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"Mt. Kili expedition"
Posted by jjnet  Mar 31 2007, 05:17 PM    (View all contributions by jjnet)
Here is a great Kilimanjaro blog, on a day-to-day account climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro.
I remember when I saw the woman puking and crying, 20 feet from Stella’s point, while everyone walked past her. I also remember my friend Zamoyoni eyes roll back in his head - and he couldn’t talk. It’s pretty scary when you get to the summit.

“Now some people would not believe some of the things we saw on the summit. Even if they were with us, the lack of oxygen impairs the senses. I’m sure my recollections won’t be complete and I missed things that others observed. One of the Brazilians would not leave the summit, wanted to lay down and go to sleep, a death sentence. His small guide could not get him up so our guide got him going and Charlotte (a doctor) gave him dexamethazone, a seriously powerful drug to help with altitude sickness. She had already taken one herself. On the way down from the crater rim, about 100ft down, a woman sat down and started puking. She was left behind by her group and had no guide. More dexamethazone and a little help from our guides. We saw another person without a guide who descended with our group.”

March 26th, 2007

Along the final ridge as we approached Moir Camp we could see this B-Movie Spaceship like structure standing juxtaposed among the volcanic topography.

Some Norwegians built it in the 80’s. It was certainly no light task as it measures 20+ feet tall with two levels but we had crossed an access road during our 7 hour hike up to Moir Camp. I’d like to think they used this rather than haul the materials up the entire mountain.

After arriving at camp, my sons and I had time to explore the area before dinner while my daughters and husband were sitting on a rock puking. Of course we headed towards this most interesting edifice. We were practically in front of it when two of our porters stuck their heads out the windows, scaring the living crap out of me. My subconscious mind must have been ready for carnivorous animals to attack because we were in Africa or something…

Fright turned quickly to laughter, however, as we shared this special moment with people we couldn’t speak to but the humor of the situation enabled us to transcended language. When these guys would pass us on the trail for the rest of the trip, the smiles were always a little bigger.

March 26th, 2007

Climber Dies on Kilimanjaro
It’s always sad to see this happen, but a climber on Kilimanjaro died. This seems to happen a few times per year, but it should not discourage you from going to climb the mountain yourself. There is a small handful, possibly 10, that die on the mountain each year - and it’s usually from summiting the mountain to fast.

I discovered this interesting Kilimanjaro link today. It’s an audio podcast of an NPR journalist’s climb up Mt. Kilimanjaro in 2004. It’s good to hear his take on climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro - and finally making it to the top. The podcast is brief, and makes the one week climb seems like it’s really fast.

Listen to Podcast on NPR

There isn’t an insightful information that you can gleam from this, except “Pole, Pole,” which means slow in Swahili.

Summit Beer at Kilimanjaro Summit

You know you are a true beer enthusiast, if you pack a beer all the way from the United States to Tanzania, Africa. And then you proceed to carry the beer for seven days up Africa’s highest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro. Well, Charles P. Beauzay did just that! Charles - you deserve a free keg for that!

The slog to Moir Camp was my toughest day on the trial.
The Lariam (malaria preventive) side effects had me spooked to the point I thought my guides were conspiring against me. This was, of course, total paranoia on my part as it was, indeed, our guides that gently put me straight.
(If you choose to use a malaria preventive, I recommend staying away from Lariam. This child of the 60’s had never been paranoid any other time. Consult your Doctor)

After the acclimation hike to Klute Peak our hunger had vanished for the first but not the last time on the mountain.
This was our third dinner on the trail at Shira 1 Camp. The green stuff is spinach and the brown stuff was curry chicken. On a good day I like both of these items. Our true challenge was the white glob which is called stiff porridge. It wasn’t rice, noodle or potato that I could tell. I’ll describe it as a cross between wallpaper paste and foam insulation.
We forced the curry and spinach down but the porridge remained untouched.
We hated not eating what was prepared for us because our cook took great pride in feeding us well, as he did every day on the mountain, but thankfully we never saw the glob again.

Our acclimation hike to the top of Klute Peak offered this panoramic view of the Shira Plateau and Kibo (the center volcano of the three that make up Kilimanjaro i.e. Shira, Kibo and Mawenzi) around 24 miles away.

We could see the Western Breach peeking at us and wondered each day what climbing it will be like.