Friday, December 18, 2009

Day 6 and 7 - Up and all the way down!!

Firstly I would like to Thank you for your thoughts and prayers - it was definitely not easy - but we did it!

The night of the ascend to the peak - we didn't get much sleep. It was cold and all of us were anxious to get going.

After our warm cup of tea and cookies - we took off for the top at around 12.10 am.. It was pitch dark .. With the help of our head lamps we could see a few feet ahead.. I have no clue how the guide knew his way.. But we blindly followed..

The hike was definitely the most difficult we had done so far - not only was it steep but also the altitude made it harder to breathe..

Just to give a glimpse on how cold it was - I wore top and bottom thermals, 2 short sleeve tshirts, 2 long sleeve tshirts, 2 fleece and a winter jacket, sweat pants, ski pants,3 socks, balaclava, winter hat, inner gloves and an outer gloves.. Yet at times -I felt the wind..

We got to the peak in 6 hrs.. And the view was awesome..the glaciers were very eye catching..will upload pic soon..

We spend 10 min taking pictures and absorbing the view .. Then we headed down. In my opinion the way down was more taxing as the body was tired.. The assistant guide tried to show us a faster way down the slopes.. It was like skiing on sand using the walking sticks.. I don't even wanna tell you the amount of time I landed on my behind!!!..

We got to our camp in half the time - 2hrs.. The guides wanted to get us to camp asap because the longer one takes descending the higher the risk of altitude sickness...

At Barafu camp - we took a quick nap, packed up and headed for Mweka camp (3100 m - 4 hours).. We went from 5900m. (Uhuru peak) to 3100m (Mweka camp) in a matter of hours.. We got to see all terrains on our way down.. Which was a good way to recap the hike..

In Mweka - we ate and went to sleep - Although it was cold _ I got the best sleep so far - maybe because I was wiped our, or not being anxious of getting to the peak..

Day 7 was short - we got up and headed to the gate ..the highlight was we got too see some white colobus monkeys in the rain forrest..

We got to the gate at around 11am and rode the bus to moshi town..

I just wanted a warm shower ( just an fyi there was no showers during the hike) , maybe some food that stays warm after 5 min of being served.. And anything besides water... :)

It surely was not easy - but worth the experience.. Who wants to do it next year or maybe in 2 years??

I am off to Kenya for a couple of days for a mini vacation ( I am blogging this on the bus).. When I get back I will keep you posted regarding the orphanages ...

Touch base in a couple of days....

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Day 6 - We did it!!!

More info to follow.....

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Day 5 - this is it!!!

We left Karanga valley at around 8.30 am and were at Barafu at 11.30 am (those who do the hike in 6 days instead of 7 start from Barranco and stop at Barafu on Day 4). The hike was a quick one as we passed mountainous like terrain - with no vegetation.

At Barafu camp (4600 m) - we experienced some ice storm.. It is cold here.. But tea is keeping us warm.

We had sandwiches for lunch.. Then dinner will be served at 5.. At 6pm we will try to sleep (I don't know how much sleep we will get with the cold).. The crew will wake us up at 11 for tea and cookies and then we start our ascend to the peak at midnite..

Its going to be pitch dark.. With the help of flash light and head lamps we will find our way to the peak(5900 m) in about 6-6.5 hrs.. If everything goes to plan we will see sunrise on Wed Sep 17th on top of Africa (9-9.30 pm Tue CST) !! We get to spent 10 min at the peak ( we are doing all this for 10 min??.. I guess the best come in small chunks!!) The reason for this is the altitude and the temperature.. It not safe to be there for more time.. We will descend back to Barafu camp (4 hours) to eat lunch and pack and head to Mweka camp (4 hours - 3100 m) for overnite - the 14 hour hike will enable us to sleep like babies

We need all your prayer and thoughts today as we try to make it to the top - we are in good health - no sickness... And in very high spirits..

I will try to blog again tomorrow nite if I have the energy - if not then will do it from the town of Moshi..

Above is a picture of Brian and I at Barafu camp as we point to the direction we will be hiking tonite.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Monday, December 14, 2009

Day 4 - Barranco wall

Today morning the sky cleared up and we got a great view of the peak (will upload all these pictures once I have access to high speed internet)..

We left camp at 9 am and immediately hit the Barranco wall.. We zig zagged the wall for an hour and a half to get to the top. At many times we had to use our hands to lift our bodies - pretty cool experience - most of the path was a near cliff.. Which was scary but made for amazing scenery..

We then passed the last source of water for the next two days (karanga river).. the potters will fill up water and haul it to our next camp (Barafu)... Very limited water for the next two days..

We got to our camp (Karanga camp- above pic) at noon. 45 mins later - there was by far the heaviest showers we have experienced on the mountain. It was a sight to see -when everyone was either grabbing a shovel or hand axe to dig paths for the water to flow..

We leave for Barafu tomorrow - it will be our last camp before we ascend to the peak (which starts at midnight)..

We are in high spirit and good health.. Ready for base camp!!!

Tune in tomorrow as I give you a round up of our plans to the summit..

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Day 3 - Lava tower

Today we were off to Barranco camp. Started off at around 8.30 am and were at camp by 3.

We reached a high altitude of 4600 m (same altitude as the camp we leave for summit on Day 6) - this was a lava tower. A huge and unique lava bolder (google it). We then descended to camp at a lower altitude. This is known as trek high sleep low. This helps our body acclimates to the high altitude.

We left the moreland today -into the Alpine desert - where there were big bolder and scatter patches of grass. We also saw a few 4 stripped mice - they hang out with us while we had lunch. We left them a few bread crumb as a sign of appreciation for keeping us company. Loads of cairns on top of the boulders - we might do one if we have time tomorrow.

There is a sination/cinacior (I am sure I am butchering the spelling - can someone google it and comment in the correct spelling) forest next to camp. They are very unique trees and are more than 70 years old.

Seems like the weather is the same everyday -mornings are clear sky as we get a glimpse of the beautiful peak -every camp so far have a view of the peak. Around 11 it gets misty and cloudy -visibility becomes limited. Afternoons it rains until bed time. At nite its cold - I am assuming below freezing. We have all our clothes on to keep walk. I am literally shivering as I type this blog..all this will be worth it when he hit the top..

Tomorrow we are off to Karanga camp. Short hike of 4 hrs - we pass through the barranco wall which will need to use our hands to climb some areas -should be fun.

They say this camp has the best view of the peak - can't wait for the morning when the sky is clear

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Day two - Rocky Moreland

Today we covered 840 m ( we are currently at 3840m)..The altitude is not causing any issue so far - fingers crossed. We Started the hike around 8.40am and were at shira camp at 1.00.

The first 3.5 hrs were really steep.. Surprisingly -some of the parts involved us being on fours..we passed a few water falls - which were beautiful. The entire hike today was on a rocky area - which made it hard to plant our walking sticks. Today's terrain was moreland.. So short bushes and scattered trees.

THERE WAS NO RAIN TODAY DURING THE HIKE!! It was sunny in the beginning and the mostly overcast- last 30 min of the hike was in the clouds so visibility was limited. It started pouring 30min after we got to camp - so we sat inside the tents and listen to the rain.

Tomorrow we have a long day - 6/7 hour hike to Baranko camp.

The above picture is of our crew - guide(Fredrick), assistant guide (Francis), 6 potters(Erasto, Ramdhan, James, Dismas, Frasterno, Straton) and a cook(Douglus).

Touch base with you'all tomorrow

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Friday, December 11, 2009

Day 2 - Pictures

A picture of the peak from our campsite and a one of us at the 3000m marker..

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Day 1 : Soaked in the rainforest

Today was a good day. Started the hike at around 1pm (4 am cst) and walked through the machame rainforest. It pretty much rained the whole entire time - thanks to the ponchos to keep us partially dry. The forest was very scenic and we encountered some steep section.

We arrived at machame camp at around 5.30pm. We are currently at 3000 m - (the peak is at 5900m). The altitude is not an issue although it is cold.

Got a good view of the peak when the clouds cleared up as seen in the picture(its taking too long to upload the images.. Will try and repost pics). Surprisingly, there is quite a bit of snow.

Off to shira camp tomorrow. We better head for the tent - tea will delivered at our tent at 6.30am.

More tomorrow...

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Day 0 - All set for tomorrow

Arrived at the town of Moshi today(base camp). It rained a bit but then cleared up. The picture is a view of Mt Kili from my hotel.

We should be at the Machame gate(starting point of the ascend) at approx 10am (1 am CST). We will hike for 6-7 hrs through the rain forrest - and are planning to get soaked (it has rained pretty much everyday in the last few weeks). Temperature wise - its nice and warm .. Therefore we will be in T-shirt, shorts (and a poncho)

Overall - everything is set.. We have our gear, camera, energy bars, trail mix and all of us are in high spirits.

Remember us in your prayers... More from me tomorrow...

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry


Today at base camp preparing to start the climb tomorrow. It has been raining here which is unusual.  Here is a picture of the mountain today from a live webcam feed. Kilimanjaro is there just behind the trees but it is very hard to see.

Mount Kilimanjaro

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Peak4Poverty Update

We were able to raise, as of today, $4,422 against an original goal of $2,500! This wouldn’t be possible without your help - thank you so much for your efforts to change the lives of these children. Your support will make a big difference in their lives.

We are close to beginning the climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Thursday we travel to base camp and prepare to begin the ascent on Friday, Dec. 11th. I am kind of nervous and yet excited as well. I will provide daily up dates on the website, as long as my cell phone service stays in range. Please visit the site and add yourself as a follower to the blog so you can get regular updates.

Talk to you soon, once again thanks a lot for giving to these children and helping us to reach out to those less fortunate. Please email me at - would love to hear from you.


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Arrived in Tanzania...

Flight to Tanzania was good. Enjoyed yesterday with the family. Off to Zanzibar today - for 3 days..

4 more days for the hike!!

More from me on Wed..


Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Daily status update

As long as I have cellphone service, I will be providing a daily update on my climb.

So stay tuned starting Dec 11th.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Check this out!!

With all your great support we have exceeded our goal. Our goal was to raise $2,500 - as of today we have raised $4,422.

Thank you for supporting this great cause.

Can I count on you?

According to the World Health Organization, over 15.6 million children under the age of 10 in Sub Sahara Africa have lost at least one parent due to AIDS. These orphans are more prone to sickness, malnutrition, physical maltreatment, illiteracy, unemployment, homelessness, crime, and increased exposure to HIV/AIDS.

The challenge for Tanzania, the world's fourth poorest country, is to control the spread of HIV/AIDS and to create better living conditions for the rural poor. The prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS is nearly 9%, though the infection rate is calibrated to be higher. Composing of nearly 40% of all orphans, there are nearly a million of these so-called AIDS orphans in Tanzania.

In order to bring awarness to this, I plan on hiking Mount Kilimanjaro on Dec 11th 2009 to fulfill a personal challenge, and also to help these very orphans of Tanzania by donating the funds I raise to an orphanage there. I believe in the work they do and want to be part of it.

Mount Kilimanjaro is an inactive volcano in north-eastern Tanzania. At 19,331 feet, it is the highest peak in Africa. The climb is lengthy with high altitudes and low temperatures making the journey both difficult and dangerous.

Can I count on you?