Macs Adventure, Trekking

Kilimanjaro Climb Diary – Day 5

29 Jan , 2010  

Day 5: Kilimanjaro Climb – Karanga Camp (4050m) to Barafu Camp (460m)

So here how day 5 is meant to work:

  • 7:00 — Breakfast at Karanga Camp
  • 9:00 – Walk the three hours from Karanga to Barafu.
  • 13:00 – Have lunch at Barafu Camp
  • 14:00 – Have a long leisurely afternoon sleep to build your strength.
  • 17:30 – Have dinner
  • 18:30 – Go back to bed to enjoy a deep and restful sleep.
  • 23:00 – Wake up fresh and rested for a nice warming hot drink and some biscuits.
  • 23:30 – Start for the summit (The beginning of a 14 hour walking day)

Not! Here how it actually went:

  • 7:00 — Breakfast at Karanga Camp
  • 9:00 – Enjoyed a spectacular high altitude across several valleys to Barafu. Really magic day and amazing views.
  • 12:30 – Arrived in the rocky, crowded and wild Barafu Camp to witness some of the stragglers arriving back in camp from the previous nights summit attempt. They were not a pretty sight! Shattered, ill, only able to walk with assistance and not looking good. It realy brought home the enormity of the task that lay ahead of us tonight.
  • Barafu Camp is a wild place. Perched on a high ridge it is an overcrowded jumble of rocks dotted with hundreds of tents. Because the descending climbers had not yet cleared the campsite we had to wait some time for the crew to find a suitable spot for our camp. Somehow they slotted our numerous tents into the rocky landscape and I even had a lovely flat spot for my sleeping tent.
  • 13:00 – Lunch at Barafu Camp – delicious as always.
  • 14:00 – After packing and repacking my summit pack, discarding every piece of kit which wasn’t essential I attempted to catch some sleep. Mmmmm – easier said than done! As we were now above the clouds the tents were a furnace, the crowded camp was impossibly noisy and the anticipation of the climb ahead made sleep elusive. Well, at least I had a good book.
  • 17:30 – Another delicious dinner, although altitude symptoms were suppressing a few appetites. Msuri faced another barrage of questions, but still didn’t seem to know “Why the chicken crossed the road?”.
  • 19:00 – Back to bed, late,¬†because¬†as always I was talking too much.
  • Sleep was still totally elusive and now it was only my nerves to blame. Eventually I dropped off for an hour of fitful sleep.
  • 23:00 – Wakey wakey! Dark, cold, tired I drag myself out of bed. Wow, I am so excited. Uhuru Peak here we come…

But that is a story for Kilimanjaro Summit Day….

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Founder and Chief Adventure Officer of Macs Adventure. With a passion for adventure and active travel, I firmly believe that the very best way to discover a country, its landscape, culture and people is under your own steam. I have travelled extensively in Southern and East Africa, Australasia, Europe and Asia and spend my time walking, climbing, mountain biking and kite-surfing in Scotland and around the world. I love living in Glasgow with my wife, son and daughter, although I am trying unsuccessfully to convince them to move closer to my favourite kite surfing spot in Troon.