TREK TO THE ROOF OF AFRICA

I just completed my trek to mt. Kilimanjaro,a dormant volcano,the highest mountain in africa,about 5895M AMSL and here is my thrilling story.

To know about details of trek click here Mt. Kilimanjaro trek relevant info

DAY 1

MACHAME GATE(1800M) TO MACHAME CAMP(2835M)

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YMCA hostel…..Mt. Kilimanjaro at the background

In excitement I ate extra two boiled egg with bread toast,tea and sausage in YMCA hostel before starting the journey.The trek starting point,The MACHAME GATE is 45 minutes drive through villages known as cultivation zone.Today the trail is around 11 km with gaining of 1035M height.

An unhurried rate of movement on foot accompanied with my GoPro and already it started working by taking pics and videos of beautiful trail.Trail is very beautiful through montane forest zone and well marked.Different types of flowers and rare black and white monkeys gave me a new way to fall in love with the nature again.

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The road to happiness

It took around 5 hrs to reach the MACHAME CAMP.The weather was sunny with scattery cloud.Camp site was already well organised by our porters.We were greeted with hot soup,tea and snacks.The rest of the day spend well exploring the camp site and sharing the experience with fellow trekers.At the evening, we had our dinner and after briefing of tomorrow’s plan,we went to sleep.

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Sunset at  MACHAME CAMP

DAY 2

MACHAME CAMP(2835M) TO SHIRA CAVE CAMP(3750M)

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on the way to shira cave

Today we’ll trek up to SHIRA CAVE camp.It is around 5 km and elevation gain is 915M.The trail is through moorland and steep one.

After 5 hrs of steep hike we reached the camp site.The majestic view of snow-capped peaks made me overwhelmed and forget all the tiredness.After half an hour,clouds gathered and started raining.And the happiness is enjoying thunderstorm while having hot drinks with snacks in the tent.

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shira cave camp

After stopping rain we went to explore the shira cave.But it didn’t match our expectation.This is very small one,more like a shelter than a cave,not enough space to stand,mainly used as cooking spot by porters.

DAY 3

SHIRA CAVE(3750M) TO BARANCO CAMP(3900M) VIA LAVA TOWER(4600M)

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in front of lava tower,on the way to baranco camp

Today we are going to BARANCO CAMP via LAVA TOWER.The trail to the LAVA TOWER is around 7 km with gaining of 850M.Then we’ll descent another 3 km and 700M to the BARANCO CAMP.Today is more of acclimatization day CLIMB HIGH,SLEEP LOW”.

The trail is through alpine desert zone.As it named,there’s nothing around,only scattered small bushes.After 1hr and 45 minutes of walking,we reached the LAVA TOWER.This is an isolated steep hill in the alpine desert.If you are an adrenalin junkies then this is the spot for you.Just go for the climb to the top of the LAVA TOWER and have some daring pics.We had our packed lunch at the base.Then we started to descent.After crossing few small streams,we reached a place full of bizarre type plants,GIANT GROUNDSELS (DENDROSENECIO KILIMANJARI) and the sea of clouds make this place otherworldly.

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DENDROSENECIO KILIMANJARI

After 15 minutes,we reached at the BARANCO CAMP.It was raining and the place was covered with sea of clouds.At the evening,the clouds cleared away and for the first time THE BARANCO WALL slowly unveiled itself from the sea of clouds.It is as magnificent as scary.

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BARANCO CAMP AND THE BARANCO WALL

DAY 4

BARANCO CAMP(3900M) TO BARAFU CAMP(4673M) VIA KARANGA CAMP(3995M)

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climbing THE BARANCO WALL

The trail is around 10 km with gain of 773m elevation.Today we faced the toughest part of the whole trek,THE BARANCO WALL,steep 300m goosebumping wall but really enjoyable.There are no technical part to climb this wall.You just have to be extra cautious and crawl the way up.There are a “HUG AND KISS” rock and the name perfectly signify the technique to cross it.It took us almost 45 minutes to the top.

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“HUG AND KISS” rock

From the top the trail descent first to a gorge and then steep ascent up to the KARANGA CAMP.we had our lunch there.The weather was cloudy and after 15 minutes of ascent, the THUNDERSTORM started.There are no shelter in between the camp so we had to keep hiking.By that time when we reached the BARAFU CAMP,it started snowing.

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at BARAFU CAMP

Usually the summit march start at night with the aim to reach there before sunrise.But due to bad weather we decided not to hike that day, hoping to get a clear weather on next day.As we were stuck in our tent,had our dinner early and went to bed.

At night,my buddy wake me up as one side of our tent broke down partialy.But we were too lazy to come out from our warm sleeping bag.So we adjusted ourselves and get in deep sleep at no time.

DAY 5

BARAFU CAMP(4673M) TO UHURU PEAK(5895M) VIA STELLA POINT(5756M) AND RETURN

It was an unforgettable morning for me.I can’t stop myself to think about that blissful moment again and again.I woke up at 6:00 a.m and bumped my head on to hanging roof of the tent.How the heck it came down!!!!!Then i opened the zip and WOWWW…..Where am i???!!!I was looking over the hill,covered with white carpet of snow and became speechless.

 

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if this is not heaven,then nowhere else…

Due to unpredictable weather our summit march rescheduled at 10:00 a.m morning.The trail is around 5 km with gaining of 1222m elevation.After having breakfast we started our march to summit.When we were ascending, the maximum trekkers were descending who started their march at night and most of them failed to reach the summit due to bad weather.As we gained altitude, the weather became more windy and hailstorm started. We were in doubt about possibility of successful summit but we didn’t stop for a moment.The visibility was too poor that we were just following our guide’s footsteps. After 5 hrs,we reached at STELLA POINT,one step closure to the summit.

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at STELLA POINT,one step closure to the summit

The weather became more harsh after STELLA POINT. literally I was waddling but my spirit was determined.Then i saw the signboard at distance and felt the joy of achivement.I just ran to the board,kneel down in front of it,fist up in the air and closed my eyes.That feelings i can’t describe in words.You can feel it only the same way.

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joy of achievement,at UHURU PEAK

Due to bad weather we descent immediately to BARAFU CAMP.It took around 2 hrs and 30 minutes to reach the camp.

DAY 6

BARAFU CAMP(4673M) TO MWEKA GATE(1640M)

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on the way to descent,MWEKA CAMP

We descent from BARAFU CAMP to MWEKA GATE directly and saved a day for sightseeing near MOSHI TOWN.At MWEKA GATE, we collect our certificate of accomplishment and then back to YMCA hostel.

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and we did it finally….

 

Few more pics of my thrilling journey:

 

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