We woke up at Horombo Hut, feeling well-rested and ready for another day of hiking. After shoveling down another huge breakfast (they feed you a LOT on these treks), we packed up for the walk across the lunar desert toward Kibo Hut.
Catch up on the story so far by jumping to >> DAY 1 DAY 2 DAY 3 DAY 4 DAY 5 ...and as always, please don't hesitate to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) with additional questions.
Mawenzi (16,893 feet) makes for some stunning photo ops on the trail.
Just like yesterday (Day 02), our lunch stop occurred over 2/3 of the way through the day's hike, at a little bathroom and picnic area sheltered by a pile of large boulders. After lunch, we only had about an hour/hour and a half walk up to Kibo Hut.
5:00 PM, Kibo Hut, 15,845 feet --
"The sun has just disappeared behind the crater rim that towers above this sparse stone hut at 4720 m (15,485 feet). As is usual at high altitude, the air is cold but the sun is strong. I'm sporting a 3 out of ten headache and pasty film of zinc sunscreen left over from our trudge across the lunar desert this afternoon. Every time I step outside to visit the bathrooms, a short walk away (and that' pretty frequent), I start out at a brisk walking pace and quickly find myself winded and sucking air. By the time I squat over the hole in the stall, I have throbbing gray spots in every corner of my vision. This is the phase of the trek I remember with the least amount of fondness from 2009.
Summit attempts will begin at around midnight tonight, so the hours between now and then consist of shoveling calorie-dense dinners into not-so-hungry bellies and packing/repacking/arranging our outfits for tomorrow.
6:00 PM --
"We sit around the cramped table in our barrack-like sleeping quarters, chatting excitedly about summit day. There are only 5 people from Kibo Hut making summit attempts in the morning. This includes Dusty & me, Sandra & Martin, a 20-something couple from Denmark, and Raymond, a Swiss guy who is studying in South Africa. We five, plus our guides and assistant guides, will don head lamps and down puffy jackets and trudge up the side of Kibo in the dark. Best of luck to us all."
I live in Malibu, Calif.,