Kebo hut – Kilimanjaro peak, Friday 15th January 1999
We were woken up at 11.00pm and set off around midnight, following the trail of lights as we ascended, crossing scree and snow – hearing the tramping of feet, having many stops and going at a very slow pace. It was tiring. I lost a bit of balance near the top. We stopped halfway at caves during the steep six km climb. The top of the mountain always seemed just that bit further ahead. I do not know where the energy to place the next foot was coming from. We reached Gillman’s point at sunrise and had tea. We were soon (before we had time to settle) off to the Uhuru peak, another two-hour’s climb. I took a panoramic photo of the sign with Vicky and Paul whom had himself been suffering from altitude sickness and loss of coordination. My balance was not 100% and even the protein bars had not given me an energy boost. I had to have a helping hand when descending the scree back to the Kebu hut for an hour’s rest, before continuing to Horombo where I am writing this in the hut with sock smells in the air. I managed to walk for 15 hours today! My legs are tired and I had to take it slowly across the saddle. Fatael caught us up and insisted on carrying my daypack, the others in the group screamed ahead while I carefully negotiated the rocks on the path. Fatael went ahead to give the permits, and guided me slowly to the huts. The boys were sleeping on one side, and girls on the other. The climb today was really a battle against altitude. I do not think I will repeat it. I was careful not to twist my ankle: Mark kindly showed me how to strap up my foot with tape. I ate dinner at six under super dim lights with Milo to drink. Jenny was coughing over everything. Everyone went to bed early. Vicky was curious about my itinerary. I am still wearing all my layers. I am not totally exhausted but it has just been a long day, moving at the slow pace necessary to climb Kili. I think there is a long six hour walk tomorrow back to civilisation. The fragmented nature of today’s journal entry reflects my tiredness.