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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

View from Karanga Valley Camp

The nights were getting colder, our pulses rates were going up, our oxygen saturation was going down, our appetites were decreasing, and some people were getting bad headaches and feeling nauseous. For the last couple of days at mealtimes, we were all reaching for the ginger tea, made by shredding fresh ginger and steeping it in hot water. The card games were getting shorter too. Amazingly everyone’s tempers were even and everyone was supporting each other in any way they could. People seemed to have good and bad days at different times. I can’t remember an angry word spoken during the entire trip. We were both lucky in the natures of the 8 climbers, and that Wilbert, Faraja, and Hosea were very skilled at high altitude climbing, psychology, and both reassuring and motivating us. They knew what they were doing.

The food all started to taste the same and I had lost my appetite that night. I felt Hosea’s concern. The next morning I still felt bad. He made me eat two bowls of my least favorite food on the whole trip…millet porridge. It was brown and earthy and runny and tasted terrible. He said I might or might not throw up or not, but either way I would feel better. I kept it all down, and amazingly felt much better an hour later.

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