Leaving Horombo Hut this morning was a slightly slower process as we all headed up the trail and followed our guides, settling into a pass that was our own. Some of us walked a little faster than others and we were told it was ok to go out ahead if the pass felt uncomfortable or inhibiting. The weather was incredible yet again and the terrain was truly amazing. We have been told that today is the day that the environment becomes like the lunar surface.
I used to think this hiking stuff is truly overrated. On my trip so far I have had the opportunity to hike into some of the most picturesque and majestic places one could possibly imagine. I have changed my opinion on hiking a lot but, I would seriously not be doing this if there wasn’t a mountain at the end of it that is nearly 6000 metres in height.
As I walked I was thinking about how apparently Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti…..Toto surely took some poet license writing Africa. There were no drums echoing in the night, nor were there wild dogs crying out in the night… If I could see the Serengeti if and when I summit the beast I would be stoked as the skies would be incredibly clear and the view overwhelming, but that wont happen as the weather is surrounding us with white puffy pillows of precipitation….however I did definitely associate with the line “I seek to cure whats deep inside, frightened of this thing that I’ve become.” You have plenty of time to be introspective when walking to the foot of a mountain.
As we descended into the slight valley before the crossing of the saddle, we walked for another 40 minutes to where we having lunch and the wind had picked up a lot and it was really pushing into the right hand side of my body as I moved onward. I was out in front at this stage and busting for the loo and some food in my stomach. I pushed forward toward the boulder field ahead of me.
Settling into a wind free environment at 4550 metres when all that is available is rugged rocky out crops. I thought to myself, I wish I had my climbing shoes. The boulders were of a considerably large size and I thought I may be able to steal a few first ascents on my way up. Lunch went down too quickly and I was on my feet taking a few shots of the surrounding area. I scrambled up onto one of the large boulders and snapped away happily for a few minutes.
We could see the Kibo huts from the lunch spot and it feels so so close. Truth was it was another hour or so before we would be taking off our packs and bedding down early for our summit bid that will start at midnight tonight.