Kilimanjaro Day 5: Summit night and morning

summit

Diary excerpt

We got woken up at 11:30pm last night. Everyone was quite anxious. I couldn’t believe I would be going to the top of Africa that night…We got out of the tents to find the weather, once again was not our side; it was snowing. But that didn’t dampen us. I had 6 layers on my top half and 4 on my bottom half, Dad the same; it was so freezing. I’ve never been so cold in my life.

We started trekking up the mountain which was possibly the most painful thing I’ve ever done. Walking at a snail pace is the only way to go as the hills are so steep, you can’t go any faster. It is one step at a time. After many short rests (you can’t rest long as you get too cold and need to keep moving) we stopped for a bit longer at around 3am. Dad was hating it. After trying to convince him to carry on, he wouldn’t budge and said, “I’m cold, I’m tired and I’m sore!” He wanted to go down and no one was going to tell him otherwise. So he started the trek back down to summit camp while Dave and I carried on. It just got colder and harder. I think both, Dave and I will never, ever forget the hill up to Stella point. I can’t explain it; a never ending path that just seemed to get steeper. The only thing keeping me going was seeing people’s head torches getting closer at the top and knowing we were almost there. We stopped and had some hot Milo in a cave close to the top; just what we needed. Now we had a bit more energy and were ready to get to Uhuru peak. Conquering StellaΒ  point felt amazing and knowing we only had to go up a few hundred more metres was even better.

We started walking again after a quick rest at Stella point and the sun was now slowly starting to come up. I’ll never forget the sight I saw next; seeing the Uhuru peak sign for the first time, from a distance. It was completely surreal. After seeing it a million times on the internet, now it was in front of me in person. The colours were unbelievable. On one side of the mountain the sun was rising; so there was purples, pinks, oranges, and blues, while on the other side the moon was still up, so colours of deep purple and dark blue flooded the snow and sky. It was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen. Dave and I reached the top of Africa at 6:20am on 3 March 2010.

I made it.

7 Comment

  1. Well done Kerry, you’re a champ! πŸ˜‰ Did you see any “pink elephants” up there (my sister did…hallucinations lol)? πŸ™‚ Splendid shots as always! πŸ˜‰

  2. Bruce Thompson says:

    Hey, I’m Dave’s roommate from Bishops. Absolutely gorgeous photography! I’m glad someone that knew there way around a camera was able to document it.

  3. Kilimanjaro is a tough one and the fact that you not only got to the top, but also took phenomenal pictures is a feat in itself! Congrats! I especially love the images of the sun rising. That’s one of my favorite times of day in Africa and whenever I’m on a trip to Africa I always get up early to watch the sunrise. Next time I’ll have to do it from the summit of Kilimanjaro!

  4. Janet Lane says:

    Wow, well done you. Fantastic pictures -unforgetable, realy captured the mood. Enjoyed reading the diary entries.

  5. kerry says:

    Thanks so much guys! Didn’t see any pink elephants up there Michael, that could have been quite fun! πŸ™‚

  6. Jennie says:

    Kerry, thank you for sharing this post and beautiful photographs with us! Congratulations on reaching the top too! I am in awe of you and your team and yes, in awe of your pictures too!!

  7. Danielle Devin says:

    those are some of the most stunning photographs ive seen kerry! ur story and images gave me goosebumps!well done sweetie on reaching the top!

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