On October 28, 2010, the Private Journeys/Red Ribbon Foundation men's team reached Uhuru Peak, 19, 341 feet. Congratulations to all! Bruce Terry texted about the experience:
This was probably the most exciting and grueling 24 hours of each of our lives! Not only did we hike up but we also had to work our way down which was another five to six hours. They say many climb Kili but only 2% climb the Western Breach (and now we know why). We decided to leave at 4:00 am and climb by the light of the moon and our headlamps---very cool we thought. We donned every stitch of clothes we had. We left at 4:30 as two of the hikers were better off using oxygen tanks. Our official summiting time was 12:20pm, October 28, 2010; this time is registered on our official certificates
Pole! Pole! We used our headlamps until about 7:30 am. One of the hikers had to dodge a falling rock (after than point everyone wore their helmet). We never stopped hiking.
The pictures we took are staggering. No one could possibly appreciate nor can we put it into words. As we climbed we could look down and see our pink and yellow tents get smaller and smaller. We were climbing straight up. The sun finally hit our side of the mountain. Fairly often we would stop the head guide Remedi would check our oxygen intake level (I wasn’t doing so good but they let me go a little bit longer and then a little bit longer...) We were quite lucky because the clouds stayed away while we were summiting so we really had stunning views.
We reached Crater Camp and had lunch. Back to Crater Camp, (to be honest at this point I couldn’t eat and I don’t think anyone else could either). Then we made the last climb to the peak of Uruhu one by one, step by step. Our feet were so heavy at this point. The last stretch Uruhu is all sand and its just so tiring, but we all made it! Looking at the vistas I couldn’t help but think of Van Morrisson’s line from the song “So Quiet in Here”: This must be paradise!
Recap: The climb was a personal feat for each of us (bucket list), but the experience was also about character, strangers working together for a common goal and lasting memories. The people who helped us were fantastic; the guides and porters really got our deepest appreciation. And we had a great doctor who helped us (I have never seen so many side discussions, “Doc, can I talk to you privately?” This may not have been a vacation for him). Thank you Diane for putting this trip together. As Gilad Hayeem said: “Great Job Diane!” -- Bruce