Friday, August 19, 2011


Excerpt from my journal- Wed. July 20th- Today it was about 4-5 hours to Lava Tower, which was CRAZY hard. I had to stop twice- once because i couldn't breathe, and another time i thought my heart would explode if i climbed another inch. after that, we had about 3 more hours to hike all the way to Barranco camp. i got a smashing headache, and i guess i didn't realize how hard downhill was going to be.

i'm not robbing you, it just got REALLY cold!

day 3 was really long, but necessary for acclimatization. even though we climbed to 15,180 feet (hence the smashing headache) we hiked back down to sleep at Barranco camp, which was only at 13,077 feet. when i found that out, i was kind of mad, actually...and now in retrospect, i realize that says something about me. i learned so much about myself from doing this, but i suppose i learned even more from being all alone.

For the most part, the hike to Lava Tower was pretty barren. discreet peeing behind rocks was difficult at best. eventually i got to the point where i just didn't care. however, even though i had no inhibitions about peeing anywhere i could, it also got to be quite cold the higher up i went, so now i'm crouching AND shivering... not a good combo.
THAT'S what i should have gotten a picture of. 

Lava Tower

Lunch was eaten at Lava Tower, and since the altitude was killing my appetite, i shared my food with some of the strangest birds...they said they were ravens, but they had to have been 2-3 feet tall, and really robust, for lack of a better word. we didn't stay for long, i suspect the guide knew how tired i was already, and wanted to get me up and on my feet before i fell asleep. we began on a path that would take us down into the Barranco valley, where the scenery was once again, totally different. the pictures don't show perspective well, but everything was just so big! the valley, the stream, the plants, enormous.


the downward hike felt like it was taking so long...this was the first part of my climb that my guide was walking really far ahead of me at times. i'd manage to catch up to him, then he'd stop to pee and tell me "keep going" with a grunt. then he'd have a break and walk behind me. at this point i really felt lonely and tired, so i needed/wanted the company. naturally i got more angry, but apparently i know how to turn that anger into motivation, so on i went. and on. and on. and onnnnnnnnnnnn.

fianlly i reached the camp. the view was insane, as was the freezing temperature. with the exception of a *brief* trip to a pit latrine while it was still light out and my nightly mealtime in the cooking tent, i stayed in my tent, zipped up and in my sleeping bag with a hot water bottle inside to help warm me up.


in my next blog, Day 4, or as i like to call it, the beginning of the hardest 48 hours of my life.


  1. Leaving Sunday to hike up Kili. Have enjoyed reading your blog. I'm going up alone as well for the most part. I joined a group but it turns out only one other person is in the group and I don't know who they are at this point. I figure it will be a good time to do a lot of thinking and introspection.

  2. wow! good luck!
    if you have any questions at all, i will answer them honestly. the things i appreciated the most were: baby wipes, little snacks, a really great sleeping bag, ziploc bags, and my journal... i brought my ipad as well, and used it (sparingly) for reading in my tent while resting, and sometimes at higher altitudes when i couldn't sleep.

    how did you find my blog?

    best wished for an amazing climb!

  3. found it via Twitter; I've got boat load of wipes and everything I'm packing is in a ziplock. I'm renting the sleeping bag but have a good liner for it. Worried about the altitude but I figure if we go slow enough I'll be ok. I'm doing the Rongai Route which is a little more of a gradual climb on the first few days.

  4. i took Diamox for altitude- half a tablet, twice a day for days 2-5. it really helped.

    if you have any questions, feel free to email me-

    good luck!


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