Once again before I had finished my first coffee this morning my mobile phone jumped to life and started vibrating at my workstation. At these early hours of the morning this usually means somebody is not coming in to work and are off to the doctors for one thing or another!! This morning however it was a message from Paul Silwamba reporting he had already departed Barafu camp!! This brings an immediate smile to my face and although I do not have the full details as to how Jerry fared with the trek from Karanga to Barafu it seems from Paul’s short messages that he is still very strong and plodding along at his own pace eating up the k.m that will inevitably lead him to Uhuru peak.
Paul Silwamba – B2B head guide
Paul states that they woke to clear skies this morning with a warming sun steadily climbing and devouring the long shadows and frosty ground, there was not a breath of wind and all looks good for the summit bid. They will overnight at a make shift bivy camp around 3 hrs above Barafu with a small summit crew, the remaining B2B Kili team are still set up with a full base camp located at Barafu. We along with the full porter crew are all waiting on tender hooks for news to filter down from other guides that will reach Barafu way before Jerry is scheduled to return on how things have gone. We will hopefully have a little more news how things are at Bivy 1 camp later today or perhaps once they set off and are in more open terrain to get a good phone signal back to us.
As always we will keep you posted as to how Jerry is going on his Kilimanjaro quest of a lifetime. News from Maddy on fully recharged batteries is that she is having a ball out there on safari! She left Tarangire yesterday after taking in pretty much everything but the big cats and rhino, continuing with her flying safari onward to Serengeti. We are receiving daily emails from her as she is following her father’s climb step by step and day by day, she is so happy with Jerry progress and as other family members are doing sending him positive energy for the summit push.
Rebbman Glacier with Mt Meru as a backdrop
I advised Jerry when I met him in Arusha at Karibu Trade fair that he should come up with a mantra for the summit bid, no-doubt being a retired mathematics professor he will be going over and calculating how many steps he has taken already and how many more he will have to make before he is back to Mweka gate on the 23rd June.
Watch this space or your inbox for the next notification as to how things are going up there somewhere around 5200 metres ( 16,640 feet) as 81-year old Jerry Martindale no doubt settles into his sleeping bag for another night on the chilly slopes of Kilimanjaro