Finally to the Uhuru Peak of Mt Kilimanjaro, 2017

Jambo, Jambo Bwana, Habari gani, Mzuri sana.
Wageni, mwakaribishwa, Tanzania yetu, Hakuna Matata
Tanzania nchi nzuri, Hakuna Matata.
Nchi yenye amani, Hakuna Matata.
Watu wote, Hakuna Matata, Wakaribishwa, Hakuna Matata.
Hakuna Matata, Hakuna Matata.

You just cannot listen (or sing) this song without a smile! This is a signature song to welcome tourists to Tanzania. The original song was released in the 1980’s in Kenya. In English it goes like this:

Hello, hello, how are you, very fine.
Guests, you’re welcome, in our Tanzania, it’s no problem.
Tanzania is a beautiful country, it’s no problem.
A wonderful country, it’s no problem.
A peaceful country, it’s no problem.
All are welcome, it’s no problem.

This is my second time in Tanzania, trying to make my Africa dream to come true, summit Mt Kilimanjaro this time to the highest summit. Arrived to Kilimanjaro 3 days earlier before we hit to road up to the mountains. Wanted to adjust myself to the right mood and to take some own time.

Booked a trip from the local farm to walk with the monkeys. Makoa-Farm is all about animals; so farm animals, pets and wildlife roam the farm. There is also a veterinary clinic and a wildlife rescue station where wild injured or orphaned animals are being rescued, medically treated, and nursed back to health or adulthood.

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I fell in love with this place as well as with the people who run the farm! So instead of one day trip there I deciced to come back next day to ride with a horse. Farm is huge and we were able to ride without going outside of it. Riding with a view to the Mt Kilimanjaro reminded me of the fact why I’m in Tanzania and could not ask more to get these two of my favourite hobbies in same moment!

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Photo: Elisabeth Stegmaier

Monday 23 of Jan 2017 I met my team (climbers and guides) in our welcome meeting. One of team members is a friend who I met in top of Aconcagua couple of years ago! There are climbers from Europe to US, seems great team and spirit is good already from the beginning.

Following day we hit to the mountains and arrive to the Kilimanjaro National Park gate.

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The route we are taking is Machame. It is known as the “Whiskey Route” because of the tougher challenge, this path leads you through magnificent forests before traversing a ridge leading through moorland to the Shira Plateau. We have 7 days to go up and down. This should be pace good enough to get acclimatised for the summiting. Route down goes via Mweka route.

Weather has been good so far but we can expect some rain showers during the climb at some point. We are all feeling great and anxious to proceed.

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Our first camp is Machame Camp above the rainforest.

Next morning we are heading upwards to the Shira 2 Camp. We hike through lower alpine moorland and observe the spectacular views of Kibo Peak. At Shira Camp we got real welcome ritual from our guides and grew! They danced and sang to us and made us to dance too!

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In the evening my stomach is not feeling good. To make all my best and take care that I’m in good condition to the summit night, I decided to medicine myself right away with antibiotics. That was a good decision since already in the morning I’m feeling a bit better.

We climb slowly through the rocky terrain to the Lava Tower (4600m). The route becomes increasingly challenging and steep and we need to hike slowly— “pole pole” as they say in Swahili—to avoid exasperating the symptoms.

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Views get more and more beautiful, previous day we got some short rain showers but nothing serious. We have a lunch break at Karaca Camp and then continue to the Barafu Camp.

Finally at the Barafu camp, the site is a on a narrow, rocky, ridge with no barriers to block the wind. We get equipment like headlamps, hiking poles and thermal clothing ready to go for the summit night which will be definitely cold.

Wake up call is at 11pm in order to reach Stella Point (5756m) in time for the spectacular view of the sunrise.

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This climbing night was hard, time to time some snack and warm drink. We go slowly as the terrain is rocky and difficult to the Stella Point.

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It takes an hour, gradual ascent to Uhuru peak (5895m) from the Stella Point. Temperatures near the summit can range from -23°C in the morning to just below freezing overnight, this morning weather was chilly but warm, at least to the person from Finland. We arrive to the summit at last!

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After half an hour rest we begin the descent back to the Barafu camp. I was so happy that I ran down from Uhuru Peak to the Stella Point with the guide! Once back at Barafu camp, I take a nap, pack my stuff and have a lunch before we continue down to Mweka hut. The route down will use the same rock and scree path as the ascent and will pass back through moorland and forest terrain. We reach Mweka hut in the late afternoon and are quite tired by now, long day behind.

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Next morning we descent to the Mweka Gate. Definitely enjoy the lower altitude hike and the views of the forested slopes of Mt Kilimanjaro. Once back at the Stella Maris Hotel we definitely celebrated!

After this climb I’ve reached all the three summits of the Mt Kilimanjaro – Gilmans Point 2014 and this time both Stella Point and Uhuru Peak.

Summit attempt date: 28.1.2017

Mt Kilimanjaro, 5 895 meters

Operator: G-Adventures

Enjoy also the video clip from the Uhuru Peak, highest peak of Kilimanjaro. Amazing weather we had there!

Also check out the full picture collection:

http://www.blurb.com/books/8223442-mt-kilimanjaro-2017

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