Trip Journal – Kilimanjaro Day 3 – Friday June 17, 2016 – Shira Hut (12,602 ft) to Lava Tower (15,236 ft) to Barranco Hut (13,061 ft)
There were high winds across the plateau in the night and temps were cold. So far we are happy with our gear and apart from Nicki’s cold toes we are warm, and ready to head off on today’s hike.
Today’s hike was different again from day 1 and two – the scenery was awesome! We moved so much closer the mountain and it is now in our view full time in all its beauty. Our peak destination was Lava Tower and the highest point Tim and I have ever climbed – 15,236 ft. Looking up from Lava Tower it seems like you are at the base of Kilimanjaro. Frank explained that some routes will ascend straight up to the peak from here in 2 days. Our route will go around and we will ascend from the other side. I am happy about this as from here it looks incredibly steep! It took us about 4 hours and we covered 4 miles from Shira Hut to Lava Tower. The trail was dusty and all in all we are tolerating the elevation well. Pole’ pole’ we went, drinking lots of water. We hiked in high winds all morning, we were guessing 20-30 mph. Much colder today than the first two days. I’d put the temp in the 40’s – I was wearing 4 layers on top – 2 long sleeve shirts, light fleece, and windbreaker/raincoat, two on bottom, and a warm cap, fleece gloves and that was just right.
Our porters are amazing!
Tim – keeping our electronics charged by solar panel
After lunch at Lava Tower we descended and made our way to The Barranco Hut where we are camping for the night. The streams and vegetation on this part were cool and we got some good practice going downhill over lots of rocks. We hiked about another 2.5 hours and are camping at just over 13,000 ft.
This was our longest day so far and with the altitude, I was spent! It was cloudy and foggy when we arrived into camp but after dinner we caught some incredible views of the mountain by moonlight.
We are getting into the swing of things now with camp life and are very happy with all our gear choices.