August 12, 2008


Trip Log

Packing List

  • Hiking boots - make sure these are broken in before you leave for Africa
  • Sleeping bag - should be rated for Zero degrees fahrenheit. You can get away with a slightly higher temperature rating if you supplement with a fleece or microfiber liner
  • Sleeping pad - thermarest or similar
  • Gaiters - very important in order to keep your socks dry
  • Sunglasses - the more coverage around your eyes the better
  • Headlamp - Eric recommends Zipkas
  • Small daypack - will hold a few extra layers of clothing, and water. A Platypus and a supplemental bottle work great.
  • Backpack for big duffel bag for the porters to carry, and put your clothes in a drysack - they'll put this in a waterproof sack when they carry it.
  • Washcloth - synthetic is best
  • Camera
  • Trekking poles - you can rent these from the trekking company
  • Warm head cover - a ski beanie is perfect
  • Waterproof breatheable top (goretex windbreaker-style jacket is ideal)
  • Waterproof breatheable pants - just needs to keep your legs dry
  • Thick down jacket for when summiting - it's really cold up there
  • synthetic pants (convertible zip-off pants work great)
  • fleece pants for nighttime
  • thermal underwear
  • fleece sweater
  • thick gloves or mittens - it's really cold up on the summit
  • Balaclava - to keep your head warm at night and during the summit day
  • hiking socks (2-3 pairs) and liners (5-7 pairs) to prevent blisters
  • sneakers for hanging out in camp
  • synthetic t-shirts for the first and last days; you'll wear thermals/fleece/waterproof the rest of the days
  • brimmed cap or hat
  • poncho to go over all layers + daypack in case it rains
First Aid and misc
  • sun screen and lip protection with SPF
  • snacks: 1-2 clif bars per day, chocolate
  • pain killer
  • Anti-diarrhea medicine such as Imodium AD
  • bandaids
  • Blister patches or moleskin
  • Antibaterial ointment
  • Cipro in case if food poisoning
  • Diamox to help acclimating to the altitude
  • a roll of toilet paper
  • dop kit stuff: tooth brush, toothpaste, etc.
  • passport
  • playing cards
  • music (Eric brought an iPod + portable battery-powered speakers
  • books to read
  • notebook + pen/pencil for journaling
  • Zara's packing list
  • From another friend who climbed before us: "I highly recommend having all of the clothing you bring be made of synthetic materials (NOT COTTON), as these will dry much more quickly when wet, and these wick moisture away from your body, keeping you dryer and warmer." and "The trekking company rents out most of this stuff, so you might want to just rent some of the items if you think this is the only time you'd use the items (gaiters? trekking poles)"


Which route did we take?
The Lemosho.
How many days did it take?
~6-7 total; Eric and Michaela descended a half-day early due to Michaela's pulmonary edema, while Danusia and Anna-Christina descended on schedule the following morning.
Who guided your trip?
Zara, locally owned and operated.
How did we get there?
Various flights to Nairobi (NBO), then a Kenya Airways flight to Kilimanjaro Airport (JRO). Flights to Africa are cheaper from Europe than the USA, so you might try flying there first, then down to NBO.
Did you have travel insurance?
Yes, but fortunately we didn't end up needing it. Eric used World Nomads.
What shots did you need?
Where did you stay before and after the climb?
The Kitolie Guesthouse in Moshi, which alas doesn't have a web site.
Did you need Visas?
Yes. You can buy both Kenyan and Tanzanian visas at their respective airports.

August 17, 2007


  • Danusia attacked by mosquitos overnight, not good sleep
  • our last breakfast together, before ACD and Michaela headed off to their safari
  • Danusia and Eric packed, listened to tunes, stopped by the coffee shop before heading to the airport
  • power out at the coffee shop, untoasted sandwiches , choccinos barely! and iced coffee
  • JRO: bought some more souvenirs, Kili photo books, some airplane reading
  • no kili view from the flight, alas

August 16, 2007

Day 7

  • alarm at 7:30am for breakfast, Emmanuel picked us up at the hotel (Springland Hotel)
  • Danusia and ACD: packed and broke fast, left camp around 08:30, arrived at the gate around noon
  • group photo after breakfast, awkward tipping 'cause Emmanuel already had the $
  • took the truck with Emmanuel back to KCMC, where Eric and Michaela had been since ~10am
  • Eric and Michaela met up with Becky there and started the bureaucratic process, took forever to go through all the forms
  • Kitolie: certificates for completing the climb, we all unpacked, showered
  • coffee shop for lunch: tomato/lentil soup, grilled cheeses, baguettes, choccocinos, chocolate cake, coke lights
  • street scene in Moshi: shopping for flip flops, ACD' 5k TZS hat, shoes for Eric, souvenirs, street wedding with honking horns and flashing car lights
  • dinner at deli-chez, Michaela randomly found us there
  • apparently 60% of the folks who try, summit
  • Eric got ~10 hours of sleep in 2.5 days, in addition to summitting
  • Danusia is turning 50 soon, still has her mojo!
  • Maurice taxi ride to KCMC, to the expat bbq
  • chocolate ice cream! with passion fruit and banana, and mango
  • lots of fun chatting with the folks there
  • shortcut ride home
  • Eric: "Osama bin Laden sighting at Barafu camp," per the porters joking about their buddy

August 15, 2007

Day 6 - Summit Day

  • left midnight/12:15am, headlamps on
  • the ascent was really really hard, Eric had the runs :(
  • Eric went mental-escapism to make it, like Michel Crichton in Travels
  • got to Stella Point around 7:30am, just in time for the sunrise
  • incredibly windy, brutally cold
  • group split up, Eric and Michaela headed to Uhuru Point asap, Danusia and ACD caught up later
  • took photos, Eric's hands were freezing, everybody was exhausted
  • Eric and Michaela headed down around 8am, got in 10-10:30am, Eric promptly went to sleep
  • Danusia and ACD arrived ~11am, napped for a bit
  • lunch around noon, much chatter about the climb
  • packed up to leave around 1-2pm, ~3-4 hour walk down to a lower camp
  • Eric met a group of Indians on the way down, including this guy)
  • Eric got to camp around 16:45, went to sleep, the ladies arrived ~18:20
  • dinner: leak soup, rice, green beans, bean sauce
  • Michaela not well, took some oxygen on the way down and it helped
  • Emmanuel thought it might be pulmonary edema, decided to walk off the mountain and get to a hospital
  • Eric and Michaela and Emmanuel and 4 porters left around 22:00, headlamps on, Danusia gave us some clean syringes just in case
  • the walk down was wet and slippery (Eric fell three times), could see our breath, bugs flying in the lights, constantly stopping to rest
  • 4x4 ride on another gnarly road, with everybody crammed in the vehicle
  • called Eric's friend Becky the Doctor at KCMC (who he'd met at the airport before the trek); it was past midnight but she was awake!
  • Becky said to come by her place instead of KCMC, which was near the hospital, to check blood pressure, etc.
  • she diagnosed the same thing, altitude-induced pulmonary edema, suggested a chest xray but we decided to wait on that
  • got to zara's house around 1am to see about a hotel, got there ~1:30am, sleep around 2am

August 14, 2007

Day 5

  • departed 09:15
  • got to camp around 12-12:30, lunch at 14:00, veggie stew, Eric napped
  • dinner at 17:00, 'mushroom' soup, toast, pasta, tuna sauce, cabbage, watermelon, banana, tea
  • mood: anticapatory, upbeat even
  • ACD fixed her platypus with thermarest glue, whilst barfing, MacGyver-style
  • Danusia: "I can't frickin' believe this view!"
  • Michaela: "it's a race, we gotta win!"

August 13, 2007

Day 4

  • late breakfast at 8am: fried eggs, toast, avocados, sausage, porridge
  • music: Pearl Jam to get us going
  • lifeguard lip stuff became popular, as did Britta the Weasel
  • departed camp 09:30
  • climbing straight up and over: 4600m at the highest point
  • rest at the top, snacked on clif bars, played with cell phones but no reliable signal for our iPhones or Blackberries, likely due to bad i18n GSM roaming on the network - our guides' phones worked fine
  • lunch: cabbage, fries, watermelon, muffins, ketchup, tea
  • all of us hanging in ACD/Danusia's tent at Karangu Camp, arrived 14:00
  • dinner: cucumber soup, rice, veggies & meat sauce, chapatis
  • ACD: "nose tampons" and "I thought the poop would be bigger" re: day 1's elephant droppings
  • Danusia: "It was amazing to watch" re: ACD's vom-town
  • Danusia: "Barfu" campsite
  • Eric: "there should be a book called "the honky sherpa" re: trying to become a porter
  • Danusia: "it'll be all honky dory tomorrow"

August 12, 2007

Day 3

  • departed at 08:53, camp at 3900m, acclimate at 4600m in the afternoon
  • lunch: mandazi-like fried bread, bananas, muffins, eggs, chicken, tea
  • was cold at lunch, clouds moving really fast all day, blocking the sun on and off
  • arrived Barranco camp 16:20
  • dinner: chapatis! veggie soup, rice, veggies, bean sauce, oranges
  • egyptial rat screw + gustavo santaollala in E/M's tent
  • Eric got loopy from melatonin
  • stargazing at the brilliant milky way and shooting stars
  • ACD: "hairy boulders with red beards"
  • Eric: "I'm getting loopy" and "this is honky heaven" at the lava tower at 4600m
  • ACD: wants to get Emmanuel's email, to send him Woolly Boolly's lyrics
  • Eric: "you won't see me drunk on alcohol, but you will see me high on altitude" - at the lava tower
  • Eric: "losing the notebook is like losing a limb"
  • Michaela: "how was the bathroom experience?" ACD: "gym-tastic"
  • Danusia: "I just want to be at peace with the prep" re: dress rehearsal
  • Michaela thought they were actually falling stars (re: stargazing at night ;)
  • the Kilimanjaro song:
    Jambo, Jambo bwana
    Habari gani, nzuri sana
    Wageni mwakaribishwa
    Kilimanjaro hakuna matata

    Hi Hi friend
    How are you? very good
    Welcome guests
    Kilimanjaro - no problem

    1. mlima mreyn sana
    very high mountain
    ves hakuna matata

    2. wenye barafu nyingi
    snow to the mountain

    3. wenye wageni wengu
    many guests

    4. mlima mzuri sana
    beautiful mountain

August 11, 2007

Day 2

  • breakfast: porridge, friend eggs, tea, tomatoes, cucumber
  • cleanwell wipes from Danusia and Larry!
  • 3000m: switch from rainforest to moorland
  • music: ACD: Closer to Me by the Cure, Michael Bolton playing at Shira I, The Beatles during solitaire after dinner
  • left at 8:15am, arrived at camp 17:48 (loooong day)
  • dinner: carrot soup, pasta + tuna sauce, mango and banana
  • Shira II camp: 3900m
  • Eric: "Tripoli!" - was trying to remember the capital of Libya for half the day
  • Danusia: "I cannot eat this animal."
  • Eric at Shira I: "are we the first honkies here?"
  • Michaela at lunch: "can I borrow a jolly rancher?"
  • Michaela: "it's kinda weird to be eating popcorn and cookie crumbs - Shira II
  • Eric: "Pole Pole = woolly boolly"

August 10, 2007

Day 1

  • got a late start from Kitolie guesthouse
  • long 4x4 ride to the gate and entrance, the road was hard core, Martin road with us
  • popcorn and tea waiting for us in the mess tent, hot water for washing hands
  • saw a mouse, crazy ants, elephant footprints
  • conversation while we were hiking about the songs in our heads: the Cure, Bob Marley, Amy Grant, ACD's 'hot hot' hiphop song
  • slow pace while walking, took a bit of getting used to (pole pole)
  • dinner: cucumber soup, friend potatoes, cabbage, tomatoes, cucumber, beef & veggie sauce, avocado
  • solitaire and the Cure (and Fleetwood Mac) after dinner, table cloth disaster
  • bed at 8pm
  • started hiking at 1900m, camped at 2900m
  • Michaela: "I would love to see an envelope!" re: elephant droppings on the trail
  • Michaela on ACD & Danusia getting ready to go: "they're not ready yet - I see a lot of skin [in their tent]"