February 13, 2017 – I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, elevation 5895 meters. Kilimanjaro is in northeastern part of Tanzania, and is considered the highest peak of the African continent, as well as the world’s tallest free-standing mountain. It has 3 extinct volcanoes – Kibo (5895 m), Mavenzi (5355 m) and Shira (4006 m). On the tops there are glaciers. Kilimanjaro’s peak is a crater, which highest point is Uhuru Peak.

From six routes leading to the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro I chose six-day Marangu Route, in which case the overnight is in the huts.

Marangu Route is usually carried out at least in 5 days. 6 day trip time one day on the mountain is for getting used to the climate.

I started my trip on February 8, from Marangu check point (1980 m), the beginning of Kilimanjaro National Park.

After the checkpoint I began to rise. On average I walked 12 to 15 km.

Marangu Route description by days:

Day 1. Marangu checkpoint (1980 m) – Mandara Camp (2720 m). Hiking lasts 5 hours, the length about 12 km

Day 2: Mandurah Camp – Horombo Camp (3720 m) Duration: 6 hours, length about 15 km

Day 3: Horombo Camp, getting used to the climate on 3720 m altitude

Day 4: Horombo Camp – Kibo camp (4700 m) Duration: 6 hours, the length of about 15 km. On that night, the main ascent is done to the peak of Kilimanjaro, the Uhuru point. Arriving Kibo camp when I had a little rest and ate, I was advised to lie down to sleep early, at 19: 00 pm, as the uprising would be launched at midnight.

Before sleeping I prepared all the necessary things, poured the drinking water into the thermos in order to avoid from getting cold.

Day 5: to the peak / Kibo camp (4700 m) – Uhuru Peak (5895 m) – Kibo camp (4700 m) – Horombo Camp (3720 m)

The duration of hiking – 8 hours Ukhuru peak, 6-8 hours to descend to Horombo camp. Length – about 6 km, ascent – 22 km descent.

At 23:30 pm after waking up and eating slightly (oatmeal with honey), I began the ascent, crossing a steep rocky path from the beginning to the edge of the crater Gilmani, then Stella points. The way to Stella point is the most challenging route for climbers of mental and physical point of view and usually requires 6.30 – 7 hours to reach that point. I reached that point earlier, in 4.30 hours, but I had to wait for dawn before reaching the top, to view the most wonderful dawn.

The night of the ascent was full moon,and mostly Ikept my flashlight switched off.

During the night ascent the only difficulty was that walking I constantly was trying to overcome insomnia.

In the early morning of February 13 at 5:30 pm I was on the top of Kilimanjaro.

The way back from the peak to Kibo surprisingly lasted less – 3 hours.

After a short rest in the camp, I packed my things and continued my trip back – Horombo Camp (3720 m), where I spent the night. That day was the most tiring, the overall tour lasted 14 hours, totaling 22 km.

Day 6: Horombo Camp (3720 m) – Marangu checkpoint (1980 m). The walk lasted 6 hours, the length – 27 km.

Luba Balyan