Written in her own words, Anvi J can be proud of her incredible achievement.
Mt Kilimanjaro, is the highest free-standing mountain in the world, one of the seven summits and the tallest mountain in Africa. That’s where my family and I decided to go for our summer vacation.
After completing Everest Base Camp last year, we thought we were ready to gain some more height and so thought this trek was perfect.
There are multiple routes to go about climbing this mighty mountain, we chose the most difficult one, the Machame Route. Unlike previous treks, despite the high altitude and treacherous climbs, this trek is only six days long. Being so used to sleeping in somewhat comfortable lodges in Nepal, we weren’t as pleased with the idea of camping in tents all night.
On the climb, we came across many species of plants one of them being Dendrosenecio a giant groundsel found only on Mt Kilimanjaro below 4,000m.
The night view was spectacular and really something worth seeing. We saw so many galaxies and millions of stars that filled that night sky leaving barely any blank spaces. It was truly a sight to remember.
We met a few families on our trek and made friends with a girl climbing solo.
Our porters would usually leave a while after us and yet always reached the campsites before to set everything up for the climbers. On the third day, on our way to Barranco Camp, we had a hot lunch at Lava Tower and stayed there for at least an hour to acclimatise as it was our first time at 4630m. The Lava Tower is a 300-foot-tall rock formation that was formed from lava when Kilimanjaro was still an active volcano. The guides, porters and I danced along to their tribal songs, it was one of the most fun experiences ever.
On day four we had to cross the Barranco Wall which was an 80-90 degree slope and a 257m high climb. It was quite hard as there was a traffic jam along the pathways, so we had to choose a harder route to go up faster.
The Summit Day has to be the worst of all and the most gruelling climb I have done in my whole life. One of the reasons why the success rate of this mountain is low is due to the altitude gain on Summit Day. We gained over 1,300m within seven hours and descended over 2,400m all on the same day.
We started our climb at midnight with barely any rest and extremely cold temperatures, along with flashlights wrapped around our heads. Mantras are considered to be motivating chants to help get through hard times, well my mantra throughout the night was “just 7 hours more and you’ll have done it!” It was hard to convince ourselves to keep going, our bodies were extremely exhausted and we were all sleep deprived. After what felt like walking for over a month, we finally reached Stella Point. We then had one more hour and suddenly we were the people standing on the highest point in all of Africa.
It was the most EUPHORIC feeling ever. We stayed at the peak for around 30-45 minutes trying to take in as much of the beauty as we could. This, however, was not the end of our journey. We still had to go back down, not only to Base Camp but descend down to the Millennium Camp where we would be sleeping. We were indeed fatigued, however sleeping at a lower altitude was beneficial as the temperature would be higher and we’d sleep better due to the presence of more oxygen.
We had been incredibly lucky with the temperature throughout the whole trek but on the last day back to Moshi, we had lots of rain.
We went to collect our certificates after getting down and soon enough it was time to say goodbye to the mountain.
Being on top of the world in the mountains, close to streams and valleys where I can see and feel the clouds, is a feeling worth experiencing. Trekking is one of those things that truly bring me joy. - Anvi J