BootsnAll Travel Network

January 1: Machame/Mweka Route Day Six

Barafu Camp (4,600m/15,091 ft) to the Summit (5896 m/19,343 ft) and then to Mweka Camp (3100 m/10,170 ft)
Summit time: 7 hrs
Elevation change: +1300 m/+4265 ft
Estimated distance: 5km/3.2 miles
Final elevation: 5896 m/19343 ft
Descent time: 5 hrs
Elevation change: -2800 m/-9186 ft
Estimated distance: 12km/7.5 miles
Final elevation: 3100 m, 10,170 ft

We will start trekking early before sunrise. The 1,100-meter (3,600′) ascent in just over 3 km (1.86 miles) will take us about 6-8 hours, as we try to reach the summit to watch the sunrise over the Great Rift Valley. After a brief stay at the summit of the highest point in Africa, Uhuru Peak, at over 5,898 meters (19,340′), we descend via the Barafu Route roughly 2,500 meters (8,200′) in 12 km (7.44 miles) in about 4-7 hours to Mweka Camp.

Well, I’ve already posted a lot about this day. It consisted of a few things: me being miserable, me reaching the top, and me wishing I was off the mountain. Definitely a ‘me’ day.

The climb up was aching slow, slugging and painfully cold. The way down, skiing on the scree, was almost as exhausting. I did not see a lot of people break down, like I expected, but there were definitely a number of people that used all of their reserves to make it to the top…and then couldn’t get back down.

After a few hours in the tent to pack up, we were on our way again. My knees were very sore and each step down on the Mweka route was painful. It made for a long three hours.

That night, many people sat around and drank beers in celebration. No one, I think, was sad that the climb was ending.

Lessons of the day:
Maybe, this wasn’t such a good idea after all
Going downhill can suck even more than going up
Hand warmers stop working at a certain temperature – but ‘restart’ when you warm them up a little
Even insulated bottles freeze

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2 responses to “January 1: Machame/Mweka Route Day Six”

  1. lormor says:

    Congrats! You’re summit is well deserved.

  2. Donovan says:

    Check you out!

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