No iternaries, no bookings, just pack your bags, Land in Africa and climb Kilimanjaro (Part 2)

Tripoto
16th Feb 2019
Photo of No iternaries, no bookings, just pack your bags, Land in Africa and climb Kilimanjaro (Part 2) by Mayank Mehre
Day 4

This is second part of blog series for our Expedition Summit 2 Sea. As the name of expedition goes we just didn't want to climb highest peak of Africa on 15th of August but we also wanted to reach to depths of its ocean. That is why the name Summit to Sea. For the expedition we were supported by Youth Hostel Association city chapter! Earlier we had decided to plan out entire expedition then we decided to get little adventurous and do everything impromptu. We later realised how doing this in Africa can turn out nasty at times but it sure made our trip hell lot adventurous.

We had travelled from Dar Es Salaam to Arusha and then came to Moshi.  Having reached Moshi the earlier day we rested for night at Moshi.  Our chief tour guide name was Abel . Abel seemed like warm gentleman in first meet. We were briefed about our trip ahead and what we should expect during the trek. Next day we were picked up by our tour guides at Tanzania joy Tour.

We were surprised that for trek of 2 people we had crew team of 9 members. I have done treks in higher Himalayas in Asia some of which were more technical than Kilimanjaro but never had a such a large support crew. Kilimanjaro mountain goes on to provide employment to a lot of people in the region. As a porter  picking up luggage, one can earn far higher dollars in form of tip than average worker in Tanzania.  Our crew had one trek guide and a support guide, one chef and 6 porters. Machame gate is 30 mins drive from Moshi. At Machame camp one has to complete all the formalities. Then porters carried our tents ,cooking material for next 6 days ahead of us. Abel me and Akash slowly started the climb .

Our iternary for next 6 days would look like this - Machame Route
Day 4 : Start from Machame gate and rest at Machame Camp
Day 5: Stop at Shira Camp
Day 6: Reach Barranco Camp
Day 7 : Reach Barafu Camp
Day 8: Climb Peak reach back Barafu and head to Mweka Gate
Day 9: Back to Hotel

We had 11km of climb ahead of us to reach Machame camp. We had decided on this route as this was considered most beautiful route out of 6 routes to reach summit. Machame route can be done in either 6 days or 7 days. We decided to do this route in 6 days as we had to head to Zanzibar for diving back.

From Machame Gate to Machame camp its mostly walk through equatorial rainforest. It was slightly rainy with muddy patches entire time during the day. We started
our trek at 11 am and reached Machame camp at around 4 pm. Here is how day 1 trek looked like.
https://youtu.be/gYlRtWlidVs

Day 4 : It all started here

Photo of No iternaries, no bookings, just pack your bags, Land in Africa and climb Kilimanjaro (Part 2) by Mayank Mehre

Mount Kilimanjaro is fourth of the Tallest 7 summit. After Everest in Asia at 8858 m, Aconcagua in S. America 6950+m , Delani in N. America at 6124 m Kilimanjaro is biggest freestanding mountain (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Kilimanjaro) For e

Photo of No iternaries, no bookings, just pack your bags, Land in Africa and climb Kilimanjaro (Part 2) by Mayank Mehre

Machame Route Day 1 : Stop at Machame Camp Day 2: Stop at Shira Camp Day 3: Reach Barranco Camp Day 4 : Reach Barafu Camp Day 5 : Climb Peak reach back Barafu and head to Mweka Gate Day 6 : Back to Hotel

Photo of No iternaries, no bookings, just pack your bags, Land in Africa and climb Kilimanjaro (Part 2) by Mayank Mehre

Climbling Poley Poley....(meaning slowly slowly in swahili) Climbing slowly on mountain is key to success and leads to proper acclimatization

Photo of No iternaries, no bookings, just pack your bags, Land in Africa and climb Kilimanjaro (Part 2) by Mayank Mehre

Our route of climb for day 4

Photo of No iternaries, no bookings, just pack your bags, Land in Africa and climb Kilimanjaro (Part 2) by Mayank Mehre
Photo of No iternaries, no bookings, just pack your bags, Land in Africa and climb Kilimanjaro (Part 2) by Mayank Mehre

5 ours of walk and we arrived at this campsite at end of it. These tents are carried by porter and setup at new location everyday as we move ahead

Photo of No iternaries, no bookings, just pack your bags, Land in Africa and climb Kilimanjaro (Part 2) by Mayank Mehre

Tea and popcorn after the long trek day . The best part of the trek was this food tent setup by our trek group. It was like being in some fancy Hotel called 'Kilimanjaro'

Photo of No iternaries, no bookings, just pack your bags, Land in Africa and climb Kilimanjaro (Part 2) by Mayank Mehre

5 course meal at night starting with Cucumber soup . Thankfully the food prepared by our trek group would be British style.Unfortunately there were not many veg options here aswell and 6 days i had to stick with same food. Akash with his non veg opti

Photo of No iternaries, no bookings, just pack your bags, Land in Africa and climb Kilimanjaro (Part 2) by Mayank Mehre

Tent life . Thug life

Photo of No iternaries, no bookings, just pack your bags, Land in Africa and climb Kilimanjaro (Part 2) by Mayank Mehre

Morning after

Photo of No iternaries, no bookings, just pack your bags, Land in Africa and climb Kilimanjaro (Part 2) by Mayank Mehre
Day 5

Day 5 of expedition was tough climb day , though short compared to day 4 but gradient being more challenging. Day 4 we climbed almost 11 km but on day 5 in similar time we traversed just 5 km. Mount Kilimanjaro is dormant Volcano, while being on machame route one will walk through equatorial rain  forest on day 4 but from day 5 onwards vegetation reduces and as its mostly rocky till
summit vegetation is very less. Day 5 we walked through Moorlands of Kilimanajaro

Weather on mountain is very unpredictable . Rains are frequent and as you go higher and higher and weather changes any moment. One moment there is clear sky and next moment it starts drizzling. Machame route is probably most crowded route on mountain .Even though you meet a lot of people during the day almost everyone is on their own unlike in Everest base camp trek which I had done a year back.

Finally after 5 hours of walk at around 1 pm we arrive at Shira Camp at 3750 m . We are just 2000 m short of summit and 3 days away. Shira Camp was place where you get to see Kilimanjaro Summit clearly for first time. Also it is one of the most beautiful places on mountain. Shira camp was the last campsite where we had clear weather. After this at every other camp weather was terrible with visibility restricted to few meters

We went for acclamatization walk around volcanic rocks. Temperatures were sub 10 degrees and AMS had started hitting us at 3800m. Both of us had headaches by the evening so it was important that we climbed to higher altitude and sleep at lower altitude.

Ravens welcoming us on campsite

Photo of No iternaries, no bookings, just pack your bags, Land in Africa and climb Kilimanjaro (Part 2) by Mayank Mehre

Day 5 : journey goes on

Photo of No iternaries, no bookings, just pack your bags, Land in Africa and climb Kilimanjaro (Part 2) by Mayank Mehre

Vegetation changes on day 5 . We walk on moorplains

Photo of No iternaries, no bookings, just pack your bags, Land in Africa and climb Kilimanjaro (Part 2) by Mayank Mehre
Photo of No iternaries, no bookings, just pack your bags, Land in Africa and climb Kilimanjaro (Part 2) by Mayank Mehre

Weather changes abruptly on mountain

Photo of No iternaries, no bookings, just pack your bags, Land in Africa and climb Kilimanjaro (Part 2) by Mayank Mehre

It's a long way to summit. Some patches are even paved

Photo of No iternaries, no bookings, just pack your bags, Land in Africa and climb Kilimanjaro (Part 2) by Mayank Mehre

End of day 5. Reaching Shira camp

Photo of No iternaries, no bookings, just pack your bags, Land in Africa and climb Kilimanjaro (Part 2) by Mayank Mehre

Shira camp. Kilimanjaro hiding in the clouds

Photo of No iternaries, no bookings, just pack your bags, Land in Africa and climb Kilimanjaro (Part 2) by Mayank Mehre

Shira camp

Photo of No iternaries, no bookings, just pack your bags, Land in Africa and climb Kilimanjaro (Part 2) by Mayank Mehre
Photo of No iternaries, no bookings, just pack your bags, Land in Africa and climb Kilimanjaro (Part 2) by Mayank Mehre
Photo of No iternaries, no bookings, just pack your bags, Land in Africa and climb Kilimanjaro (Part 2) by Mayank Mehre

Up above the clouds

Photo of No iternaries, no bookings, just pack your bags, Land in Africa and climb Kilimanjaro (Part 2) by Mayank Mehre

View from Shira camp

Photo of No iternaries, no bookings, just pack your bags, Land in Africa and climb Kilimanjaro (Part 2) by Mayank Mehre

Acclimatization walk to this place

Photo of No iternaries, no bookings, just pack your bags, Land in Africa and climb Kilimanjaro (Part 2) by Mayank Mehre

We collected some dragonstones on our way to acclimatization walk

Photo of No iternaries, no bookings, just pack your bags, Land in Africa and climb Kilimanjaro (Part 2) by Mayank Mehre

Spaghetti and meat for dinner

Photo of No iternaries, no bookings, just pack your bags, Land in Africa and climb Kilimanjaro (Part 2) by Mayank Mehre
Day 6

With Summit in sight we were all the more enthused to be on top of mountain. Weather looked very pleasant plus our headaches were gone

We were on our way to Lava tower a extinct volcano on mountain. Lava tower was 4600 m only 1200 meter below summit from lava tower we were to climb down to Baranco camp which is again 3600 m

All of sudden weather changed and we started walking amidst dark clouds. It was drizzling all the way for next 24 hours.

Visibility was very poor and as we descended towards Baranco Camp vegetation began to change. It seems like we were walking in Avatar land

Day 3 Ended .Happy me after walking two hour in what felt like nothingness

Because of rains temperatures had dropped . At night it was below zero Degrees.  Food and weather had got us on nerves. Plus AMS had aggrevated. Entire night it was very noisy made by wind and rains.

More about the last part of trek in subsequent post

Shira camp side

Photo of No iternaries, no bookings, just pack your bags, Land in Africa and climb Kilimanjaro (Part 2) by Mayank Mehre

Summit behind clouds

Photo of No iternaries, no bookings, just pack your bags, Land in Africa and climb Kilimanjaro (Part 2) by Mayank Mehre

With summit in sight we were all excited about our coming days in expedition

Photo of No iternaries, no bookings, just pack your bags, Land in Africa and climb Kilimanjaro (Part 2) by Mayank Mehre

Long walk to Summit

Photo of No iternaries, no bookings, just pack your bags, Land in Africa and climb Kilimanjaro (Part 2) by Mayank Mehre
Photo of No iternaries, no bookings, just pack your bags, Land in Africa and climb Kilimanjaro (Part 2) by Mayank Mehre

Shira camp to lava tower was a quite windy experience

Photo of No iternaries, no bookings, just pack your bags, Land in Africa and climb Kilimanjaro (Part 2) by Mayank Mehre

Vegetation is almost non existent in this part of trek. We were climbing up to lava tower and then we would climb Baranco camp

Photo of No iternaries, no bookings, just pack your bags, Land in Africa and climb Kilimanjaro (Part 2) by Mayank Mehre

Climbing down from lava tower

Photo of No iternaries, no bookings, just pack your bags, Land in Africa and climb Kilimanjaro (Part 2) by Mayank Mehre

4600 m . Lava tower. 1200 meters more and we would be at summit

Photo of No iternaries, no bookings, just pack your bags, Land in Africa and climb Kilimanjaro (Part 2) by Mayank Mehre

To baranco

Photo of No iternaries, no bookings, just pack your bags, Land in Africa and climb Kilimanjaro (Part 2) by Mayank Mehre

Looking out for mobile network. Surprisingly at some parts of mountain one can find mobile network

Photo of No iternaries, no bookings, just pack your bags, Land in Africa and climb Kilimanjaro (Part 2) by Mayank Mehre

Weather changed all of sudden and for next two days weather was mostly hazy. With visibility of just couple of meters

Photo of No iternaries, no bookings, just pack your bags, Land in Africa and climb Kilimanjaro (Part 2) by Mayank Mehre

It felt like we were in Avatar land. Vegetation in this part is uniquely different from anywhere found on planet

Photo of No iternaries, no bookings, just pack your bags, Land in Africa and climb Kilimanjaro (Part 2) by Mayank Mehre

Arriving at barranco

Photo of No iternaries, no bookings, just pack your bags, Land in Africa and climb Kilimanjaro (Part 2) by Mayank Mehre

Reaching baranco in late afternoon.

Photo of No iternaries, no bookings, just pack your bags, Land in Africa and climb Kilimanjaro (Part 2) by Mayank Mehre
Photo of No iternaries, no bookings, just pack your bags, Land in Africa and climb Kilimanjaro (Part 2) by Mayank Mehre

Weather became extremely bad once we reached campsite. It was raining pretty crazy and temperatures dipped all of sudden. Hot Coffee served by our crew felt divine in those moments

Photo of No iternaries, no bookings, just pack your bags, Land in Africa and climb Kilimanjaro (Part 2) by Mayank Mehre
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