Mission: Kilimanjaro 2008
Wednesday, Feb. 20: Depart as a team from JFK to Amsterdam on an evening flight. All members must make their own arrangements to get to New York City.
Thursday, Feb. 21: Fly to Tanzania. Ground transportation to Springlands Hotel in Moshi.
Friday, Feb. 22 and Saturday, Feb. 23: Visit partner Lyasongoro Lutheran Church in Marangu.
Sunday, Feb. 24: Worship at Lyasongoro Lutheran Church with Pastor Winford Mosha.
Monday, Feb. 25: Day 1 of climb (Nale Muru to Simba Camp, 6,400’ to 8,530’ – about 4 hours). Description: Transfer by Land Rover (about 3 hours) to the attractive wooden village of Nale Muru (1950 m / 6,398'). After signing in and preparing the porters, you will begin the hike on a wide path that winds through fields of maize and potatoes before entering pine forest. The track then starts to climb consistently, but gently through attractive forest that shelters a variety of wildlife. The forest begins to thin out and the first camp is at the edge of the moorland zone (2600 m / 8,530') with extensive views over the Kenyan plains.
Tuesday, Feb. 26: Day 2 of climb (Simba Camp to Kikelewa Camp, 8,530’ to 11,800’ – about 7 hours). Description: The morning walk is a steady ascent up to the Second Cave (3450 m / 11,319') with superb views of Kibo and the Eastern ice fields on the crater rim. After lunch, leave the main trail and strike out across the moorland on a smaller path towards the jagged peaks of Mawenzi. The campsite is in a sheltered valley with giant Senecios near Kikelewa Camp (3600 m / 11,811').
Wednesday, Feb. 27: Day 3 of climb (acclimatization day at Kikelewa Camp, 11,800’).
Thursday, Feb. 28: Day 4 of climb (Kikelewa Camp to Mawenzi Tarn, 11,800’ to 14,200’ – about 4 hours). Description: A short but steep climb up grassy slopes is rewarded by superb all-round views and a tangible sense of wilderness. Leave the vegetation behind shortly before reaching the next camp at Mawenzi Tarn (4330 m / 14,206'), spectacularly situated in a cirque directly beneath the towering spires of Mawenzi. The afternoon will be free to rest or explore the surrounding area as an aid to acclimatization.
Friday, Feb. 29: Day 5 of climb (acclimatization hike). Staying second night at Mawenzi Tarn (14,200’).
Saturday, March 1: Day 6 of climb (Mawenzi Tarn to Kibo Camp, 14,200’ to 15,584’ – about 5 hours). Description: Cross the lunar desert of the “Saddle” between Mawenzi and Kibo to reach Kibo campsite (4750 m / 15,584') at the bottom of the Kibo crater wall. The remainder of the day is spent resting in preparation for the final ascent before a very early night!
Sunday, March 2: Day 7 of climb (Kibo Camp to summit AND to Horombo Hut, 15,584’ to 19,340’ to 12,205' – about 11 hours). Description: Begin the final, and by far the steepest and most demanding, part of the climb by torchlight around 1 a.m. Proceed very slowly in the darkness on a switchback trail through loose volcanic scree to reach the crater rim at Gillman's Point (5685 m / 18,652'). Rest there for a short time to enjoy the spectacular sunrise over Mawenzi. Those who are still feeling strong can make the three-hour roundtrip to Uhuru Peak (5895 m / 19,340'), passing close to the spectacular glaciers and ice cliffs that still occupy most of the summit area. The descent to Kibo (4700 m / 15,419') is surprisingly fast and, after some refreshment, continue the descent to reach the final campsite at Horombo (3720 m / 12,205').
Monday, March 3: Day 8 of climb (Horombo to Moshi, 12,205’ to 5,500’ – 5-7 hours). Description: After breakfast, a steady descent takes us down through moorland to Mandara Hut (2700m / 8,858'), the first stopping place at the Marangu route. Continue descending through lovely lush forest on a good path to the National Park gate at Marangu (1830 m / 6,004'). At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. Gaiters and trekking poles will help. Shorts and t-shirts will probably be plenty to wear (keep rain gear and warmer clothing handy). A vehicle will meet you at Marangu village to drive you back to the Springlands Hotel in Moshi.
Tuesday, March 4: Depart evening flight for USA.
Wednesday, March 5: Arrive USA.