When the people of our country were celebrating 75 years of India’s Independence here, a few adventure enthusiasts from India also thought of celebrating it differently. So as part Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, about four men and three women went to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro — highest mountain in Africa and single free standing mountain above sea level in the world.
The team left for the expedition on Aug. 8 from Bengaluru and they had acclimatisation followed by climbing from Machame Gate to Machame Camp via Rain Forest, Shira Cave Camp, be ready for the coldest times, followed by Barranco Camp. While reaching this camp, you will pass through Lava Tower which is at a height of 4,630 mts and sends the trekkers dizzy with the height as few get into AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) but after lunch we descend back to Barranco Camp which simply mesmerises the trekkers with the clouds formation just in front of it. The altitude of the Lava Tower sends the trekkers dizzy and from a distance, you can see the Camp but the ups and downs to reach the Camp sends the shivers in spine, says Punitha Nagaraj, a housewife from Mysuru city.
Once we come down to Barranco and next day we tend to climb the 850 feet wall, which is a feast for any climbers, says Tiger Solanki, an adventure enthusiast who keeps organising treks in India.
Once you climb the wall, the clouds below you will give a sense of different feeling as you are walking in the clouds. But once you reach the Karanga Camp, some creatures are in hurry to hop to the next Camp so that they can attempt the summit the same day but we took a break and went next day to the Barafu Camp. The Barafu Camp is a picture perfect with Mt. Kilimanjaro on the opposite side and trekkers dancing to the tunes of the Jambo Jambo bwana, Habari Gani.
It was 10 pm in the night when our orderly Zakariya came and said it’s time up for us to leave for the final ascent for which we have come. On Aug. 19, we just had some tea, ground nuts and popcorn and left for the summit; it was a gruelling 7-hour climb to the Stella Point or Mt. Kilimanjaro which is at a height of 18,885 feet in Tanzania and Africa’s tallest mountain at about 5,895 meters (19,340 feet). It is the largest free-standing mountain rise in the world, meaning it is not part of a mountain range and walking uphill in the night was a nightmare, says Lenin Chowdhary of T. Narasipur in Mysuru who is on his first expedition.
Despite all the odds of the food for the vegetarians doing this trek was a task, says Chethana Seervi, a resident of Hyderabad. As in the trek there was no vegetarianism and if so it was not conducive for the consumption. But still on Aug. 20 at 6.20 am, we successfully summited on Mt. Kilimanjaro and Stella Point and moved further and made it to Mt. Freedom Peak or Uhuru Peak which is at a height of 19,341 feet in Tanzania, says Karthik Nagaraju of Bengaluru.
The team comprised DSD Solanki, Lenin Chowdhary, Punitha Nagaraj, Chethana Seervi of Mysuru and Gireesh Hullur, Karthik Nagaraj and Sri Gowri of Bengaluru.