Kili Climb 2013

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Area

Jan 1 – 8th, 2013 / Tanzania, Kenya

Goal

Goal $1,000,000 raised / 50,000 lives saved

About

Every dollar raised through the Kili Climb will help bring fresh, clean water to hundreds of thousands of people on the continent of Africa who are without it. As a matter of fact, in Africa right now, about 5,000 children die every day simply because they don’t have clean water to drink and wash in.

Kili Climb 2013 Daily Update

Day 1

The adventure begins Jan 8th for 45 outstanding individuals who decided to make a huge impact in the lives of so many people.  The climbers arrive departing from all over the United States.

Day 2

After a full day of travel, the team arrived at The African Tulip in Arusha, Tanzania, about 11:15 pm. . After a quick buffet and greeting from WorldServe president John Bongiorno, everyone headed to their rooms to get some rest.

Day 3

After a good sleep (for some) we were on the road by 10 am. Due to the unusually heavy recent rains, the roads to Loiborsoit were not easily passable. In light of that, we headed to another site in Kilimamoja, where a well was being dug.

On the way, some of the vehicles were able to see giraffe and zebra running wild, merely 70 yards off the roadway.

We ate lunch overlooking beautiful Manyara crater. Representatives of WorldServe, Africa6000, James River Assembly, and Glad Tidings, met with village leaders of kilimamoja. This village has NO safe water source, just unreliable surface water ponds. The villagers walk 10-15 kilometers to the next village to get water. They have two primary schools servicing 1600 students. One school has 950 kids, 10 classrooms.

Although we were initially disappointed to not get to Lobersoit, the meeting and potential to bless this village was encouraging. We continued on to Ngorongoro crater, where we will spend the night.

Day 4

After a good sleep (for some) we were on the road by 10 am. Due to the unusually heavy recent rains, the roads to Loiborsoit were not easily passable. In light of that, we headed to another site in Kilimamoja, where a well was being dug.

On the way, some of the vehicles were able to see giraffe and zebra running wild, merely 70 yards off the roadway.

We ate lunch overlooking beautiful Manyara crater. Representatives of WorldServe, Africa6000, James River Assembly, and Glad Tidings, met with village leaders of kilimamoja. This village has NO safe water source, just unreliable surface water ponds. The villagers walk 10-15 kilometers to the next village to get water. They have two primary schools servicing 1600 students. One school has 950 kids, 10 classrooms.

Although we were initially disappointed to not get to Lobersoit, the meeting and potential to bless this village was encouraging. We continued on to Ngorongoro crater, where we will spend the night.

Day 5

Up around 6am for the climb of a lifetime. On the drive back to Arusha yesterday I watched as two young kids walked to a dirty stream to get their daily supply of washing, cooking, and bathing water. Once again I was reminded that we are doing this to bring safe, clean water to the people. Of course, a greater goal is that as we share a cup of clean water, we also get the opportunity to share living water.

It took us several hours to get to the base. We ate a lunch of sandwiches and salad and muffins with coffee and tea It was very filling. Now it’s time to climb.

We rose just around 2300 feet today, going through a variety of terrain. Tropical forest, to pine trees then into brush before we made camp. How amazing it was to turn the corner and have the team of porters, cooks and guides start singing the “Welcome” song, clapping and dancing.

We signed into camp, found our tents, cleaned up, then headed to the mess tent.

The mood today was fantastic. We started off with energy, and finished the same.

Thank you to our friends, family, and supporters. We could not do this without you, and though we have just begun, we plan to complete for you. Pray for us and wish us well as we climb for clean water.

Day 6

After dinner last night most everyone headed to bed as a light rain descended on the camp. You can hear the murmur of voices as everyone settles in to their Mountain Hardware tents, ready for sleep and a 6 am wake up call.

Upon waking, we are greeted by a porter who comes to our tent with yea and coffee. Then time to clean up, pack up, and head to breakfast. Though we came as several different groups, the common cause of clean & living water, as well as summiting Kili has really drawn us together. Today we climbed 2600 feet to our second camp.

The rain returned as we geared up at 7:45, a light mist at first, turning into a heavier rain than back to a mist that stayed with us until we made camp.

Once again we were met by songs from the team. After a 2 hour rest, we went for an afternoon hike. Mountaineers say to hike high, and then sleep at a lower altitude for acclimatization. So in essence, the afternoon hike accomplished this. Several of the team indicated they were too tired for the afternoon hike, but after the short rest the sun came out and we were rewarded with a beautiful view of the mountain. Spirits were high as we took the hike, then stopped and took a short rest before heading back. A few were able to get cell service and get a text back to family and even check Saturday football results.

We miss you all. We are all doing great. See you soon. In the meantime, pray for us and wish us well as we climb for clean water.

Day 7

The night was very cold. When we woke up there was ice on the ground. After our traditional breakfast of porridge, toast, eggs, and green peppers with carrots, we measured everyone pulse and oxygen levels (something we do twice a day). Everyone was doing well.

We took off for Rongai Cave Three, which is at 12,935Ft. As the temperature was freezing when we woke up, most of us had on warm layers. We weren’t but 40minutes into the climb that we stopped to have a break to remove layers.

The trek today took us up a very steep incline at the beginning and end, but in-between it was a nice steady sloop (nice, but at 12,000 Ft, certainly not easy).

The entire day we had a full view of the eastern sloop of Kilimanjaro. It certainly inspired those in the group who are goal setters-wanting to play with the end game in mind. As we rose above the clouds, we could see straight through over Kenya.

We made camp on gravel-shale, a pleasant change from the mud of our last camp. However, in the early afternoon, with sun beating down, it was 87 degrees in our tents.

In the late afternoon we took another hike, going up to right near 13,500Ft, again for a acclimatization purposes. The view was absolutely breath taking.
We stayed up on this crest for about an hour. Five of the guys went with us (of course). John Bongiorno ask them to sing, so the last 10 minutes of hiking they sang. Once we go to the top, they sang traditional Masai songs for another 15-20minutes. Really a fun entertaining time.

After taking a considerable amount of time to acclimatize, the sun starting sitting behind Kili and as the evening drew the temperature dropped drastically. Needless to say, we made it down in approximately half the time it took to hike up.

Not sure if I will have any ability to blog again tomorrow. We make our way to Kivo Hut where the temperature in the end of the day will be in the 20 degree range. After a short rest, we will start the trek to the rim of the crater (Gillnam’s Point) around midnight our time. From there we attempt to summit at Uhuru.

We are all in good spirits, a few stiff muscle and joints, but we are excited to proceed. Pray for us and wish us well
as we climb for clean water.

Day 8

Today we climbed higher into the alpine desert as we left Rongai Cave 3 for Kibo Hut. The climb was just over 2500 feet and took right at 4.5 hours.

We stopped frequently for rest breaks. The higher we got the fewer rocks and bushes to shield us during those breaks. Well, we worked out a good system of girls to right, guys to left!

We saw Kibo Hut from around 40 minutes away. The energy level intensified. At no point other than day 1 and part of day 2 has Kili been hidden from our view.

Upon arrival to Kibo, we signed in. There are a few who aren’t feeling well, side effects of medication mostly. We prayed for them, had lunch around 2:30 pm. Then to our tents for a rest. Dinner at 5, back to tents to rest, up at 11pm, and head up to Gillman’s around midnight.

Day 9

Those who were able to sleep Tuesday evening were woken up at 11. The wind blew so hard during the night that it woke most people. We had toast with jelly, honey, and peanut butter available, along with peanuts and ginger snaps.

We were all so pumped, and had a word of prayer for safety and health before we took off. We loaded up and left at 12:10. AM
The temperature was cold, the wind was blowing, but seeing the lights of a few groups above us was encouraging. Then we noticed the amazing stars. Totally cool to pay attention to the stars from south of the equator. A large group of guides went with us, and sang off and on to us throughout the climb. It was so encouraging. We stayed very close together, just breaking into 3 groups a few meters apart.

By sunrise the entire team had reached the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Gillmans point at 18,710 feet. Due to medical condition, one of the team turned around at this time, but he is doing much better.

The rest of the team was able to make the lengthy trip from Gillman s, past Stella to Uburu, at 19,340 feet, the “Top of Africa”, also the highest freestanding mountain in the world. We made our way independently, so do not have a group shot but most “teams” stayed together. There was a fantastic view of the crater and glaciers while there.

We made our way down independently and most crashed at their tents before we go to eat and then make the trek to our overnight camp. At 12,000 feet.

Upon arrival at camp the team was internally exuberant about our accomplishments, but externally exhausted. Many indicated it truly was a ‘once’ in a lifetime experience. Fewer than half the team came to dinner, which our guide indicated was typical.

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