Barafu Camp – courtesy of Bruce and Jason Leader 2010 kili challenge
There have been a few developments and happenings from the slopes of Kilimanjaro since my last update, Kili Challenge of a lifetime! The new news is that Maddy after picking up a stomach bug somewhere in Arusha decided as her condition had not improved over the 3 days of fighting the problem, she took advantage of the rescue route that lay adjacent to Shira 2 camp and descended with Rogers one of the 3 official guides. We had all hoped that this scenario of splitting up father and daughter would not have happened and felt for Maddy as it was a huge disappointment that her Kili bid was cut short. We had been communicating on and off over 2011 with many e- mails passing between us in organising the climb with the understanding as to Jerry’s limitations and none of us could have started to imagine that Maddy was the person to come down prematurely.
Maddy was brought back to Arusha where she met up with Ingrid for a short time at the B2B offices. Although very tired and disappointed that she could not continue with her father she was simply relieved to be back and looking forward to the hot shower and thick mattress. As I was out and about in the Lake Manyara area hosting guests at Isoitok Camp, Ingrid checked in on Maddy the following day to which her condition had improved a leap and a bound with Maddy still savouring the long, long showers and comforts of Arusha Coffee lodge!! Maddy spent two days at the lodge recharging her own batteries before deciding to make the most of her time in Tanzania and flew off to Tarangire National Park to explore the wonders that this diverse wilderness location has to offer. She is scheduled to continue with her Tanzania Wildlife safari of the northern parks arriving back to Arusha the same day that Jerry is to come down from Kilimanjaro if everything goes according to plan.
After Maddy bid her farewells – Jerry trudged on unperturbed and focused from Shira 2 making very good time over fairly even ground to Lava Tower, this is an awesome camp that allows great views in every direction with Mount Meru standing out like an oblique against the skyline. Sunsets are simply magical. Due to the Lava tower camp not attracting so many trekkers it allows for a little quiet time to savour the mountain silence after a good days hiking. The winds became very strong for the night that Jerry and Paul’s team were at lava tower but awoke to calm sunny conditions and steaming cups of Jerry new found love of Milo chocolate drink to start the day off on the right foot.
Paul Silwamba – Bush2Beach’s head mountain guide has been checking in with me daily to Jerry’s progress and condition and from what he reports all is well with Jerry doing what he needs to do, chipping away at the trail with a Pole, Pole pace. A short sms came in at 07.45 this morning (18/06/12) that they had left Karanga (Peanut in Swahili) camp and where now setting their focus on Barafu (Ice in Swahili) camp. The weather condition throughout has been very favourable and is sunny, clear and very cool once that sun dips out of site for the day. There is snow down as far as 5000 metres (16,000 feet) which is not a bad thing as it will freeze and make the screed slops up to the summit a little easier to follow. Foot holds that would have been kicked in by fellow trekkers as opposed to sinking into the loose screed, sliding backwards which is tiring and very frustrating when ones mission is to head upward with minimal efforts.
The plan is to reach Barafu today and then stay put for a night and almost a full day heading off to a Bivy camp that we attained special permission in order to shorten the summit bid for Jerry. Paul will be making the decisions up there in accordance to Jerry’s performance with the plan being that a small summit crew will head off at around 04.30 am for a day time summit attempt allowing Jerry a great window of time to stand on the highest free standing mountain in Africa and also descend safely to the Bivy camp.
I will try to get more information from Paul later today as to how Jerry is feeling and how today’s challenge from ‘Peanut to Barafu’ was on a whole. The good thing that we know about Jerry’s climbing history is that altitude has never affected him and it has not come into play once again for him on this Kili challenge either. It will now be down to his mental determination, physical condition and staying power as to how the next 72hrs go up there for Jerry and the B2B kili crew.
Stay tuned for the latest news off the mountain more updates coming your way as we hear back from Paul.