KILIMANJARO DAY 6: I am a powerhouse full of positive flowing energy

Ready to go

Morning load up time was always impressive to witness, as our crew would mytholdically organize and load up the gear. We would come out of our breakfast tent and everything would be near ready for departure. Everyone mostly waiting on us to get moving! Once all the gear was shoved in the large duffle bags, the porters and guides carried upward. 

The clouds stretched out below that amazing blue sky reached out in front as if were sitting on top of the world.  There was a bustle around  all the campsites as everyone prepared for the upcoming hiking of the day ahead. Today we would head from Karanga Camp to Kosovo Camp,  about 2.6 miles that would take us four to six hours. It was a slow pace towards Barafu Camp  and then we will continue up until we reach our base camp of Kosovo. This was the highest camp on the mountain.

Vast dry lands

We progressed slowly across the Arctic zones of killy. It was dry and windy, yet sunny. Dust from the person walking in front of you would continuously rise up and be tossed around by the breeze. Exhaustion from the previous day’s of climbing and sleeping in a tent we’re definitely taking a toll on the body. Even with the slow pace the body was still fatigued, and the air felt thin. The sun beat down with intensity as we cross the barren land. 

All of us were eager to get to Kosovo camp. The anticipation of summit night was looming on each of us. All nervous for the attempt to Summit, as the early start and difficulty of the climb was known to each of us. Places to find service, or use the restroom, we’re few and far between in this vast openness. Since trail had merged with other routes the previous days,restroom situation had become more intense. Each rock or bush held many signs of past climbers’ finding relief.  Dodging toilet paper….. Many other man-made additions, the restroom challenge increased. 

Barafu Camp

Slowly we climbed,  eventually reaching Barafu camp.Throughout the entire climb, individual groups were very spread out and we didn’t have a lot of time where we were directly behind another group of trekkers. At Baruch camp, all of the trails merge together. People were everywhere and the camp spanned out across large portions of the landscape. It literally took us 30 minutes or more, when we were descending, to get across the entire Barufu camp. It was large, and people were everywhere.

La Sportiva people

It was not very often along the trail that we would get passed. Except by Porter’s. As we arrived into the Barafu camp we noticed two people and their guide cruising by us SO fast. They stood out. Their physical strength, endurance and speed at which they propelled up the mountain was similar to that of the locals, they were hauling! They were athletic and trendy, decked out in LA Sportiva Gear, which is one of my favorite footwear brands. They were a true inspiration as they propelled gracefully beyond our team. 

One of the  great lessons I’ve learned well embarking on my healing Journey, is to find inspiration from things that trigger jealousy. Instantly, as I saw the “La Sportiva”  people climbing so beautifully with such physical strength, my mind was triggered. “Dang, maybe I should have trained harder. I sure wish I wasn’t breathing so hard. Man, my outfit is so grubby and clunky compared to theirs.” It was a quick moment, and passed very rapidly because I instantly chose to move out of the negative emotions, into positivity. . 

I am a powerhouse full of positive flowing energy. 

I am a powerhouse full of positive flowing energy. 

I am a powerhouse full of positive flowing energy. 

When our paths met at the entrance to the camp,  we exchanged friendly chats and admiration. My daughter looked at me and said, “Mom, that’s going to be you one day, sponsored by LaSportiva!”  My heart was filled with excitement and joy at the possibility, and overflowed with the beautiful encouragement and recognition from my lovely lady. 

Kosovo camp

We continued hiking for another hour to our camp for the evening, Kosovo camp. Upon our arrival, our team of guides and porters greeted us into camp with exuberant dancing and song. As we stood catching our breath, the energy, love and support from our team overflowed into each one of our beings. Our team was responsible for a large portion of our success, without  their encouragement, physical strength and support we wouldn’t be approaching the summit. 

Our thick parkas and the intensity of the sun at 16,000 feet, warmed our bodies after the sweat dried. The air was thin, and simple tasks seemed to take more and more effort. Movements were slow and intentional, resting often between each task. Resting below the summit of Kilimanjaro, surrounded by white breasted ravens, I journaled on the magnitude of the moment. The efforts of the climb, the journey of the past year of planning and training. And most impactful, the powerful transformation that had occurred over the past several years that had gotten me to that point, hours away from the summit of Kilimanjaro. 

As evening ensued, preparations for the summit began. Layers and gear chosen carefully. Hand warmers, headlamps, in this pocket. Energy chews and neck gaiter over there. Water insulation pouches and mittens set aside for morning use. The morning hike would be long and cold, water and snacks would freeze, cameras and phones would be sluggish. So strategic planning was needed to ensure proper hydration, energy, warmth, and of course……photos at the summit! 

Once everything was prepared there was a last trip to the bathroom, a simple meditation and then we drifted off to sleep before the 1am wake and trek to the Roof of Africa.

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