Thirdeyemom

Kilimanjaro: Lunch at Barafu Camp

Author’s note: This post is part of a series on my recent trip and climb of Mount Kilimanjaro, to read all posts click here

The morning light rose above the mountain and slowly warmed my tent. I had slept relatively well knowing that the next 36 hours were going to be grueling. We would have a short three hour hike to Barafu Camp at 14,930 feet (4,550 feet)  – the normal setting off point for the summit attempt – and continue on to a higher, lesser known camp called Kosovo where we would sleep before a midnight rise to climb to the top.

Carnage Camp Machame Route Kilimanjaro

Morning 5 on Kilimanjaro.

Karanga Camp Machame Route Kilimanjaro

Group shot before we leave Karanaga Camp.

It was another gorgeous day and the views of the summit were spectacular. After five days and nights on the mountain, it was hard to believe that the summit attempt was already so near. We were incredibly fortunate to have been blessed with such spectacular weather and were hoping that our climb up would be equally nice. The thought of climbing unprotected for hours in the dark scared me more than the actual climb. I knew that on some cases it could be bone-numbing cold with winds well below zero. Six or seven hours in that sounded painful.

Karanga Camp Machame Route Kilimanjaro

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy”. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

I was feeling great both physically and mentally. I was ready to do it and get to the top. To have worked so hard, I had to get there. Thankfully I had no signs at all of altitude sickness so it would merely be a mind game getting to the top. It was not only a test of physical but of mental strength. I learned that when I ran a marathon.

Karanga Camp Machame Route Kilimanjaro

Leaving camp

Karanga Camp Machame Route Kilimanjaro

Karanga Camp Machame Route Kilimanjaro

Karanga Camp Machame Route Kilimanjaro

Karanga Camp Machame Route Kilimanjaro

“Challenge is the pathway to engagement and progress in our lives. But not all challenges are created equal. Some challenges make us feel alive, engaged, connected, and fulfilled. Others simply overwhelm us. Knowing the difference as you set bigger and bolder challenges for yourself is critical to your sanity, success, and satisfaction”. – Brendon Burchard

In the past five days on the mountain I had become great friends with our team of climbers and support staff. What I love about doing a climb is that it is both personal and communal. We all have our own personal reasons for doing it and our own challenges to overcome. Yet as a team,  the support and friendship of the group has its own impact and power on the experience too.

Karanga Camp Machame Route Kilimanjaro

Karanga Camp Machame Route Kilimanjaro

Karanga Camp Machame Route Kilimanjaro

Karanga Camp Machame Route Kilimanjaro

Going up through the long rocky path

Karanga Camp Machame Route Kilimanjaro

Karanga Camp Machame Route Kilimanjaro

Karanga Camp Machame Route Kilimanjaro

Taking a break

Karanga Camp Machame Route Kilimanjaro

Karanga Camp Machame Route Kilimanjaro

Going to Barafu Hut Machame Route Kilimanjaro

Going to Barafu Hut Machame Route Kilimanjaro

Going to Barafu Hut Machame Route Kilimanjaro

Going to Barafu Hut Machame Route Kilimanjaro

Going to Barafu Hut Machame Route Kilimanjaro

Going to Barafu Hut Machame Route Kilimanjaro

We reached Barafu Camp hungry and ready for a hot lunch. As one of the highest camps before the summit attempt, it was rocky and crowded. After being there for only a few minutes, I was relieved that we would continue on to the next camp up. My nerves were already racing and a little more peace and tranquility would do me well.

Going to Barafu Hut Machame Route Kilimanjaro

Going to Barafu Hut Machame Route Kilimanjaro

Barafu Hut Machame Route Kilimanjaro

Barafu Hut Machame Route Kilimanjaro

Barafu Hut Machame Route Kilimanjaro

Barafu Hut Machame Route Kilimanjaro

Barafu Hut Machame Route Kilimanjaro

Barafu Hut Machame Route Kilimanjaro

Solar Sister Founder Katherine Lucey taking a little nap in the sun.

It was only a short hike to the next camp where we would rest, eat an early dinner and rise shortly after midnight for our climb up. It was hard to believe after all that dreaming that it was finally here.

 

38 comments

  1. Unbelievable, I cannot imagine the inner joy that you must feel: the combination of Mother Nature’s magnificence and your quest to fulfill a dream must bring an inhale and exhale of spiritual tranquility.

  2. I love the quotes that you have interspersed in all of these pieces. Did you read them before you went or just when you got back? Looking forward to reading about the final moment you reached the top!

  3. I love reading your posts about trekking up Kili. Your photos are fantastic. I’m looking forward to taking lots of shots each day. I leave the US on Friday and start the trek next Tuesday. I’m doing 8 days up and 2 down. The route is a newer & less crowded route called the Northern Circuit. I’m scared and excited but mostly excited and ready to get to it 🙂

  4. Wow. Tanzania is undoubtedly one my dreams. My boyfriend is half Tanzanian, hope one day I would be able to see that beautiful part of the world and gain some skills on how to write a blog. I am an amateour 😀 Blessings from Netherlands.

    • Ha Ha….I’m not very fast Debbie at getting the story out. It has dragged on for perhaps too long but it is so fun for me to relive it. 🙂 We left at midnight as it was 6 hours up, 6 hours down then a short nap, then four more hours so it was hard to make it all in one day plus you must be on top to see the sun rise!!! Something I will never forget.

    • Thanks Andrew! I wish I did but it was too cold and I just wanted to get there. I wish so bad I got the shots. My hands were numb and I wanted to make sure my camera would work on top if I took it out.

  5. maamej

    Oops, pressed send accidentally. What I was going to say was: Oh no, I didn’t realise you hadn’t finished the series. waiting eagerly for the next installments.

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