Day 7 16/17 January 2019
Summit Night Barafu to Stella Point to Uhuru Peak 4 km, 1 km
Elevation 5756 m (18,885 ft) and 5895 m (19,341 ft)
Wow. We get up at 11 p.m., have some snacks and drinks. We only got about 4 hours of sleep. I prayed so hard for God to give us the best weather, let everyone make it and for me to get it done. Moses, one of the CEOs who has been walking with me almost every day, told me he wanted me to make it to the top. Even though it’s his job, I appreciate him so much.
We start our climb at midnight. I’m already at the back. This shit is hard. I knew it would be hard, but damn. I seriously didn’t think I would make it. Moses had to give me so many pep talks. He fed me my snacks. About an hour in he started to carry my bag. He would feed me my water, keep me warm.
In hour 3, I wanted to quit so bad. I couldn’t do it. He was so positive. Kept telling me I could do it. Just everything I needed to hear. Funny how a man named Moses led me to the top. I see you Jesus. I trust you Jesus. He would let me take breaks when I needed them. He helped keep my arms and legs warm. He wanted me to make it. I kept passing an older couple the entire way up. It was hilarious to me. I tried to make jokes when I could breathe. Man…it was so hard. I had never pushed myself as much mentally and physically as I was this morning.
In hour 5 or 6 I also had an epiphany. I didn’t need to make it to the top for anyone. Honestly not even myself. I didn’t need to prove anything to anyone. Yeah it would be great but it wasn’t necessary. After that it seemed like things got easier.
During one of my many breaks, I rested my head on my poles. The other porter that was with Moses and I tapped me on my shoulder. I annoyingly asked, “What?” and he said, ”Look,” and he pointed behind me. The night before Baraka had told us that the goal is to be at Stella Point at sunrise. That would tell us how far we had to go to Uhuru Peak. When I turned around when he pointed, I saw the amazing view of the sunrise, which I happened
to be looking down on. I cried happy tears because I knew I was almost there.
I made it to Stella Point only a few minutes after the rest of the group. That made me so excited. We did it! We took some photos and then headed to Uhuru Peak.
That was one helluva 700 m! We passed a couple of beautiful glaciers. At sunrise before Stella Point, Moses got my GoPro and phone and was taking pictures for me. It was awesome. Now on to the peak. This was 45 min for 700 m. Two of our group members made it up but started to head back down before I made it up so we could get a full group photo. I almost made it in time, but they said they were feeling sick. I did get there in time for one and then we took more. It still hasn’t hit me that we did it! All 10 of us made it. Then we had to head back down, which took me and Jessica forever. This is where I fell and almost took out a Chinese lady. I landed on my shoulder, but should be ok. We didn’t get back to the camp until almost 1:oo p.m. That was 13 hours of hiking. We get to sleep an hour, eat lunch and then have to head on to next camp. Everyone is exhausted. Now in the morning we have to get up at 5:30 and head out after saying goodbye to our amazing team. We have about 5 hours to hike to the gate. I never realized what true exhaustion and fatigue was until this week. I also didn’t realize how much I could do when pushed. This truly has been an experience of a lifetime!!