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The Hardest Day

The night is now freezing, about -5, but again the mountain delivers and as the sun sets Kibo turns a beautiful deep orange and takes all our breathe away (not that we had much left to take!)
I wake up with a layer of ice on top of my sleeping bag and all my water frozen, but excited and nervous I pack up, eat another apple, my only fuel for the next 5 hour climb. There can be no hanging around today, we must pass the breach before the sunlight hits it and it becomes a danger zone.
This is the hardest thing I have ever had to do, I can’t breathe, there is no oxygen, its step and hard climbing, there are clothes in the rocks ripped from peoples bodies, 3hrs in I panic. In true Danielle style sit on a rock and tell everyone to go on without me – of course that’s not an option as our guide expertly takes my hand, calms me down and leads me up the mountain, it sounds stupid, but just having someone hold you hand makes all the difference, you don’t feel alone anymore and the air returns to your lungs.

Once again the mountain gives us its reward, as we summit the breach he glaciers are there to greet us, beautiful and oddly out of place in this sandy moon landscape. I’ve made it!! Its sounds silly but I no longer care if I summit or not, the glaciers were everything I expected and so much more. This is the top of my mountain, a little sign in the dirt seems insignificant to their beauty. We are also lucky enough to be able to venture further we climb up to the crater rim and look directly into the heart of the mountain with the glaciers spread out at our feet…AMAZING.

Of course I do summit…after a chilly night at 18,500 ft we climb up again to the summit, a short walk and there we are, posing by the sign, on top of the world. I’ve made it!

Climbing Kilimanjaro
(average rating, based on 3 reviews)
Trip type: 
Walking & Trekking
Trekking level: 
5. Strenuous
Max group size: 

Kilimanjaro - Marangu Route

Africa, Tanzania | 10 days
Trip code: 
Summit morning - Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
Challenging climb to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro on the only hutted route.

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