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Looking back I realize I controlled the things I could control: I did lots of research, trained hard, and brought the right things. But in the end it was the things I couldn’t control that had the greatest impact on the trip.

First, our group. It was a random collection of people from around […]

Arusha Burgers

I don’t remember how long it took to drive back to Arusha. Maybe and hour, maybe three. A shower and clean clothes were looking pretty good.

I’d left a small bag with a change of clothing and some things for the safari behind in the hotel, so I retrieved that, went to the room, […]

Day 9: Return & Celebration

Heading down the trail from Mweka Camp

We were allowed to sleep in until 8:00 am and awoke to find the camp buzzing with activity. This was a large campsite with many groups. Kiliwarriors were the center of attention with their song and dance.

We were on the trail by 9:00. We had […]

Day 8: Down the Mountain to Mweka Camp

View from Stella Point

We were up by 6:00am and underway soon after a quick breakfast. It turned out that nobody else had slept at that altitude either. Many things had frozen, including the camp’s water filter and some of my companions’ water bottles and Ipods. Today we would walk 7.6 miles and drop […]

Night 7: Crater Camp

As we finished descending the scree slope and walked to the campsite, Kanini and the other porters came running out to congratulate us. It was their victory as much as it was ours. Kanini insisted on taking my pack, as he always did, and carried it the rest of the way and showed me to […]

Day 7: To the Summit


We were up, dressed, packed and in the breakfast tent at 5:30am. The tents were frozen on the outside. So were we. Nobody said much at breakfast and soon we were on our way. We were going to gain over 4,000 vertical feet to the summit at 19,340ft.

Jon all bundled up


Night 6: Barafu Camp

Barafu Camp is the departure point for the summit of Kibo. It is on a steep, exposed slope, at 15,200 feet. We arrived early afternoon into camp and the winds were fierce. The porters were struggling to erect a tent as we got there.

The ground is full of rocks and is so hard […]

Day 6: To Summit Base Camp

Today was a short day in that we only hiked a little over 2 miles. We headed toward Barafu Camp at 15,200ft where we would depart for the summit the next morning. We were now almost south of Kibo.

Again, we had a sunny morning and clear skies the whole day. The beauty and solitude […]

Night 5: Karanga Valley Camp

We arrived in camp at 13,222ft to find our tents pitched on a high ledge with awesome views down the slope to the west, and of the mountain to the east.

View from Karanga Valley Camp

The nights were getting colder, our pulses rates were going up, our oxygen saturation was going down, our […]

Day 5: The Barranco Wall

I woke up after the first great night’s sleep of the trip feeling fantastic. The sun was out again and we set off towards the Barranco Wall, a steep scramble that takes about an hour to climb. This would be a short day, a little over 3 miles, and only a couple hundred feet of […]