Climbed Kilimanjaro [Pic heavy :) ]

Discussion in 'General Gallery' started by Msteelio91, Mar 13, 2017.

  1. Msteelio91

    Msteelio91 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hey all, I recently had the experience of a lifetime exploring Tanzania and climbing Kilimanjaro. My fiance and I did it together with 8 other climbers in our group, and the help of our guides and porters (Gods of men they are!). We also did a 4-Day safari afterwards, which I'm still working on the pictures for (took way too many).

    For those interested in the climb, we went through a UK based company called Kandoo, and chose the 8-day Lemosho route. I'm very happy with our decisions and this route is by far the most scenic. The first 6 days were wonderful, a mix of rainforest, alpine desert, moorland, and other crazy environments. The 7th day (summit day) was a grueling test of our mental and physical endurance, starting at 11:30PM the night prior (after very little sleep), climbing through the night to summit the Uhuru peak at sunrise after about 6:30hrs of climbing. We were allowed to stay there for a matter of only 15 minutes due to the severe lack of oxygen. I did my best to capture the moments and views both through my own eyes and through the lens. I also learned that I instinctively hold my breath when taking a photo, presumably to steady the camera as one would with a rifle. Such a subtle and normally unnoticed action yet it was an immense issue on the summit. However I found myself literally gasping after every shot and then chuckling at myself for doing it. After summiting we descended the steep slopes, which is arguably more difficult than climbing them, for another six hours. Finally resting after hiking for well over 12 hours straight, climbing 4,000ft and then descending over 9,000ft in vertical altitude, and covering over 10 miles in distance in one day. We slept very well that night. The final day was another 6 miles but I barely felt it.

    Anyway, enough text, this is a picture forum! I hope you enjoy my pictures, feel free to comment/ask questions. And the full gallery on flickr can be found here.

    Very first picture of the mountain as we approach the starting point. We're actually driving away from it here, which was upsetting lol
    [​IMG][​IMG]Kilimanjaro-1 by Matt Steele, on Flickr

    Our wonderful porters taking the gear off our truck that got us to the starting gate for the Lemosho route.
    [​IMG]Kilimanjaro-2 by Matt Steele, on Flickr

    The first few days we were full of energy and couldn't get enough of the dense rainforest.
    [​IMG]Kilimanjaro-6 by Matt Steele, on Flickr
    [​IMG]Kilimanjaro-23 by Matt Steele, on Flickr
    [​IMG]Kilimanjaro-26 by Matt Steele, on Flickr

    Colobus Monkeys in our campsite
    [​IMG]Kilimanjaro-14 by Matt Steele, on Flickr

    Our first view out of the rainforest
    [​IMG]Kilimanjaro-27 by Matt Steele, on Flickr

    My fiance making her way, notice the people on the path in the distance
    [​IMG]Kilimanjaro-33 by Matt Steele, on Flickr

    Our first cold night, temperatures hit about 10F. Woke up to use the bathroom and could only make out the ominous figure of the mountain which we were unable to see on the approach due to clouds.
    [​IMG]Kilimanjaro-55 by Matt Steele, on Flickr

    Our view the next day, the mountain seemed impossibly distant
    [​IMG]Kilimanjaro-64 by Matt Steele, on Flickr

    "Moorland". A very interesting environment, lush in it's own ways
    [​IMG]Kilimanjaro-68 by Matt Steele, on Flickr

    My contribution to the stack rock "sculptures" found all over the paths
    [​IMG]Kilimanjaro-76 by Matt Steele, on Flickr

    Really starting to feel like we're on a mountain at this point
    [​IMG]Kilimanjaro-78 by Matt Steele, on Flickr

    Sleeping above the clouds
    [​IMG]Kilimanjaro-96 by Matt Steele, on Flickr

    A view of Lava Tower, much larger than it looks, and one of the porters
    [​IMG]Kilimanjaro-118 by Matt Steele, on Flickr

    More crazy landscapes
    [​IMG]Kilimanjaro-156 by Matt Steele, on Flickr

    Barranco Wall (the faintly visable path on the cliff), we would be climbing this the next day. It takes about 1 hour and is about 900ft straight up. Looked much worse, our guides kept telling us "our eyes are lying to us".
    [​IMG]Kilimanjaro-159 by Matt Steele, on Flickr

    Senecio trees can be found everywhere past a certain altitude. Apparently, each of the "growths" represent roughly 25 years of age.
    [​IMG]Kilimanjaro-160 by Matt Steele, on Flickr

    One of our camps on top of Africa. Other mountains looks small from here.
    [​IMG]Kilimanjaro-173 by Matt Steele, on Flickr

    The side of the mountain, making the peak (not visible) seem closer than reality. Notice the frost on our tents, it was a normal ritual to dive out of the tent in the morning to avoid getting soaked with defrosting ice.
    [​IMG]Kilimanjaro-170 by Matt Steele, on Flickr

    Porters making it look easy as they carry their own gear plus equipment on their heads up the mountain.
    [​IMG]Kilimanjaro-184 by Matt Steele, on Flickr

    Starting to forget the rest of Africa exists, it seems so far!
    [​IMG]Kilimanjaro-182 by Matt Steele, on Flickr

    Some days were less scenic, but still interesting. By the way, these are clouds, not just fog that we're in.
    [​IMG]Kilimanjaro-190 by Matt Steele, on Flickr

    Aside from the Earth and the humans, the clouds seem like a sight you'd only get from a plane. A constant reminder of the altitude.
    [​IMG]Kilimanjaro-195 by Matt Steele, on Flickr

    Continued below...


     
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  2. Msteelio91

    Msteelio91 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Now something to note. Basecamp (Barafu camp) was miserable. It was literally filled with feces, it was steep, rocky, dusty, hot when there were no clouds (80F+) and then instantly freezing when the sun was hidden (literally down to 20F in seconds). So I do not have any pictures of basecamp, I have failed you all here, sorry.

    The next picture is the very first I took at the summit. It's not great (as will be apparent to you photo-snobs, but not so much my mother), but it's meaningful to me because it marks the moment that I had realized the Sun came up and turned around only to be hit with a wave of exhaustion, emotion, and warmth from the Sun itself. I still had about 30 minutes to the summit here, but I was so happy to have made it that (I'll admit it) I teared up quite a bit. The view was unbelievable, and none of my pictures do it justice. Nonetheless, I hope you'll enjoy these few from the top of Kilimanjaro.

    [​IMG]Kilimanjaro-213 by Matt Steele, on Flickr

    Looking into the ash pit from the edge of the crater. You can see the jagged sister peak, Mawenzi, under the sun as well.
    [​IMG]Kilimanjaro-217 by Matt Steele, on Flickr

    This is perhaps my favorite picture out of them all, looking back on the trail as the sun comes up over Mawenzi, with the glacier down to the right. The clouds make it feel like you're on an island and they are the ocean, when in reality the ground is many thousands of feet below them. There is a single trekker starting his descent, a ways down the trail.
    [​IMG]Kilimanjaro-222 by Matt Steele, on Flickr

    Mawenzi looking more ominous by the minute as the clouds envelope the peak
    [​IMG]Kilimanjaro-226 by Matt Steele, on Flickr

    Lastly, my final shot of the mountain during the descent. I wasn't able to take many pictures on the way down because at the top we were in a blizzard and at the bottom we were in a rain storm. Once the skies cleared the next day I snagged this shot, which is one of the only "holes" in the rainforest through which you can see the mountain on your way back down.
    [​IMG]Kilimanjaro-233 by Matt Steele, on Flickr
     
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  3. astroNikon

    astroNikon 'ya all Bananas I tell 'ya Supporting Member

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    awesome trip and photos.
     
  4. zombiesniper

    zombiesniper The camera takes the Pic. I just point the way. Supporting Member

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    Excellent shots and story.
    Thanks for sharing.
     
  5. qmr55

    qmr55 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    That's so cool! Awesome trip.
     
  6. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Outstanding posts and photos! Thanks so much for sharing this momentous adventure with us here on TPF! Way cool, man.
     
  7. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Aw, POOP! I wanted to see photos of the feces!

    Oh, well, if it's anything like the dog park, then I don't need to see it.
     
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  8. Msteelio91

    Msteelio91 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thank you!

    Glad you enjoyed it, happy to share :)

    It was for sure!

    I was trying to figure a clever way to reply with mountainous instead of momentous, but it's not happening lol. Thanks for the kind words :)

    Worse than that:icon_puke_r::icon_puke_r::icon_puke_r:
     
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  9. Krell0

    Krell0 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Amazing trip. May have to add this (or another mountain) to the ever growing bucket list

    Sent from my SM-G925P using Tapatalk
     
  10. Dave442

    Dave442 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Excellent to hear the good results from the trip. Congratulations!
    ...and a very artistic cairn you made along the trail.
     
  11. baturn

    baturn TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Great set! Great trip! Great story! Thanks for sharing.
     
  12. Msteelio91

    Msteelio91 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    There are many! Look into Pategonia and the Nepal Circuit as well.

    Thank you! And yes I am very proud of my little rock formation :)

    Thank you for looking and reading!
     

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