Today’s journey was quite interesting because we started at Shira Camp, climbed up to the Lava Tower, then descended back down to into Barranco Camp.
After breakfast we began our ascent up to the Lava Tower which was about 3000 ft (914m) of elevation gain before we descended back down to 13,000 ft (3962m). This is also a way to test how climbers would get acclimatized to the high elevation of Kilimanjaro and see how out bodies would respond.
This morning started off quite well since I was able to actually get some good sleep the night before. I guess I was more exhausted from the previous day trek than I thought. After some breakfast in the mess tent, we started on our way.
I still can’t get enough of the views that Kilimanjaro has to offer!
On this day, I couldn’t help but think that I was on another planet. Just a few days ago we were all in such a tropical climate surrounded by so much green and now it felt like we were on Mars, since we were now in a alpine desert climate.
Since we were now reaching the higher elevations, we were closely monitored by our guides on how we were feeling throughout the day. This including walking at a reduced pace, monitoring our heart rates/blood oxygen levels, and making sure that we stayed hydrated.
After a few hours, we reached the Lava Tower camp to stop and have some lunch. While most of the group used this time to get food or use the restroom, I wandered around the camp to take advantage of the views that were all around me. When I did return to our mess tent, I noticed that one of the members in my trek was not feeling too well and was showing signs of altitude sickness from vomiting. Altitude sickness effects everyone differently. While she was feeling ill, I on the other hand felt just fine so far on the trek.
Once we were finished with lunch, we refilled our water bottles and continued our journey back down to the Baranco Camp which would be our stop for the night.
As we descended more and more, I began to notice that my trek mate who wasn’t feeling too well began to feel better. The best treatment to altitude sickness is to reduce your altitude as quickly as possible. It was good to see that she was back in good spirits.
I just couldn’t get enough of the climate/vegetation on Kilimanjaro. It’s so unique and different from where I live in SLC.
After a few more hours, we finally arrived at Baranco Camp. Today’s hike consisted of about 7 hours of hiking and around 8.5 miles (13.6KM) total travel. The camp itself was packed with other trekkers when we arrived, but we of course already had our camp set up by our porters who arrived before us.
It was a pretty early night for me this day since I was pretty tired and we had an early morning the next day. So after some dinner and a little bit of chat with my fellow trekkers, It was one last view of Kili and then hit the bag for some zzz’s.