Friday, July 20, 2012

Barranco (3972m) -> Barafu (4673m)

Getting up at 5am was almost becoming routine and bundling out onto the road for seven was barely a struggle compared to day one. Today we were heading up the Barranco wall which was quite a daunting scramble but also a nice change to the monotonous plod we were used to from every other day. The search for a suitable foot-hole on the side of a mountain took your mind off the fact your legs didn't really enjoy moving at all. At the top of the wall there were fantastic views of the valleys on one side and the peak on the other. We took a short break for some fantastic photo opportunities and a sugar boost.

A sought after item on our own mini black market.
Onwards and upwards we went into a kind of lunar dustbowl with the sun bearing down as we weaved up and around the peak to Karanga Camp for lunch. We had to earn our dinner though as we had to another chance to test out our bouldering abilities. The breathless scramble was worth it thought as we were given our best lunch yet, I know I seem to say that everyday but today we got homemade chips, coldslaw and chicken which demanded seconds even on our dwindling appetites.

Porters en-route to Barafu
We continued on at "summit pace" to Barafu camp(4673m), which I was thankful for as I was really getting quite breathless now. The walk took us through a landscape and temperatures that the Mars Rover would be more accustomed to! Plus, the lack of oxygen meant that a simple walk to the toilet 50m away required a rest stop. Kibo Peak had always been visible in our sights like our own personal Goliath staring down and intimidating us everywhere except at this camp. It was probably for the best as morale was at an all-time low and my appetite had completely disappeared. We headed to bed at 9pm only to wake up a mere four hours later to tackle the worlds highest free-standing mountain.
The view from our tent at Barafu Camp

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