October 10, 2002
The first few days you are hiking through tall rainforest, and then shorter jungle, then moss is everywhere, on to tall heather, and finally moonscape with bizarre trees and sporatic flowers.
We hiked an average of five hours/day before the summit attempt. For summit day, you get up between midnight and 2am, and start hiking in the dark with headlamps. It is very cold at this elevation. The benefit of starting so early is that you can reach the summit right at sunrise. What an incredible sight!
We went with Zara Tanzanian Adventures, which is one of the top outfitters for Kilimanjaro. The guides and porters were great. One climber brought a football along, which was a great icebreaker with the guides. Food on the mountain was good and plentiful - better than anything I have had on a backpacking trip. They take care of cooking, cleaning, getting firewood, boiling water for drinking, and putting up tents.
This trek is not just for hard-core mountain climbers. Anyone can summit this mountain with a little conditioning.
From journal Kilimanjaro and Tanzanian Safari