Starting Point: Crater Camp, then Summit, 19,341 ft. elevation
Ending Point: Mweka Camp, ~10,000 ft. elevation
Total Climbing Time: 13 hours
After the 6:17am summit, I faced a 9,000 ft. descent. I've never been a good descender; I take my time to carefully place one foot in front of the other, allowing many speedy folks to pass by. I think Herman became concerned with my pace, as we had a LONG way to go and I was walking like a turtle.
This map shows the Mweka Route--our route down:
Unfortunately, the descent became harder the further we went; my legs were killing, and I was getting more and more pissed with Herman who wanted me to try a different, more effective way to descend. I tried his way for a little bit, but my legs couldn't handle it; they were too tired.
Here are some photos from the day's descent:
Looking down at the Barafu Hut campsite (~15,100 ft. elevation):
Rumisha messes with his radio:
We finally made it to Barafu Hut. Unfortunatley, we still had a long way to go. Looking back from whence we came that morning:
Although we were not eating lunch here, we stopped for a few minutes to take a much needed break. My trekking poles were a godsend during my descent:
The ranger huts at the Barafu Hut campsite:
On our away again. I kept asking Herman, "Are we there yet?" Our destined lunch spot was taking forever to get to!
Walking into clouds...
These rock formations were my sanity:
At least we were headed in the right direction! (High Camp was our lunch destination).
*On our walk into High Camp, we passed a helipad which is used for emergencies. Herman took this opportunity to tell me some really shocking, sad news. Remember the three white British men that I had passed on the fourth day? (See blog entry "Day Four- Shira Hut to Lava Tower"). Well, the father of the group had had a sudden heart attack on the ascent and had passed away. I couldn't believe it. I had just seen this man and had said "hello" three days prior. Herman had learned of the news earlier on but didn't know if it was a good idea to tell me; I'm glad that he did. May this Brit R.I.P.