Tuesday, October 11, 2005

try again

okay, well this is the second time that I have tried to post today. The first time, I posted but the internet crashed here and everything was lost.

The internet is very slow here so I will try to keep this short and post again in a few days perhaps.

Climbing Kilimanjaro was the most challenging thing I have ever attempted. However it was worth it. The most difficult day on the way up the mountain was the day we climbed the western breach. We had to get up at 5am and begin the long ascent in the semi darkness. It was a long hard scramble up steep rock face and loose shale. Sometimes we had to scramble through and around rocks while there was a long and steep drop below. Good thing I am not afraid of heights, I actually enjoyed it.

About 9 1/2 hours after we started we reached the crater edge. It was very exciting, but we were all quite tired. Our camp was beside a very large glacier at about 18, 000 feet. It is amazing how hard it is to get a full breath at that altitude and how your heart beats so fast you can hear it in your sleep. (well snoozing, there wasn't much sleep to be had). The next day was summit and the beginning of the long hard (and fast descent).

Reaching the summit was almost anti-climatic. It was a hard, slow slog, every breath and step was an effort. However, we only had to climb a measly 4-500 feet. It took about 2 1/2 hours. The panorama from the roof of Africa is undescribable. All I can say is that the images, sensations, and feelings will be with me forever.

Now the hard part started. The descent was the most difficult part for me. About halfway down on the first descent day my left knee went on me. The next 12000 feet are a hazy, foggy, pain filled memory. But I was determined to make it all the way on my own two feet, NO stretcher for this chick.

I am happy to say that all of us made it up, and down, although we all had our own personal trials and tribulations along the way. I owe one of the gentlemen in our group my eternal gratitude for helping me down the mountain. He told me stories, made me laugh and supported me when the steps and rocks were just too big for me. Thanks Russ!!!!

I must go now as time is running short.

I have so much more to tell, but will save that for the next time.... stay tuned for tales from the Serengeti!!!

Take care.... ciao


lennyalexander09735556 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Michelle said...

yay, quite the feat and you did it! congrats and have fun on safari (it's a safari right?)