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  • Niki Harry

Conquering Kilimanjaro - Day 6

Updated: Apr 23, 2019

Elevation: Start at 13,200 ft – end at 14,950 ft at Barafu camp

Go figure I had another rough night last night. I barely slept or so it seemed, as I tossed and turned all night and was awake but at the same time I remember dreaming. It was all very odd. It seemed like a very long night. I got very hot a couple of times and at one point I actually panicked as I felt like I was suffocating. I couldn’t unzip my sleeping bag and literally took a fit trying to get out. John had to help me! Good morning Kili!

French toast, bacon, eggs, porridge and fruit for breakfast. Medical checks. Pack our daypacks. Pack up camp. Group photo and off trekking by 9:15am.

It was immediate straight up… and up… and up. Awful. Today they lined our group into a specific order and we had to stay in that order for the entire hike. They also wanted us to be in this same order for tomorrow’s summit hike. Interesting.

The pace was very slow but it was basically non-stop for about 3 ½ hours and all uphill. It was pretty tough. The views were pretty amazing again, so high above the clouds. Stunning and surreal. And the top of Kili staring down at us the whole time.

Today Heidi was not good. It was her turn to be sick. Her lungs were gurgling and she had to take asthma meds plus her heart rate was really high. Monika got a nosebleed again as soon as we started out.

So we climbed back up to 15,260 feet and as soon as we almost got to Barafu camp, my head started pounding again. Damn I was not happy and it was bad. And then got worse. Eliakim immediately came to my tent and gave me 12 minutes of oxygen and two more Tylenols. At this point we were done with hiking for the day and after my oxygen hit we had lunch. We had another hot soup, then Tusker’s signature dish, Kilimanjaro chicken. It was basically fried chicken but it was very good alongside fries and fritters. This camp was extremely rocky but huge. There were different groups all over the area hidden behind rocks and along the slopes. We were squished in this small area.

Our toilets :)

We then had all three guides come into our tent and we knew that we were going to hear something pretty serious. It was our pep talk and the reality of tomorrow. It is going to be the toughest day. We have around 10 hours in total tomorrow, 7 of them being straight up to the summit. I was feeling a bit scared and nervous because of the return of the headache. How would I fare tomorrow going from 15,000 to 19, 340 feet all in one shot? They also wanted a decision re: sleeping at Crater camp. If we stayed at Crater camp, it would mean 7 hours up, then leave the summit and only descend down for about an hour to 18,500 feet and sleep at the crater. They warned its extremely dangerous, its extremely cold & were worried because we were all suffering from altitude. It would also mean that the porters would have to pack up this camp and move it up with us tomorrow. The risk is great even for the porters. We all agreed to skip it, it really wasn’t that important. The key was to summit and then get the hell down! I think the porters and our guides were ecstatic. It meant the porters got a bit of a break for a day. And one less worry for our guides. Also meant that we leave everything here at camp and not worry about bringing all the gear with us, just what was absolutely necessary.

So after lunch, we were told to get all our cold weather clothes out and empty our day packs. They wanted to see it all, check it and approve it. We had to refill all our water containers and be completely ready before dinner time. We would have an early wakeup call at 4:30AM tomorrow. And we would have the toughest and longest day yet.

We then had some time to ourselves before dinner so I relaxed in the tent listening to my iPhone and Colin James blaring in my ears. We are starting to look pretty rough now!

​We had pasta bolognese again tonight (YAY!) I was very happy as I missed it earlier this week from feeling so sick.

​Then an early night as we were all feeling a bit anxious and excited, not really sure what to expect tomorrow. And… day 6 down! Continue reading about our Day 7 - The SUMMIT!

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