Today was undoubtedly the hardest day so far for our team as they left behind the relative comfort of the Shira Plateau and headed on up to Lava tower at a staggeringly high 15,000 feet before dropping back down to sleep in the shadow of Barranco Wall. We are happy to report that the entire team has now made it safely to Barranco camp and are currently eating warm nuts and popcorn whilst they wait for dinner to be prepared.
But what is this Lava Tower?
Located a little over 15,000ft up the mountain, Lava Tower is a large rock formation that was formed from lava, back in the days when Kilimanjaro was still an active volcano. The tower is around 300 feet tall, and previously, climbers were able to hike up it (a scramble that could be treacherous on icy days). But because of safety concerns, officials banned trekkers from climbing Lava Tower a few years ago, but according to folks who were lucky enough to have made the trip before the ban, the views of Uhuru Peak from the top are truly remarkable.
Here is our team enroute to Lave Tower shrouded in the slightly mystical fogs of Kilimanjaro.
Tomorrow our team will face what is likely to be the hardest 36 hours of their life. The day starts with a physical ascent on Barranco Wall, which is a graded scramble and then a hike up through Karanga Valley to base camp. Once there, the team will have only a few hours rest after dinner before being awoken at midnight to tackle their arduous trek to try and reach highest point in Africa and the summit of Kilimanjaro for sunrise. The forecast looks like snow will be likely as they aim for the peak.