Kilimanjaro Diary: Day Six

12:07 PM

So here is how Day 6 is meant to work:
  • 7:00 — Breakfast at Karanga Camp
  • 9:00 – Walk for four to five hours from Karanga (4050m) to Kosovo Camp (4800m).
  • 13:00 – Have lunch at Kosovo Camp
  • 14:00 – Have a long leisurely afternoon sleep to build your strength.
  • 17:30 – Have dinner
  • 18:30 – Go back to bed to enjoy a deep and restful sleep.
  • 23:00 – Wake up fresh and rested for a nice warming hot drink and some biscuits.
  • 23:30 – Start for the summit (the beginning of a minimum of 14 hours climbing day).

Our porters heading out to Kosovo Camp
Not! Here is how it actually went:

  • 7:00 — Breakfast at Karanga Camp
  • 9:00 – Enjoyed a spectacular high altitude across several valleys to Kosovo. Really magical day and amazing views. Our guides decided against us camping at Barafu and opted to have us push to summit night from Kosovo which would mean a less vigorous start to summit night but an extra hour long climb to camp site.
  • 13:00 – Arrived in the rocky, crowded and wild Barafu Camp to witness some of the stragglers arriving back in camp from the previous night’s summit attempt. They were not a pretty sight! Shattered, ill, only able to walk with assistance and not looking good. It really brought home the enormity of the task that lay ahead of us tonight.
  • Barafu Camp is a wild place. Perched on a high ridge and literally an overcrowded jumble of rocks dotted with hundreds of tents. Because the descending climbers had not yet cleared the campsite, some climbers had to wait some time for the crew to find a suitable spot for their respective camps. Seeing this, we realized how lucky we were to pass the swarming crowds for Kosovo. According to Edward, we were the only ones there, which meant we had the campsite all to ourselves.

Olivia and Mohammed taking a break

Exhaustion was a prevalent feature on our faces by Day 6
Changing my socks because suddenly it was too warm to handle the thick socks I had on

One of the camps as we pushed to Kosovo
Closer than it was before, less than 24 hours to go! 
  • 15:00 – Arrive at Kosovo Camp along with lunch – delicious as always.
  • 15:30 – After packing and repacking my summit pack, discarding every piece of kit which wasn’t essential I attempted to catch some sleep. Easier said than done! As we were now above the clouds, the tents were a furnace making it impossible to sleep. Sleep was still totally elusive. I started coughing non-stop from the beginning of the climb this morning and started running a fever. Suddenly cold shivers, blocked nose and an unbelievable cough started progressing that made the other team members worry and voice their concerns once we gathered for dinner.
My first attempt at night photography, it turned out pretty well
  • 21:30 – We decided against the 'wake up have dinner then go back to sleep' plan and decided to just have dinner at one go. It was yet again another delicious dinner thanks to the crew’s stomach engineer, although altitude symptoms were suppressing a few appetites and my fever was not coming down but rather going up.  
  • 23:00 –Dark, cold, sick and tired I dragged myself and sorted all my gear. Uhuru Peak here we come!
But that is a story for Kilimanjaro Summit Day….

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