On return, Martin sent in some great shots of the boys and himself on Mount KilimanjaroThis evening they will return to Moshi for their last overnight before leaving for the airport in the morning.. All reports are of a 'healthy & happy' group and we, no doubt not a fraction as much as mom, Joan, await their safe return and further reports of their adventures in Tanzania.
6th January 2011 - Lake Manyara National Park
After a eventful New Year on Kilimanjaro, Martin, James, Alexander & Marcus are enjoying an overnight at Serena Luxury Lodge taking in 2 days Safari in the spectacular Lake Manyara National Park within the Great Rift Valley with its infamous tree climbing lion!
The National Park offers an amazing experience - At the Southern end of the park are hot Sulphur Springs known as Majimoto. Further along the forest the area opens up into woodlands, grassland, swamps and beyond, the soda lake itself. Nestling at the base of the Great Rift Valley escarpment, the park is recognized for its incredible beauty. Wildlife at Lake Manyara is not restricted to birdlife only. Many game animals such as Buffalo, Elephant, Giraffe, Impala,hippo and a great variety of smaller animals also inhabit the park.
Lake Manyara is renown for its tree-climbing lions which spend most of the day spread out along the branches of acacia trees six to seven metres above the ground. The park contains the most pachyderms per km sq. in Tanzania. As you enter the gate, you pass into the lush forest, home to troops of baboons and blue monkeys. Buffalo and hippo lurch in the adjacent Hippo Pool. The vegetation eventually merges into flat topped acacia woodland where, in the heat of the day entire prides of lion can be seen stretched on the branches of these trees - a habit prevalent to Manyara lions.
Along with these amazing tree-climbing lions there are the usual browsers and grazers as well as the curios-looking banded mongoose. Two thirds of the park is dominated by the slightly alkaline lake which is home to a huge variety of waterbirds.
4th January 2011 - 1300hrs Irish time
Family climb Kilimanjaro
Just got a call from Martin, "We all got into the final campsite on accent yesterday at 4pm. With excitement and everything about the summit push last evening, the lads only got a 2-3 hrs sleep before leaving at 11pm for the long summit push. James was sick a few times but had no other AMS symptoms. We got toGillman's Point (5681m) at 7am this morning with all ok apart from Alexander having zero juice left in the tank. The guides helped in the decision for Alexander, who knew he couldn't go any further as he had not enough energy to get him to the summit and back toGillman's Point."
"With a guide holding with Alexander at gilmans, James, Marcus, myself and the remaining guides headed for the summit. After an hour and a half or so we could see the summit sign in the distance, which encouraged us. We got to Uhuru summit (5,895m)at 9.15am, James and Marcus were very excited and got the photos etc. done before heading back down. The guides were brilliant and when we got back here to gilmans, Alexander was asleep which was good he must have been knackered earlier this morning. I sent James and Marcus down ahead and I will wait for Alexander for a while longer before we also head down. Amazing feeling to get there with my sons, they all did extremely well"
Well done lads and hope you all enjoy the fun on the way down. Best of luck on the rest of the trip from all at the expedition office down in Kerry.
Latest Report - 2nd January 2011
The Haydens and their guides acclimatised to 4300m today and are now back to 3720m for the night. Martin reports that the boys are doing well, apart from some adjustments to the food etc., Martin said: "James has some music with him, Marcus is reading and Alexander is getting plenty of stories from dad, they are all sleeping well and eating ok considering, the weather is absolutely amazing providing stunning scenery views, hopefully it will last for the next couple of days"
We expect a push for the summit on the 5th or 6th january, lets see how they get on today, Stay tuned.
Trek Start Report - 31st December 2010
While we celebrate New years here in Ireland, Martin Hayden and his threetrustysons James, Marcus & Alexander are now on Mt. Kilimanjaro,located in Tanzania,and have started their trek. They flew out on the 29th of December to fulfill an ambition to climb the highest mountain in Africa. The climb will take them through five different ecological zones as they ascend toward the5,895m summit over the next eight days. Happy New Year lads - Over the next few days we will endeavour to report as much as possible. They are just finishing day one and these are photos of the start.
Training began back in November when we put them through their paces on Purple mountain beside the gap of dunloe in Kerry. The cold weather had just started 2 days before the lads came down, roads were bad in Meath where the lads are from and tentatively made the journey to the montain lodge in kerry. On arrival we met Con Moriarty, who advised them on the gear they had and also the gear needed for their training and climb in december. Temperatures were low on the evening of the 27th with severe cold conditions forecast as low as minus 10C. Later in the evening wewere joined by camerman Mark Watson who was down to get a feel for mountain filming, he will be editing footage under our direction for the haydens on their return.Following a quick briefing on the plans for the dark start early in the amby guide Tony Nation, we all headed to bed for some rest.
Night climb of Purple Mountain - 28th Nov 2010
We got a little breakfast into us and headed off at 4am. The drive up the gap was surreal and slippy with icy conditions. We adjusted our gear and headed off into the night, which was brigthened at times by the moon. As we got our pace and temperatures regulated we were approaching the glas lake, which was very surreal in total darkness and head torches. We had a break and some banter with lads who were doing just fine. after the gully from the lake we started onto the steep scree section which was tough work as the wind was a lot stronger. Martin got James, Marcus and Alexander to stay close in a line as conditions were now more severe.
At 7.30am we reached the shoulder and made our final push across the summit section to the main cairn in near total whiteout. We had already decided to spend only 3 minutes there as there was no visibility for sunrise although we could see that light was approaching. On our decent toward the central peak heading toward tomies temperatures were very low and wind was strong, with frost forming on our eyebrows, hair and clothing. I would say it was minus 15C windchill approx. At our next stop our water was now slushy and hard to drink, bring out the Hot Drink Tony!! The lads were elated at this stage and we found some snow to bum slid followd by some great icicles!!
On decent we headed into the gap behind the cottages, once we decended below the cloud we got our first glimpses of scenery toward the sea over snow peppered stricin mountain. We stopped to admire the views and our final stop before the road. The boys were holding strong and dad Martin coaxed the final leg down. When we got to the road it was time to do much needed filming as the visibility was good now for the first time all morning.
We got back to the lodge after 10am for a fuller than Irish breakfast with no leftovers.The lads had a great time apart from being wrecked tired and after speaking to Martin a couple of days later theyhad a great time in Kerry and hadn't stopped talking about it. We wish them the best of luck!!
Martin and his boys were featured on RTE's Colm Hayes show on the 23 December, below you will find a link to download the attached podcast.
Report by Niall Foley
Travel Coordinator & Camerman<-->