava Tower Camp with the cook as my guide while Raymond stayed behind waiting for my duffel to arrive. About an hour up the trail, the cook and I heard shouting and whistling so we stopped. Up the trail came my guide, my porter with the Zara duffel bag and the porter with my duffel bag! I quickly switched a few items from one duffel to the other and then off we went to Lava Tower Camp with my gear! Lava Tower is at 15,090 ft. (4600m) and sleeping at this altitude was difficult. In fact, I did not get one wink of sleep! I had a bad headache and felt nauseous throughout the night.

The next morning, we descended into the Barranca Valley. I was over the AMS but I was exhausted from zero sleep and still felt queasy. As I gazed at the Barranca Wall which would normally be a fun rock scramble, I told my guide I was not sure if I could make it; I was so fatigued! Somehow, one foot in front of the other, I made my way up the wall and then on toward the Karanga Valley. By the time we reached the top of the Valley where I could see the Karanga Valley Camp on the other side, I was physically spent. We made our way down the rocks to the floor of the valley where one of my porters was waiting with tea and biscuits! What a treat. With a slight second wind I climbed up the steep valley wall to Karanga Valley Camp.

I slept fairly well and was ready for day five. A quick breakfast and we were on our way up to Kossovo Camp which is above Barafu Camp. Barafu is the camp where climbers from all the different routes on the mountain end up staying before summit bid. I had arranged to stay at Kossovo and that turned out to be a great decision. My guide, cook, porters and I were the only ones there! The tents were set up against a large group of rocks so we did not encounter any wind. It was absolute magic that night above the clouds with a full moon and a great view of Mt. Maweniz.

I did not sleep before my summit bid but I did not have any symptoms of AMS. All was good. I set out around 1:15 am and proceeded very slowly (I have nicknamed myself the Tortoise). It was tough for me due to lack of sleep but with the encouragement of Raymond, I made it to the top of Africa. I summited around 11:00 am. It was perfect; no wind, nice temp and we had the summit to ourselves. There I stood on the top of Kilimanjaro celebrating my 50th birthday. Raymond brought out a candle, lit it and sang happy birthday to me! We stayed on the summit for about 40 minutes; it was beautiful. The views were stunning and I knew I was fortunate to be able to see the glaciers before they disappear forever (they are receding rapidly). My guide recommended that we stay another night at Kossovo Camp and I agreed. The next morning, we hiked down to the gate. The weather was awesome for the entire 7 days. All in all, this was an amazing adventure. I overcame adversity, stayed focused, encountered kind hearted people and fulfilled yet another dream. It was a privilege to set foot on this most majestic mountain let alone stand on her summit.


« Last Edit: Oct 4 2007, 05:25 by mc »
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"I go to the mountains for there I find higher ground." m.c. reinhardt

Mountain John

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Re: MC's Kili TR
« Reply #1 on: Sep 16 2007, 12:19 »

Congrats MC, nice summit shot.  John
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Roger

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Re: MC's Kili TR
« Reply #2 on: Sep 18 2007, 08:12 »

Hi MC

Thank you for posting your trip report. It is good reading. You have now learnt of just some of the dramas that can occur when heading of to climb mountains. A good point to remember is to at least wear your boots on the plane and carry any other really essential stuff with your carry on. Most gear can be replaced but boots are usually quite difficult and can really make or break a trip.

Which mountain will be next?

Cheers

Roger
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m.c. reinhardt

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Re: MC's Kili TR
« Reply #3 on: Sep 18 2007, 09:53 »

Thanks John!

Roger
Thanks for your message. I thought it didn't matter if I brought my boots and essentials as a carry on because all of the gear I brought was necessary (of course the boots most important). Usually, when luggage does not arrive it comes the next day (I had one layover day.) On a trip to Venice, Italy, my luggage did not arrive but it came the next day. What I did learn is that this is not the case in Africa and probably many other countries. In talking to other people, I think delayed or missing luggage is becoming more and more of an issue with the airlines. When I realized that the airlines had no idea where my luggage was, I had no thought that I would be able to round up enough gear to get me up and back down Kili safely (remember, some of the gear that I needed was nowhere to be found in Moshi. Michi was a one in a million)! But next time, I will wear my boots!  ;) Btw, I could not change my safari dates to try and wait for my luggage because I was booked with someone who already had her airfare.

I have my sights set on Pico de Orizaba depending on finances and my training. How about you; where will your next adventure be?  8)

MC  :)
« Last Edit: Sep 18 2007, 12:04 by mc »
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Re: MC's Kili TR
« Reply #4 on: Sep 21 2007, 02:13 »

Hey MC!

thanks again for the referral letter and the trip report. Takes a while to download those images, but definitely worth it.

Congrats again with your summit and b-day! Glad to see all worked out in the end, as I mentioned to you before, we can go a long way for our friends!

How about joining for an extended Everest BC hike next March?  8)
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m.c. reinhardt

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Re: MC's Kili TR
« Reply #5 on: Nov 8 2007, 11:08 »

This photo was just sent to me by James Schroder, a guy I met at the Springlands Hotel. His hiking partner, Theo Robins, also did not get his luggage before their climb. James took a pic of the two of us at the "rental shop" looking for gear. I will never forget that day!  ::)



Theo Robins and me at the Springlands Hotel rental shop
(note pile of gloves on the right; no pairs were matched!!!)

MC  :)
« Last Edit: Nov 8 2007, 11:38 by mc »
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"I go to the mountains for there I find higher ground." m.c. reinhardt
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