So the beer worked wonders…

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KiwisInAfrica vs Kilimanjaro
Result 2 : nil/0/nada

WE WENT ALL THE WAY TO THE TOP!

Kilimanjaro is now another feather in our African cap. After some rushed research we chose the 6 day Rongai route as the best option for us. An excellent choice made by Richard as we fumbled our way to the sign congratulating us on reaching Uhuru Peak (the highest point of Africa) at 5.40am on May 24th… Of all the 5 different routes on Kilimanjaro, we were the very first punters to get to the summit that day!

Generally speaking, you start climbing from Kibo Base Camp (4,700 metres) at approximately 11pm and attempt to reach Uhuru Peak (5,895 metres) sometime after 6am… so 7 hours is roughly the average minimum time for ascent on our route but bizarrely the two most unfit people on the mountain made it in 6 hours 40 mins. Whoop!

Maybe the guide was telling some little white lies? Hmm. Tips are important after all.

Here are a few iPhone pics to capture the key moments… Please note that at nearly 20,000ft of altitude you aren’t really in your right mind then add the fact that temperatures at the top are typically between -18 and -26 degrees for that time of day so we look like marshmallows in 6 layers of clothing!!

I never thought it possible, so I want to say: much love to my Richard for pushing me forward every day when I started to panic! AND for putting up with my moaning when I stumbled back down to the exit gate with a busted knee. AND for still dishing out the cuddles after 6 days without showers or clean clothes. Climbing mountains really isn’t my thing but it’s done and I am immensely proud of us! X

Jo and Rich
Mountaineers

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We started at the registration office. There were numerous boards warning punters about the risks and dangers of climbing Kili. It turns out that Kili has quite a high failure rate. This is mainly due to unprepared tourists turning up and thinking they can make it. Ummm, doesn’t sound like us at all.

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This is Deo, our guide for the 6 day climb. It’s not just a good photo, he’s really that cool.

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This is the camp for the first night. The summit looks very, very far away!

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By the second camp we were above the clouds. Small aircraft were buzzing around below us.

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Day 4. We start the ascent later that night. But Kibo base camp is still miles away! Tough day ahead.

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Jo chilling out at Uhuru peak

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Sunrise… Yeah!

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Glaciers.

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Couldn’t quite make it through the finish gate.