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Kilimanjaro - Morum/Lemosho Route

Kilimanjaro - Morum/Lemosho Route

Postby Johnoneill1916 » Tue Oct 01, 2019 8:37 pm

Date walked: 15/09/2019

Time taken: 40

Distance: 61 km

Ascent: 5895m

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The adventure started with a 3 am drive to Glasgow airport to meet up with the rest of Team Whiteleys to catch our first of our 2 flights with a short hop to Amsterdam. After a long walk and a wee coffee it was time for our flight to Kilimanjaro International Airport. After 8.5 hours or so we touched down and made our way to arrivals. Despite having our visas prepared before we went it still took us about 1-1.5 hours to get through to pick up our bags. This as our first experience as to how nothing in Tanzania happens fast :lol:

Our group representative was waiting to show us to the minibus where we met us with 2 more girls from our 360 Expeditions party where we made our way to the Sal Salinero hotel in near by Moshi. After dropping off the bags and a feed it was time for bed. Next day about lunchtime the rest of our group arrived as they came in via Nairobi. This is when we first met our guide, the amazing Jo Bradshaw. More food, a couple of drinks and a comprehensive briefing followed. We also had a late arrival to the group with Sophie who was on a single expedition with guides for the same company so far easier to join us. After a last kit check and a good nights sleep it was time for our adventure to begin.

09.09.19 002 Team Whiteley-min.jpg
Team Whiteley's at our hotel

Tue 10th Sept - Mocum - Shira 1
We woke up to a typical Scottish morning - heavy rain!! We set off from the hotel in the minibus fully loaded with our gear and headed through the African countryside to Londorosi gate to check in and a spot of lunch whilst our porters got all the kit ready, weighed and loaded back up. By this time the rain has calmed a bit as we boarded the bus for a short drive up to Morum to begin our hike. It was a dreich start with waterproofs and rucksack cover on but the rain soon cleared to leave a eerie mist. In no time at all Shira 1 camp came into view and on arriving we were welcomed by our amazing porters for a song and dance. We were introduced to our tent for the next 6 nights :D Once the sleeping stuff was unpacked we had our first experience of the mess tent for dinner. An amazing place where we started to get to know the other members of the group most of whom we only met the previous days. The food was excellent and the job the porters etc done was beyond amazing. Just after dinner the cloud cleared and we were treated to our first views of Kibo. This send a shiver down my spine. A new experience for me was how almost immediately after the sun going down the temperature plummeted. Not to worry though as we were all toasty in our sleeping bags :D

09.10.19 009 Good to go-min.jpeg
Ready for off

09.10.19 019 John.jpg
Hotel Johns

09.10.19 025 Kibo (1)-min.jpg
Kibo reveals itself

Wed 11th Sept - Shira 1 - Shira 2
John B and myself awoke about 5am and I think our chatter woke the rest of our party :lol: Around 6am one of the porters came round with coffee, the perfect start for a frosty morning! After packing away it was back to the mess tent for breakfast. We were soon back on the trail again and this is where we learned the Kili Shuffle, Pole Pole or slowly slowly. A very relaxed pace of one foot in front of the other, This allows you to use your energy at a steady relaxed pace and allows your body better conditions to allow it to slowly adapt to the altitude. Walking across the Shira Plateau was amazing and after a few hours we arrived at Shira 2 camp again to a spirit lifting song and dance! The views here were probably the best I have ever seen. Looking one way you had Kibo and the full moon and the other way the sun set over the Shira plateau with Meru in the background and the jungle below us The photos below can never compare. It was back in to Hotel Johns for the night hoping for a good sleep for the longer walk in the morning.

09.11.19 014 Kibo-min.jpg
The view towards Kibo

09.11.19 015 Meru-min.jpg
View over Shira towards Meru

09.11.19 013 Team at Shira II-min.jpeg
Team at Shira II

Thu 12th Sept - Shira 2 to Barranco
The day started with a pleasant climb from Shira 2 out into the open and the Alpine zone. It was here that you felt the mountain was getting closer. We trekked for several hours till we finally reached the Lava Tower at 4600m were our trail joined the Machame Route. Because of the relaxed pace, drinking plenty of water and eating well the altitude had little effect so far although at this point I did have a little bit of tension on the head. After lunch at the Lava Tower this soon wore off as we made our descent down the Barranco Valley to Barranco Camp. This was where we first set eyes on the Barranco Wall, tomorrow mornings challenge and to be honest I was a bit under-awed. By the time we reached camp I had the onset of a sore head but 1 ibuprofen and 15 min and we were sorted. This was the first camp where we had any sort of signal and after many attempts I finally managed to get a text home. Once again views from the camp were spectacular as we headed for an early night and a chance of a long lie.

09.12.19 010 Views Towards Lava Tower (1)-min.jpeg
Heading to the Lava Tower

09.12.19 012 At the Lava Tower-min.jpg
At the Lava Tower

09.12.19 013 Views at the Lava Tower-min.jpg
The Lava Tower

09.12.19 014 Views going down to Barranco-min.jpg
Heading down Barranco Valley

Fri 13th Sept - Barranco to Kanranga
Well as expected there was no long lie :lol: but we did have another perfect day. The morning seen the arrival of a helicopter taking some poor soul off the mountain. It was at this point Sophie left the group for her journey to the summit a day earlier than us. We had a relaxing start letting others get started on the wall till we could slot in. The wall was pretty straight forward at our relaxed pace and once over a couple of obstacles we quickly arrived at the top. This was one of they places where posing for photos is a must and this we duly did. After a break we set off down the valley at the other side ascending to the other side. The camp came in to view but first we had the steep descent into and steep ascent into the Karanga Valley. It was from here that I will always remember having the greatest view ever whilst sitting on a portaloo :lol: :lol:

09.13.19 015 Team at the top of Barranco Wall (1)-min.jpg
Us at the top of Barranco Wall

09.13.19 015 Team at the top of Barranco Wall (2)-min.jpg
Team Whiteley's on top Barranco Wall

09.13.19 028 Best Toilet View Ever-min.jpeg
Best Toilet View Ever

Sat 14th Sept - Karanga to Barafu
We were once again blessed with another perfect day as we made our way to Barafu, our final pre-summit camp. This was only a couple of miles and a couple of 100m further up the mountain. On Route our group passed a porter from another group who seemed pretty ill. It was amazing how all the other porters regardless of their company rallied round him sharing his load amongst them and along with Jo seeing that he got the assistance he required. On arriving at camp we were fortunate enough to meet Sophie who had successfully summited that morning an was on her way to Mweka gate, an amazing achievement. Barafu camp itself was pretty hectic as this was the last point for most groups so there was a lot of comings and goings. After dinner we set off to bed hoping to get a couple of hours sleep before our attempt on the summit that evening/following morning. Dosing would be the best description of the level of sleep we managed but in no time it was 11pm and time for a wee feed before the off.

09.14.19 001 Heading to Barafu (1)-min.jpeg
Heading to Barafu

09.14.19 004 Team Whiteleys-min.jpeg
Relaxing at Barafu

Kibo from Barafu-min.jpg
Still looked Massive

Sun 15th Sept - Barafu to Millennium Camp
We set off on our trek to the summit just before midnight following a trail of lights already on the way up. Just after Kosovo camp my bite valve decided to give up the ghost with water shooting out. Off with the rucksack and disconnecting the hose, I was glad of the 1l bottle stuffed down my jacket. Looking over to the right Mawenzi peak towered above us. Our team of guides kept singing keeping morale up within the group. Definitely the best team on the mountain :D We kept plodding onwards with a couple of very quick breaks that allowed me to fill my bottle from the bladder. It was pretty difficult to eat on the way up and basically snacks were almost sooked till they dissolved. After about 6 hours we reached Stella Point still in darkness with the rest of the team 5 min or so behind. To look round and see Mawenzi peak way below us made me realise how far we'd come although I did think to myself "How the feck did that get down there!" :lol: After a wee ginger tea we made our way along the 45 min walk to Uhuru, Africa's highest point. I cannot begin to describe the elation but it was beyond amazing walking on what might have been the Moon or Mars with massive glaciers around us, a full moon in the sky and the sun rising above the African skyline. I did also feel light headed with the altitude! After a short time at the top we started making our way back down a tiring and seeming never ending scree slope. I don't think I have ever felt so tried and just wanted to lie down and sleep. None the less onwards we went. By the time we reached the bottom of the scree some of the other porter came up to meet us with some fruit juice. Jo decided I was unsteady on my sticks and after a wee stop for chocolate and water decided it was better for a guide to accompany me over some rocky sections towards Kosovo camp. On reaching the camp I felt a bit better probably with the drop in altitude but I was glad when finally returning to Barafu a hard 10-11 hours later. Of the 9 in the group and Sophie the previous night who attempted the summit, all of us made it :clap: I just crashed out in the tent till being called for lunch. Struggling to eat at this point I did my best to force some calories into me via extra sweet Milo to give me the energy to make to to Millennium camp. Leaving just after lunch we headed down for our final night on the mountain. On reaching camp, the porters had seats laid out for us. I think I was asleep on one after 5 minutes :lol: Still struggling to eat at this point at dinner I once again forced some food down me before heading off to the tent.

09.15.19 002 Stella Point (1)-min.jpeg
Finally at Stella Point

09.15.19 003 Team at Uruhu Peak-min.jpeg
At Uhuru Peak

Team Whiteleys-min.jpg
Team Whiteley's at the top!!

09.15.19 007 Glacier Views-min.jpg
One of the Glaciers

Summit Views (1)-min.jpg
Looking down on Mawenzi

Mon 16th Sept - Millennium camp to Mweka Gate.
I woke up feeling great and looking forward to a hearty breakfast. After breakfast we had a wee parting ceremony for all our superstar porters. I cannot start to describe what an amazing job these guys done and how well they all worked together. To say they made the trip for us is an understatement, I have to admit that this is something I never thought of before we signed up but if anyone ever does don't go for the cheapest go for the best. Companies like 360 Expeditions ensure the porters and well looked after, well fed, paid and treated. This welfare reason should be of the highest priority although its a thing that doesn't seen to be highlighted enough and one I admittedly didn't consider. Any future trips this will be my first priority. Even having simple things like portaloo's to save using the infamous long drops or basically a keyhole in the ground that I can't imagine would be fun with all the dodgy stomachs :lol: :lol: After tipping (be generous, these guys are amazing and it does make a difference!!!) and saying our thank you's we headed off for our 7000' descent through the moorland and jungle to Mweka gate and the finish. What an amazing journey despite probably never being so exhausted on summit day I can honestly say that there was not 1 negative experience for my whole time on the mountain and I think I can speak for the group and say they felt the same. We headed down to Moshi stopping at a gift market where its traditional to haggle but I found out I was rubbish at this. All my gifts came to $174 so I suggested $150 and the girl near bit my hand off :lol: A spot of lunch on route and back to the hotel for the most look forward to shower of my life with a weeks worth of Kilimanjaro dirt plastered to us. We were taken to a night club in Moshi but after a meal and 2 drinks we were all ready for bed :lol:

We made it (1).jpeg
Made it to Mweka Gate

One Happy Team.jpeg
Smelliest Bus in Africa

Tue 17th Sep - Arusha National Park.
Mousa our head guide kindly arranged for a safari for us on the final day to Arusha National Park. We managed to see warthog, monkeys (including a cheeky blue that stole biscuits from on of the girls in the land cruiser), baboons, giraffe, loads of different birds and much more. It was surreal having a picnic at Momela lake with giraffes only 100 or so yards from us. A perfect end to a perfect trip before being dropped off at the airport to get our bags and head for an overnight flight back to Amsterdam :D

A wee smiley Giraffe to end
Last edited by Johnoneill1916 on Sat Oct 12, 2019 8:34 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Kilimanjaro

Postby Pointless Parasite » Tue Oct 01, 2019 9:39 pm

Great stuff, congrats! :clap: How many other teams were on the mountain? I've seen some pretty offputting photos of huge camps.
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Re: Kilimanjaro

Postby Johnoneill1916 » Tue Oct 01, 2019 10:03 pm

Pointless Parasite wrote:Great stuff, congrats! :clap: How many other teams were on the mountain? I've seen some pretty offputting photos of huge camps.

For the first 2 days there was about 40 trekkers not counting porters etc After getting to Barranco our route joined with Machame and the numbers probably doubled. When we got to Barafu for summit night I reckon there would be over 200 but its not busy in a bad way. I wouldn't let that put u off despite the numbers its pretty relaxed and an amazing experience :D
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