The Italtile NSRI team has returned from their climb. This email from Tasmin is from her office – instead of the daily sms’s from Kili:
“Hello from a weirdly straight piece of wood (my desk) and synthetically cushioned upright chair. Hope everyone has a few less stiff muscles today! Didn’t think I’d say I miss the Kili perfume and 45 degree angled sleeping positions… but more than that I have serious withdrawals from our little unit!
Just browsing the NSRI website I came across this amazing article… this is what they were up to when we summitted… pretty amazing and thoughtful… I certainly felt a lot of invisible support on Summit night and reading about this just confirms it.. Thank you NSRI Plett and Knysna for honouring those we all lost and loved..”
Tasmin’s SMS’s from Kili.
Friday Afternoon: “We made it! Had the most beautiful sunrise, everyone was strong, and has been a day of extremes — minus 15 C to plus 20 now, 5895 to 3100m. Very emotional, tough, and incredible. Looking forward to shampoo and a hot soak! What a journey. Tas.”
Thursday Afternoon: “At base camp 4600m, lunch, a short walk, back for dins, wake up at 11, then leave. Never seen such a blue sky! Very windy and clear which could mean a very very cold night, so we’re praying for snow which will make it warmer. Viv has gone down, all fine just opted to do that. Otherwise everyone well and preparing for the summit- an 8 hour hike up, and 8 to 10 hour down tomorrow, going to be the longest day. Much love, hakuna matata, Tas.”
Wednesday afternoon: “We are at Maweka camp ( around 4000m) in the mist, many tired but relieved feet, some bit more nauseous than others but overall still fine. Marc and Darren a really amazing and energising part of the Team. Now for some lunch and rest!”
Wednesday morning: “At the Barranco wall, tough day walking 9 hours past the lava tower boot at 4600m, but tomorrow should be better. Cannot send MMS, but looking forward to showing you when back. Incredibly beautiful especially with such crisp air!! Everyone’s fine, a few headaches and a bit of nausea here and there, but that is perfectly normal. Full moon last night HUGE and absolutely stunning. Love from Tas.”
A team from Italtile and two NSRI crewmen, one from Knysna and one from Plettenberg Bay, started to climb Kilimanjaro to raise funds for Sea Rescue yesterday.
It is with much gratitude that we acknowledge all the support, sponsorship and generous donations to the NSRI bases in Plett and Knysna, and to the Kilimanjaro expedition.
So far Italtile, through sponsorship of companies who support their Kilimanjaro climb, has raised an incredible ZAR 760 550, and Italtile will match every cent that has been donated.
We would like to take this opportunity to wish the team, including: Marc Rodgers (NSRI PLETT), Darren Berry (NSRI KNYSNA), Vivienne Pepper, Brett Pepper, Scott Wilkinson, Daniel Munslow, Monika Matika, Josie Gaglio, Meagan Murray and Tasmin Mulder the best of luck for the climb.
We look forward to a successful climb and safe return.
Below is the Plan for each day, and photos of us during our training sessions.
MT. KILIMANJARO CLIMB FOR NSRI
MACHAME ROUTE This is probably the most beautiful route up Kilimanjaro. The average days walk is longer than on the Marangu route and is often up and down, but this allows for better acclimatisation. The route circles around the base of Kibo and allows excellent views of the Breach Wall and Heim glaciers.
07 Jan day 1: TRAVEL TO MOSHI, TANZANIA
08 Jan Day 2: First thing in the morning we will be transported to the Machame Village. If the road is in good condition we will be able to drive to the park gate where you will meet up with our guide and porters. The usual process of signing into the park and preparing for the hike should take about an hour. The first few hours of the day will be spent on a vehicle track that winds its way through the dense indigenous forest. The track will eventually thin out and will become a muddy path for the rest of the way to the camp. Machame Camp is situated on the edge of the forest.
09 Jan Day 3: This is the easiest of the days, and will offer us our first views of Kibo in the morning. We head up a ridge for the first 3 hours and have brunch on a small plateau, offering excellent views of Meru and Kibo. After lunch we climb slightly onto the Shira Plateau, where camp will be set up.
10 Jan Day 4: This is the acclimatisation day and it will take us up to the Lava tower, a huge volcanic boot shaped pile of rocks, and then down into the Great Barranco Valley. We will camp at the base of the Barranco Wall.
11 Jan Day 5: We head up the Barranco wall for the first hour, and then skirt around to the Karanga Valley where we will be camping overnight.
12 Jan Day 6: After breakfast we head up a ridge to Barafu, where we will camp and prepare for our summit ascent. We get our first view of Mawenzi from this camp.
SUMMIT DAY! 13 Jan Day 7: The trail to the summit lies directly behind Barafu. It is normal to start this day’s climb at 1 am or earlier. ( The reasons for this are to see the sun rise over Mawenzi from the top of Kibo, and the loose stone scree is frozen – making it easier to climb, and you can get back into good time ). The first part is up a fairly steep rocky section which then flattens out for a short while before heading up the proper scree slope. We reach the crater rim at Stella point and continue along the rim to Uhuru Peak.
As you descend the scree from the rim back to Barafu, it is tempting to run fast, but this can result in clouds of irritant dust and even unpleasant falls. After a short rest at Barafu we continue down the Mweka Route to Mweka Camp, where we spend the night.
14 Jan Day 8: This day takes us back into the forest before we head down a steep muddy path to the park gate. From here we will be collected and driven back to Moshi for the night.
15 Jan Day 9: Airport transfer for return flight.
This note to the Italtile Kilimanjaro team from NSRI CEO Ian Wienburg:
“You are literally going the extra mile and consciously making decisions that will cause you heart ache and pain. You guys are the closest things to the fantastic Sea Rescue volunteers that do the same thing. Whether you all make it to the top or not, what you have already done puts you on the same level as the lifesaving volunteers of Sea Rescue. Travel well, be safe, don’t lean over the edge and good luck to each and every one of you heros.”