During dinner time, everybody was not in the best mood. It was drizzling and that made the temperature drop. It was cold. We were all tired. The dinner was not very encouraging as the soup and potato was not to everybody's liking. Enock and Deeno lead the briefing, telling us about the 17 hours journey we were about to embark in the next few hours. 4800m to 5900m!! That is a very demanding height for our condition. The AMS symptoms were beginning to bug few of the team members. The initial plan was to have our 4 hours rest, and the team to start moving up at midnight. When Seri suddenly puked everything out of her guide,
Deeno then said,"OK Enock.. since I am the team leader, we move at 4am!"
At 3am we were all up. To say that everybody was enthusiastic is an understatement hahaha People were sick but very determined to reach the peak. Everybody knew it was the beginning of the dream. Going against nature is the toughest to cope as i know most of us do have the basic fitness requirement. What was with us was the snow and rain, despite being too cold to sleep, it made the path to be less dusty and slippery. Off we went at the early hours of the morning.
We were moving slowly.. too slow but necessary. The cold weather increases our oxygen demand and at 4800m above sea level, there ain't much of it. We had to mentally reduce our oxygen cell requirement and continue. Failing this is not the answer but at the same time, we were reminded to throw our ego away if we are too tired to think. AMS was evident in the sense of it made us very sleepy. Most of us keep asking if it was possible to take a short nap before moving.
The sun rise view was majestic and subhanallah. Despite huffing and puffing we were reminded of how great Allah's creation can be. To really saviour the view was not possible as we were physiologically challenged. We kept on moving and by 8 am our groups were divided into 2. I was with the front pack and we moved on. Not that we were any faster but we stopped for rest less.
Abang Ayob made his legendary move when we passed us and stormed away with his walking stick! I was dead worried at that time because i knew what happened the last time around. I was concerned if he had HACE which would make his judgement unreliable. Unfortunately i myself was too tired to follow his step and i prayed that he will be OK.
We did pass Abang Ayob on his way down. He arrived at Stella Point quite early but unfortunately was without any food or water. He decided to descend as he was not sure whether he could survive the trip alone to Uhuru. What made my heart sunk was when he said we were 2 hours away from Stella point! Hahaha and i thought at 10 am we were near our destination. We persevered though..
Alhamdulillah, at 1pm we were on Stella Point and it wa such a relief! I was tired myself as i was unable to follow the steps of Joshua and the gang. However i was not left too far behind. I knew i can reach the peak but not at the pace they were going. Kicok then motivated us to keep moving as we have to reach Uhuru. Joshua (our guide) intially was not encouraging but after seeing how we springed to life while taking pictures, he changed his mind. We could see Uhuru peak and its wall which looked quite far away. With some amount of sneakers and kurma, I then slowly walked to reach my destination. Memang nak muntah dah dengan sneakers.. hahaha
Alhamdulillah...at about 130pm 31 August 2014, I have summited Kilimanjaro! The highest peak in Africa!! I felt amazing and thankful that we managed to summit. The team was exhausted but alhamdulillah we did it together. Deeno and the rest of the team came after and we passed them on our way down. Everybody looked superbly exhausted with few appearing like hallucinating all the way. The guides were certainly inspirational as they urged my colleagues for them to continue as it was just a bit more of a distance.
Guvu Kama Simba.. Strong like a lion..