Today (Weds 10th) marks day four of the Wetherby Wanderers Kilimanjaro Trek and after three days of zero contact, we’ve finally received word from the team that they’re still in one piece and determined to make it to the end!
Following yesterdays gruelling trek further into the Shira Caldera, (a high altitude desert plateau rarely visited by man and the third of the Kilimanjaro volcanic cones), they ascended close to the Lava Tower before making their way down to the ‘Arrow Glacier’. They had planned to camp near here, but the team had progressed so well that they pushed on past the Barranco Wall and on to their overnight camp closer to Karanga Valley. Sadly they have already lost three porters due to injury, but the rest of the team are battling on.
John Armstrong managed to get a phone signal and said:
“Oh my word, [or words to that effect] this is tough! We did almost two days in one yesterday and walked 17.98km in 10.5 hours. The Barranco Wall was gruelling – just Google the photos and you’ll see what I mean – its a sheer rock face. They don’t show you that in the glossy brochures!
“The rain is a killer and the expedition leader is modifying the route slightly for safety and so that everyone gets a good chance to acclimatise ready for summit day”.
Paul Kirby’s text message read:
“We’re alive (just). Day 3 completed yesterday, walked 4500m (twice the height of Ben Nevis). Incredibly hard with little/no sleep in the tents. Early 5.30am starts, horrendous rain and wet tents, but ace group of people. We will do this!”
Today they will undergo a much calmer, shorter trek across alpine mountain desert. This dip in altitude will help greatly with acclimatisation and almost certainly come as a great relief to many after the challenges yesterday threw at them. [UPDATE 10/02/16 15:53] Tomorrow they will take a slight detour off the planned route going higher up the trail to Kosovo Camp (Barafu Hut) which will give them an hour’s head start on summit day to beat the crowds!
Keep going Paul, John & Vicki, we’re all routing for you!