Kilimanjaro Challenge, 2014. Time to set foot on the mountain

On 10 October 2014 the team stood at Uhuru Peak,
raising awareness for this school and the work they do.
Educating the deaf started in King William’s Town (Eastern Cape) in 1888.
The Congregation of the Dominican Sisters of St Catherine of Siena
moved their school to a property in Melrose, Johannesburg called “The Haven”
The school was named after St Vincent Ferrer, a 14th century Dominican preacher,
renowned for restoring hearing to the deaf.
The school has been educating deaf children for the past 75 years.
To find out more about the school,
visit their website:
I was SO happy to find my head guide from 2006,
John Mtui who now runs his own travel company.
check out his website:

The hike begins in the forest on the lower slopes of this route

There are families that live and work here

“JAMBO, JAMBO”…these youngsters were very friendly

These benches and seating could be found along this route.
I did not find them on the Machame route in 2006.
But this could have been an upgrade since my last climb

The flora along our route was spectacular

Our head guide, Isack.
He has been to the summit about 300 times in his career so far.
And he says that he has an almost 100% success rate.
He is very thorough and he sets a very good walking pace.

Our “number two” guide, Roman.
Good company, but he walked “faster” than Isack.
He called me Dennis the entire trip!

At our first overnight camp.
To quote Bianca:
“As challenging as the summit was for me, I am grateful for the journey”

Home sweet home…

A pensive moment…
I know what lies ahead and how hard the week is going to be.
In 2006, I wrote the following in my journal:
“A time to leave my ego at home.
This adventure has taught me a lot about myself
and that humility makes all things easier”.

My Gnome came with.

As did KwandHare…

I celebrated the 10th anniversary of the death of my Dad on this trip.

Looking down on an African sunrise.

And THIS is what is lit…
The north side of Kilimanjaro

Looking DOWN on the clouds

We discovered this tiny chameleon

More clouds…
Luckily the rain stayed away while we were walking.
On both days that it did rain, we were already in camp and in our tents.
Most grateful to the mountain gods.

A White necked Raven hovers with the mountain in the background.
This is the itinerary for the October, 2014 Challenge…

The Rongai Route
Sunday 05 October 2014  
After an early breakfast, a senior guide will conduct your climb briefing.   
You will then be driven to Rongai Gate, where you will meet the rest of your guides and porters. 
 After the formalities at the gate have been completed, begin your ascent to the first cave en route. 
 The climb should take approximately 2 to 3 hours.  
This part takes you through the cultivated area of the mountain, 
where you can see how local farmers tend to their lands on the slopes.  
Overnight at Simba Camp (1,800m).
Monday 06 October 2014  
Early in the morning, begin trekking out past the second cave, and on to the third cave.  
This should take you approximately 6 to 7 hours.  
The climb today is relatively difficult, taking you through forest and well into the moorland.  
Overnight at Kikelelwa Camp (3,800m).

Tuesday 07 October 2014  
This is an acclimatization day – you will hike further up the mountain, 
then return to third cave for overnight.

Wednesday 08 October 2014  
Continue ascending to Mawenzi Tam Hut, which should take approximately 7 hours to get to.  Overnight camping at Mawenzi Tam Hut (4,330m).
Thursday 09 October 2014  
Depart to Kibo Hut, which should take you approximately 4 to 5 hours.  
Settle down for an early night camping at Kibo Hut (4,703m). 

Friday 10 October 2014: 
Summit Day!!   
Today you will be heading for the highest point in Africa – Uhuru Peak (5,895m).  
You will be woken around midnight to commence the 5 hour hike,
 on heavy scree up to Gillman’s Point (5,686m).  
You will be walking in the dark as the ground is frozen and this makes it easier to ascend this steep section.
 As you reach the Crater Rim, the sun should be rising to display Africa in all its glory beneath you.  
The views are spectacular and it makes the entire journey worth every step!
Continue another 1 or 2 hours to Uhuru Peak, along the wide paths of the crater rim, peering down onto massive glaciers shining in the morning sun. 
Arriving at Uhuru can be quite emotional, with the strain of the summit finally behind you and Africa surrounding you! 

After a few photographs at the summit, begin your steady descent to Kibo Hut for a rest and some nourishment, then continue to Horombo Hut to camp for overnight.

Saturday 11 October 2014  
After breakfast, descend to Marangu Gate.  
You will be transferred to Keys Hotel for a well-needed shower and an evening of celebration. 
 Overnight at Keys Hotel 
Sunday 12 October 2014  
Your tour ends today after breakfast and you will be transferred from Keys Hotel to Kilimanjaro Airport.



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