Kilimanjaro, part four
Day Four - We get a great view of Kilimanjaro
Please read part one, two, and three if you haven't already.
The next morning we awoke to our first clear view of Kilimanjaro. For such a massive mountain, it's very difficult to get a clear view of it. This picture was taken in the morning. In the afternoon, clouds cover the peak.
In this photo, the path we took is up and towards the right of the mountain.
Andy liked my picture idea so much that he asked me to take one of him, further discrediting his theory that I take lousy photos.
One thing which surprised me on this trip was the amount of downtime. Before we set out, I brought a book along at the last moment. I'm glad I did, I actually finished it before the trip was over.
We started hiking to the Shira Two campsite and paused to take a picture of me with the shrubs. In the background, you can see how Kilimanjaro has again been covered in clouds.
It's difficult to dress for this kind of weather. If you go, wear layers. When the sun is out, it's hot. When clouds roll in, it gets cold quickly. I was constantly taking my shell off and then putting it back on again.
Although you can barely see them, there are wild buffalo in the background of this picture. There really are. This was also the first time I had ever seen my brother with beard stubble.
Another photo in a distinctive ecosystem.
Our assistant guide told us there used to be a camp around here, called "Simba Camp", named for the lions that used to stalk in the area. They closed it when they realized tourists liked viewing lions at a distance, not camping in their hunting grounds.
Seeing these trees made me feel like I was in an episode of Star Trek. I don't know the species name but they were very weird. They looked like evil palm trees.
We briefly stopped in our Shira Two campsite to drop off our equipment and then continued onward. The rule when hiking Kilimanjaro is "Climb high, sleep low" which means, gain elevation when you can, then return to camp to sleep. I credit this additional acclimitization time to our success in reaching the summit.
These photos were taken at around 15,000 feet elevation, higher than I had ever been before. My previous high was when Andy and I climbed Mt Rainier, which is 14,400 feet.
This ecosystem, alpine desert, was the fourth of the five we would pass through. There was very little life up here. The area was made up almost entirely of volcanic rock. I found this very foreboding, like how I envisioned Mordor in Lord of the Rings.
Next Installment: Andy and Tom climb the lava tower.