Friday, 3 July 2015

Vitali Maembe joins the CDEA Kilimanjaro climb 2014 (post 9 of 10)

On my latest Mt. Kilimanjaro climb I trekked on the Machame route for the first time. I was accompanied by musician/activist Vitali Maembe.

Here’s the ninth post of my blog log of the climb

Thursday 11 September 2014
As we began our trek towards the summit, Yahoo predicted we would leave behind most of the climbers who had walked ahead of us.

Vitali faced tremendous challenges walking throughout the night. I would have suggested that he turn back at 0200hrs but Yahoo kept on pushing him and agreeing only to a fraction of Vitali's frequent demands to rest along the way.

I, on the other hand, experienced challanges of my own; my body has yet to get accustomed to frequent stops during the final night to the summit. Each time I resume walking after these stops, my heart pace surges and I feel under intense pressure for several minutes before stabilizing at a rate I can handle.

The only solution I have to avoid this burden is to tell Yahoo at some point that I would walk ahead. During the September 2011 climb I sneaked through in the cover of darkness behind an approaching group of climbers, unnoticed by members of my group. But Yahoo has consistently argued against splitting the group saying it demoralises those left behind. He has a valid point. Tonight, rather than walk ahead, I stayed with the team as we struggled with our individual burdens throughout the night. Daybreak came before we reached Stella Point.

I constantly reminded myself that I have to reach the summit, not wanting to face the prospect of failing to reach the summit as in December 2011.

At Uhuru Peak, I could not find my camera, which I later discovered, after we descended to Barafu camp, in one of my several jacket pockets.

Yahoo later told me that most of the guides who were observing our slow pace during the climb had predicted we would not reach the summit. Kilimanjaro does not run out of surprises.
On the way to Mweka camp with Kibo peak in the background, from L-R, assistant guide Stephen, Yahoo, and Vitali Maembe.
We reached Barafu camp at 1330hrs and after a lunch break headed to Mweka camp where we arrived after 2130hrs. It was a long day.

Next: Vitali plays his guitar again

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