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Kilimanjaro January 2011 - Team Reports

Saturday, 22 January 2011 11:38
Uhuru Peak Mount Kilimanjaro Uhuru Peak Mount Kilimanjaro Lorraine Gordon

Some Images from Trek & Extracts from Teams Feedback 'Despite Airline strikes, we got there! 11 people set out on Jan 27th to reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro and 11 people made it. Guides were brilliant. Weather was brilliant. Team were brilliant craic and worked well together throughout trek. Where to next guys?' Tony

'It was the trip of a lifetime and one I thouroughly enjoyed; The office was very helpful and always contactable, which was very reassuring; Documentation - Excellent. Would highly recommend Pre Departure Meet Day as it breaks the ice and helps in getting to know the team; The whole trip was very well planned. Yea were always there at the end of the phone and brilliant for giving advise on gear. Very good value for money; Tony was an excellent guide. Would love to trek with him again; - Yvonne

'Just wanted to say thank you for organising the trip for us. I must say it was a trip of a life time- really enjoyed it and the Reps on the other side were really good. I have all the photo's (plus Tonys- again, a big thank you to him for everything) as a slide show on my computer in work. The walking club I am part of are seriously thinking about it in October. Can't go- all my floating days used up!! Until we cross paths again- take care and the best to Gerry and Pat and the rest of the team- Joan (Happy Walking xxx)

'Excellent experience. Pre Departure Meet - Excellent. Builds excitement and get to know people; Website was Excellent resource. The family & Aisling were delighted; Excellent value for money; The whole trip was a truely amazing experience. It was so much better than I could of ever imagined and would say to anyone thinking of it just go for it. It was a very tough challenge but so worth it. The joy and emotion at the top was amazing along with the views, and without the care and attention your company put into it alongwith Zangola,we would not have got there. Thank yo so much for everything. I'll be travelling with yea in the future. Elbrus maybe next year (2012) send on the info - Ian

'Excellent trip. Tony was very helpful and gave good mountain advice; Communications from office was excellent - Lorraine=5 stars! Could not reccommend higher; Excellent value for money; Hope to do Elbrus with yourself later in year - Eanna

'Very Good experience; Communication with office was very good; Good value for money; Thanks for everything Lorraine, your sincerely, Tom

'Very Good trip; Excellent office support; Website excellent resource for people at home to follow and when service was poor on mountain; I would like to take the opportunity to thank the Pat Falvey Worldwide Team for a very enjoyable & sucessful trip & to thank Lorraine in particular for all her help - Thomas

'Very Good trip. The 100% success of our group in reaching summit was highlight of trip; Staff and documentation was very good; Pre Departure Meet & Website very good resources. Good vaue for money'.

Feb 02 Let the Celebration's begin... Our team are safely back at Base Hotel looking forward to showers, lunch and a little bit of R&R. Tony rings 13:32 (10:32 Irish time) 'Everyone's still on a high. This evening, we have a bus booked to take us to hotel 3km from Moshi where we will be joined by our trek guides for a celebratory meal and certificates will be presented. It has been some week for one week. The group are a great bunch.. everyone working together to ensure we as team made summit and tonight, we will celebrate..We have a shopping trip arranged for the morning as Adrian and Yvonne set off on Safari. Then we will make our way to Kilimanjaro airport for our international flights. See you all on Friday..Kwahari (Goodbye for now)

Feb 01 A call from Tony confirms everyone's fantastic achievement 'We did it! Everyone made summit after what can only be described as a tough, tough night. There was a scene of celebration at top with everyone kissing and hugging. Now a tired team is on the way down to Barafu Camp for lunch before a further 4 hour walk to Mweka Camp. Sleep will be welcome'

Ian texts 10:42 (08:02 Irish time) 'Hello from the top of Africa and the top of Kiliiiiiimannnnjaro Woohoo I did it Woohoo we all did it. On the way back to camp for lunch and bed we're shattered'

09:25 (06:45 Irish time) A call from our lead guide Anania confirmed that everyone was doing fine and 'they all summitted to the the top with health' We await further updates but right now are delighted that team are safe and well. Congratulations to all. It was a long but hopefully rewarding night. More information soon...

Jan 31 13:39 (10:59 Irish time) Tony reports 'Team has made it to Barafu Camp (4550m).Everyone's doing really well. Tom Weston is experiencing headache's and nausea but guides are confident that the days rest and a good meal will have him fit for tonight's attempt on summit. Right now it is snowing.

The plan is to set off 24:00 (21:00 Irish time) I will keep in touch as opportunity arises to provide updates. For now, here are a few messages some of the team wish to be passed on to loved one's at home' Ian Delahunty - still 'bulling it' Hopefully my dad and Aisling will be with me tonight and carry me up..love to all Cormac Veale wants Jackie to have one of her cracking vindaloo's ready for Friday. She makes the best one's this side of New Delhi John Rigney is looking forward to seeing Christina in the airport and wants to say thanks to chris for being so supportive while he's away. Love you x

Barafu is Swahili word for 'ice' and the Camp is bleak with it's exposure to ever-present gales. Tents are pitched on a narrow, stony and potentailly dangerous ridge if you don't take time to familiarise yourself with the terrain before dark. The summit is now a further 1345m up and before dinner, the team will prepare their gear and equipment for tonight's summit attempt to allow them some precious rest in the evening.

After tea and snack at 23:00 (08:00 Irish time) the team will take off 'pole pole' to commence their final ascent. Their route will take them north-westely and terrain will be heavy scree as they make their way towards Stella Point on the crater rim. For most, this 6hrs will be the most mentally and physically challenging part of their time on Mount Kilimanjaro. At Stella Point (5685m) a reward awaits - the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see (weather permitting) After Stella Point, a snowy trail should be experienced all the way to Uhuru Peak.

Tonight, the plan is Uhuru Peak (5895m) and then descending to Mweka Camp (3100m) Hiking Time: 8h to reach Uhuru Peak 7-8h to descend to Mweka Distance: 7kms ascent 23kms descent approx Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit. With snow at Barafu, a magical snowcovered ascent is likely- Be safe guys. Keep warm. We are behind yea all the way..

Jan 30 Tony rang from Karranga Camp(4000m) Hiking Time:6h Distance: 12kms approx Habitat: Semi-Desert Everyone was feeling fine. Headache's had disappeared and everyone was looking forward to a good meal, rest and tomorrow. Nerveous excitement is seen within the team who have really gelled over the past few days and they continue to have the 'craic' despite drop in temperature 13:39 (10:59 Irish time) The journey from the gate to the peak is like traveling from the equator to Antarctica in a matter of days

A text from Ian 10:34 (07:54 Irish time) tells us the team have set off on 'Nearly at the top of the breakfast bowl. Everyone doing good. Air is thin alot of heavy breathing not that we need much more breath taking as the views are exactly that. It's amazing. Big day tomorrow - bulling for it. Hope all is well' As the team make their way up the great obstacle known as the Barranco Wall, they top out just below the Heim Glacier. It's here you can really apppreciate how beautiful Mount Kilimanjaro really is. Our team make there way steadily towards Karanga Camp, situated in a valley of the same name, over intervening ridges and valleys. Continued safe climbing guys - you are all doing great!

Jan 29 Barranco Camp (3950m) Team arrive safe at Camp 3. Having left behind the moorland landscape, they have now are experiencing semi-desert and rocky environs. This is definately the toughest day so far. It is normally about this point, where for the first time, some climbers start to feel symptoms of breathlessness, irritability and headaches. This was the case for our team.

Tony reports 16:24 (13:48 Irish time) 'We have all reached Barranco Camp. There were some minor headaches been experienced today but nothing major. Spirits still remain high. Our team has increased to 36 with additional porters joining us with extra water supplies. Today we climbed high and will sleep low to help us with tommorrow's continued ascent'

Earlier, 10:18 (07:48 Irish time) Ian had this to say 'Hi. On Climb. Breathing! Views amazing. All is good. Steady pace today.Farting sorted it was ***** (shall remain anonomous :) they are at the back today. Hi to all Hi from Kilimanjaro' While Ian can now enjoy his breath's, Yvonne McHugh has this to add 'It's all about me' Sure there is more to that tale to tell..

Barranco Camp Hiking Time:6h Distance: 12kms approx Habitat: Semi-Desert is situated in a valley below the Breach and Great Barranco Wall, which should provide the team with a memorable sunset and opportunity for some beautiful photographs of the Breach above

Jan 28 Tony rang from Shira Camp 14:41 (11:41 Irish time) with news that blew us away (no reference to Ian's report below!!) Two of the team, Yvonne McHugh & Adrian Fehily got engaged just before they started trek on Mount Kilimanjaro. Congratulations to you both from all at Irish & Worldwide Adventures. We hope this is the start of a lifetime of many wonderful adventures together

Ian texts 14:29 (11:29 Irish time) 'Hi Lorraine All is good at Camp 2 Everyone feeling good and spirits still high, along with the farting, the air is thin sometimes difficult to breath but not too bad hope all is good there' Irish & Worldwide Adventures accepts no responsibility for the production of excess endogenous gases.... ;) On a serious note, altitude has been noted as a cause of flatulence due to the low atmospheric pressure.Now there's a wordy excuse to use guys!

12:08 (09:08 Irish time) Tony rang - Lunch stop on route to Camp 2 Shira Camp (3840m) Hiking time: 6h Distance: 9 kmsapprox Habitat: Moorland Having left the glades of the rain forest, the team continued on an ascending path, crossing a little valley walking along a steep rocky ridge, covered with heather, until the ridge ends. The route then turned West onto a river gorge at 3,658 meters. After their lunch / rest, the team will continue up a rocky ridge onto the Shira plateau. At this stage, in an easterly direction, the Western Breach will be visable with its stunning glaciers. Due west of Kibo, after a short hike the team will reach the Shira campsite. The night at this exposed camp will even be colder than last night, with temperatures dropping to well below freezing.

Jan 27 Ian Delahunty texts 17:13 (14:13 Irish time) 'Hi at Camp 1. Good and sweaty but still grand out. Everyone good and still cracking jokes. A bit tired but not too bad. Hope all is well there' The team's porters (arriving at the camp site long before they did) will have set up Camp, will boil drinking and washing water and the cook will prepare dinner, before the team retire to their tent for the night. Night temperatures can already drop to freezing point at this campsite. Rest well Guys. First bite taken out of your elephant ;)

Tony rang 09:30 (06:30 Irish time) - bags were packed and the team were heading via bus for Machame Park Gate (1490m). Reports were of a 'high spirited, fit and fun' gang eager to get their first step in Africa's highest mountain. Today will see the team commence ascent entering lush rainforest almost immediately in aim of reaching Machame Camp (2980m) Hiking time: 7 hours Distance: 18 kms approx Habitat: Montane forest Safe Climbing Guys

Jan 26 Team arrived at their Base Hotel in Moshi last night 23:19 (20:19 Irish time) They awoke this morning with the sun shining bright (and hot) to get their first glimpse of the challenge ahead - Mount Kilimanjaro could be seen in all its glory as they sat in the courtyard having breakfast. Now there's a way to start a day! Ian Delahunty, who is climbing for Suicide Aware (www.suicideaware.ie) had this to say 'Its beautiful here. Heading for a tour of local area today and then the big day tommorrow. We're all bulling to get going - can't wait. Spirits are high and everyone's relaxed' Roll on tommorrow..

Jan 25 Our Kilimanjaro team departed this morning from Dublin. The weather in Moshi, Tanzania is reported to be glorious but there was approx 15 minutes yesterday when we here were feeling that heat. 7 of the 10 team were due to depart ex Cork but due to Airline strike, their flight to Amsterdam was cancelled.

After many calls and alot of positive thinking (Joan :) their flights were able to be transfered to ex Dublin. Phew was just one of the words that crossed many lips! The team are now on route and due to land in Kilimanjaro Airport at 21:30 (18:30 Irish time) where they will be met by the successful Meru summitter Thomas and their trekking guides. Tommorrow's rest day will be welcomed prior to their start on Machame route Jan 27th. Will update as we hear from Tony, the team's leader from Irish & Worldwide Adventures!