Sunday, February 13, 2011

Kili Day 5

Barafu Camp
Kili Day 5, 28 Jan 2011

We had opted for the 7-day climb instead of the more common 6-day climb along the Machame Route in order to give us an extra day of acclimatization.  When we stopped at the Karanga Camp last night many others pushed on to Barafu Camp at 4550m (14,927 ft).  This allowed us to take it easy on day five, to sleep in a little, and only have to walk for three hours.  Last night we played 19 hands of Hearts (won by "Viagra") and today after our short walk we played two games of 13 and 14 hands each (won by "G4 Challenge" and "Pooter").

The trail to Barafu camp was steep and traversed many scree covered slopes and sand fields.  We all felt pretty good and were amazed at the views that surrounded us.  Surprisingly we never ran out of stuff to talk about while other groups around us were melting down and people were being threatened with trekking pole stabbings.  Our guides kept us going "Pole Pole" and we trudged along, becoming more excited as we got ever closer to the top.

At the end of the trail, we arrived at the last camp before the summit, on a rocky exposed ridge with steep drops off either side.  A set of permanent latrines hung over the side of a cliff face and the porters stayed in green colored round metal shacks.  We, however, slept in our blue little dome tents with a relentless howling wind that threatened to launch our tents off the ridge. 
Porters & tents getting blown off the ridge
We ate an early dinner and went to bed before 7pm because the next day, and the final assault on the summit, would begin at 11:30pm.

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