So there it was. 22nd of April 11pm when we woke up, drank a cup of tea, packed our few things and 00.00 we were all ready to start our last battle! Final and the hardest part of the climbing – SUMMIT!
We started all together (6of us and 3guides) with slowly walking down the hill in total darkness, only things lightning the road were our torches. In first 10minutes I understood that I had way too many clothes on, so I already needed to take off some. After a while we started going with a bit faster speed with 4danes and 2guides.
It was super quiet around us.. just rocks and climbing, few short stops to drink ice cold water and piece of a candy or chocolate to get at least some energy to move on. This road was seriously steep! Besides that we got some snowstorm and it started to get colder and colder but there were still no signs of arriving anywhere. Just walking in the middle of the darkness and hoping that the guides know where we are going.
Of course I had my breathing problems thanks to my throat again but everybody were super supportive and I guess that was one of the reasons why I didn’t stop, didn’t quit and continued with all the others.
I can’t compare those 6,5hours walking to the top with anything else I have ever done before in my life. None of the walks before didn’t prepare us for something like that. Even none of the swimming trainings or competitions have never ever been so hard as this walk. It was the hardest night in my life so far but definitely worth the effort!
Around 5 o’clock the guides told us that we have only 1hour left until we gonna be in Stella Point! It was amazing to see how suddenly everybody found the energy and to be honest this one hour passed super fast. We arrived to Stella Point at 6o’clock, it was still totally dark outside, snowstorm and wind, super cold weather!
Arriving to Stella Point meant that the steepest part of the journey is over and then it was only around 40minutes walk to the top. Finally we arrived to the top at 6.40am on 23rd of April 2012! Amazing feeling to be top of Kilimanjaro – Uhuru Peak! 5985meters!
We had only 5minutes to make some photos because there were storm clouds and our guides didn’t want to risk us to be up there for longer time. I saw the most beautiful views while walking from the top back to Stella point! Incredible nature and finally the sun was out! Something so beautiful that you can’t describe with words! You have to see it yourself!
Coming down wasn’t so much fun even though the sun was shining most of the time. I was super exhausted and sliding/walking/running/skiing down the hill with my walking sticks was not the thing what I wanted to do on this moment. All I was dreaming about was my tent, warm sleeping bag and sleeping. It took me around 2,5hours to come down to Space Camp where we got some warm tea and soup for the breakfast. After that we got to sleep 5minutes and then the guides told us to pack our stuff and move on. It wasn’t fun at all! It was raining and freezing outside but we didn’t have any other choice to go. So yeah this small journey to next camp turned out to be a real nightmare full of ice cold wind, hale, rain, slippery rocks and endless road. Finally after 4,5hours of hopeless and painful walking we finally arrived to the camp at 3100meters. Surprise surprise it was still raining and our tents were not up! Seriously, it wasn’t the best feeling after such a long day. But it wasn’t the end of the day yet because our guide came and suggested us to walk all the way down to the gate since it was too wet outside to put on the tents or to make food. After a while we understood that it wasn’t a suggestion but our only option. My whole body was hurting, clothes were soaking wet and I was so tired but we still needed to go. The road from our last camp to the gate was a bit better than before. It wasn’t raining so much, rainforest had warmer temperature and the road didn’t have so many slippery rocks. Me and Sleepy Guy were almost running down that road because the thoughts of upcoming shower and bed gave us a lot of energy. I had 3pairs of wet trousers, sweater, sweatshirt, winter jacket, poncho, hat and scarf.. let’s say it was only a bit too hot when the temperature in the rain forest was 20+ degrees on humidity was super high. After hoping the end to come after every curve we finally reached to the gate! Oh what a wonderful feeling it was! Local guys organized some coke for us and soon the others arrived down with an ambulance car so it was time to go back to our nice Kilimanjaro Backpackers Hotel. Best shower in my life probably!
So that was it! The biggest adventure in my life so far! And I couldn’t have done it without my families support, without Dorthe, Jesper, Mo, Daniel and Morten, without our guides, chefs, porters and company. So many thanks to all of them!
KILIMANJARO IS AMAZING! YOU SHOULD ALL GO THERE! EXPERIENCE YOU WILL NEVER FORGET!