Friday, June 22, 2018

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro - 8 - Summit Night

On the 6th Day (if you are doing the Machame Route), you will arrive to Barufu Camp, which is the last Camp site before reaching Kilimanjaro's summit.

Saying it plainly, Barufu Camp is not one of the nicest camps on this mountain and these are some points to illustrate what I mean:
  • Its very crowded, since a lot of groups meet there for their attempt to summit. 
  • It's situated on a slope so your tent will basically be at an angle.
  • There are a lot of loose rocks, some looking like slate and one needs to walk with caution (its very depressing getting hurt just hours before your push to the summit!) 
Barufu Camp - Kilimanjaro - Photo Credit Sacha Cutajar
Well, grumbling aside, still it offers great views (everywhere has great views on this mountain!) and also, I think this was the most "emotional" camp, since you will arrive quite early, eat lunch and your guides will immediately suggest that you go to sleep to be up again at 11:30pm to start up for summit. This can have a profound effect and it did on some of our group members.

Barufu Camp - Kilimanjaro - Photo Credit Sacha Cutajar

One suggestion I can give is to prepare all before you go to sleep.

If you want to wash (or simply feel fresher by the use of wet wipes) do so now, wear your summit gear and prepare your back pack for summit, before you actually sleep. You will be rudely awoken at 1130pm so you will not be in a great mood to prep, thus having all ready is a plus! Also its good to wake up in your summit gear ready to go! Oh Have your Head Torch ready!!

Barufu Camp - Kilimanjaro - Photo Credit Sacha Cutajar
The trek to the summit for me is actually like a dream. Maybe it is just because I was not fully awake when we started out or the over exhaustion afterwards, my brain seems to just have kept the best bits.

You will be seeing a lot of groups trekking up. Mainly you will see their head-torches and you will see some that are a long way higher than you - don't let this put you down. Trust in your guide and yourself and always remember "Pole Pole" does it - slowly slowly. We actually encountered groups that zoomed next to us and we felt like "hey those guys are amazing", only to see them being rushed down with some guides as altitude sickness kicked in on one or two of them. It's really not a nice site to see, but you need to be aware that it does happen! Also no one in the guidebooks, websites and videos told me how many people I will see (or just hear due to the darkness), puking - but yes its a reality, so do use your head-torch well and check where you will sit or against what you will rest your back to avoid nasty surprises.

Eventually after what seems an eternity (honestly I was kind of on autopilot and just kept going on), we reached Stella Point which is the first "peak" on Kibo to say so.

Stella Point - Mount Kilimanjaro
Some people just simply stop here but we wanted to do the full thing and headed to Kibo, the highest point of the mountain.


This is a video showing extracts of the last trek to reach Uhuru peak - unfortunately the GoP Battery died before we arrived!

But we did make it! And I urge anyone who is reading this - just go for it and climb a mountain, it will definitely change your life! 

Me at Uhuru Peak - Mount Kilimanjaro

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Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro - 8 - Summit Night

On the 6th Day (if you are doing the Machame Route), you will arrive to Barufu Camp , which is the last Camp site before reaching Kilimanja...