African Trip:  Mount Kilimanjaro - December 2008

 

Kilimanjaro, Africa's tallest mountain, is a national park.  Only those with guides are permitted inside to climb any of the routes to the summit.  The trip was arranged by Linda Cartier to celebrate her son Ryan's 30th birthday.

Linda is shown above and below with guides and porters getting ready for the trip.  Linda and Ryan had two guides and five porters including a cook and his assistant.  This is the number required for support when climbing the mountain which takes five days going up and two coming down. 

 

Setting out below - Linda with walking stick which she soon discarded.

 

Ryan helping set up camp on day one and view of the mountain from inside a tent. 

 

 

 

Just one of the many unique plants on the journey up the mountain through many zones from tropical to arctic.  Four to five hours were spent on the trail each day.  Below Linda with porters outside tent with the mountain closer in the background.

 

Below, giant piece of lava from the mountain (which is still technically an active volcano).

Getting closer - the route to the top is over the ridge to the right - shown below with Linda following guide.

 

Linda and Ryan both prepared over a period of several months but still found the climb to be a real challenge.  About 40 percent never reach the summit and about 10 die each year in the attempt.

Although no special mountain climbing equipment is required there are numerous places where a misstep could be dangerous - the altitude and cold are the real test.

The final accent was made at night from midnight to dawn under a full moon reaching the summit at dawn where Linda and Ryan are shown below with their two guides, and in the following picture Ryan in front of a glacier at the mountain top.

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Below, heading down - almost as difficult as going up - all climbers are suffering from altitude sickness, headaches, sore feet and legs  etc.

Following a days rest Linda and Ryan went on a safari and also visited the island of Zanzibar before heading back to Sudbury - a trip not soon to be forgotten.

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