Kilimanjaro - Day 5 (Sept. 18, 2005)

Overview Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7

Begin hike (8:30 am) at 4200m/13,800 ft. 
End hike (11:46 am) at 4600m/15,100 ft. arriving at Barafu Camp
Distance: 4 km

As mentioned before, our Day 5 was just the 2nd half of Day 4 the standard Machame route (from Karanga Valley to Barafu Camp).

There was frost on the ground after raining all of the previous afternoon and evening. The cloud covering the plains below seemed to be at an odd angle until we realized that it was the camp site that was sloping. Walking on the slope made one unsteady.

Pictures below show Kibo and the frost everywhere on the campsite. The one on the right shows caves like the one we encountered yesterday on the other side of the valley.

The sloping campsite floor (left) and zooming on on hole-in-the-wall rock formation in the distance (right)

A diagram of the landscape illustrates our position (near the ridge above Karanga River) relative to Kibo and Barafu Hut - our destination for Day 5.

After walking 30 minutes...a view of the Karanga Campsite left behind.

Karanga Camp left behind in the distance

The route from Karanga to Barafu is mostly rocky with the occasional flower growth among the rocks. 

As we near the 4600m mark (level with Lava Tower Hut on Day 3) the fog obscures everything.

We cross a series of private campsites before arriving at Barafu (derived from the Arabic word for ice, familiar to Hindi/Urdu speakers) camp, which is nothing more than a rocky outcrop.


At the end of the easiest and shortest of the 7 days. 

Another 11 hours to go before commencing the summit trek just before midnight. Maiko announced that he had promoted one of the experienced porters, Simon, to Assistant Guide for the summit climb. Maiko and Simon would accompany the two of us to the summit and return back all the way. Should one of us decide to abort the summit attempt for whatever reason, the other person will continue on with one of the guides, while the other guide will accompany the other person back to camp. It is a common occurrence that some members of a group decide that they should not carry on at some point. It is a very courageous decision to abort the attempt and it can be a very difficult one to make. But those who make it, do so for their own welfare as well as those of others in the group who will also be impacted. While one should not give up just because of the onset of a headache or a minor physical difficulty, one should always be listening to oneself for signs of trouble. 


Video of Barafu camp and surroundings



From V's journal: My BPPV condition did bother me on Day 5 but not as much as it did on Day 2. After being trouble free on Days 3 and 4, my confidence had been completely restored. But with the successful negotiation of Day 2 despite the condition, I was confident of my ability to handle it. But I was certainly hoping that I would be free of it when the night came on and it was time to start the long-awaited summit climb.



Overview Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7