EXPLORERS Kilimanjaro Expedition
February 7, 2008
“Thank you for the time of my life! The entire trip was more than I could ever imagine. You and your crew did a fantastic job preparing us and I truly had an unbelievable experience. Abi was outstanding. She is a true professional, an outstanding leader – and a lot of fun! Thanks – and I’ll be keeping my eyes open for the next adventure.”
Joseph W. Kraft ’89 LAS
Note: Abi Harte was the climbers’ guide on the February 2008 “Kilimanjaro and Beyond” EXPLORERS expedition.
This remainder of this page is the webcast of our EXPLORERS Travel Kilimanjaro Climb that began on February 4, 2008.
Final Report from the Mountain
- Mark Mueller: U of I, Champaign-Urbana grad, Physics Ph.D. 1990. Interests: Hiking, skiing, hang gliding, "green" energy and products. Mark worked in semiconductor/equipment industry last 17 years, and is currently transitioning into solar with a startup.
- Dave Keren: Married, 2 children, 4 grandchildren, UI Class of '69 (BS), and '71 (MD & MS). David runs a reference lab, work at a local hospital and also teach at U of Michigan (but still cheer for the Illini). Outside of work, David spends as much time as he can with family, enjoys acting in local theater, meets twice a month with a group of fiction writers, sits on the Board of a local shelter, watches old movies.
- Joe Kraft: Class of '89, BA Economics, from Westlake Ohio, manages a team of Wealth Advisors, Money Managers at Morgan Stanley under The Kraft Group. Joe is a father of three boys. Joe and his wife Jacki breed and sell alpacas.
- Mary Lou Bradna: Graduated class of '73, LAS. Mary Lou currently works as an IT business analyst for International Truck and Engine. She started hiking about 10 - 15 years ago. Her last big hike was down to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Now, it's time to go the other way, up!
- Patricia Weismantel
- Sunondo Roy
- Jim Hanekamp
- Patricia Barbarone
- Holly Cammack
- Rosie Murton
Get to know a couple of the climbers! Click here to see a few photos of our climbers
, from the Photo Gallery drop down, choose EXPLORERS Feb 08.
and approximately 30 assistant guides and porters
End of Day 1 Trek, February 4, 2008 10:00 am MT update (8 pm on the mountain) The Day 1 trek was a great warm up for the group. The weather was good, trail was dry, and everyone is feeling great! During their trek, our climbers saw a troop of baboons. After reaching Simba Camp (8,500'), our climbers enjoyed a hot dinner and hit the sack early under clear skies and a beautiful moon, in order to get a good night's sleep before a much longer day tomorrow.
End of Day 2 Trek, February 5, 2008 10:00 am MT update (8 pm on the mountain) After just over 8 hours of trekking on day 2, our climbers made it to their second camp, Kikelewa Camp at 11,500'. The weather for the most part was good, with about an hour of rain in the afternoon. A little bit of altitude is starting to be felt by some, but overall everyone is doing well!
End of Day 3 Trek, February 6, 2008 10:00 am MT update (8 pm on the mountain)
The day was a shorter day, giving our climbers a chance to adjust to the higher altitude and catch their breath. By mid-day, all of our trekkers made it camp 3, Mawenzi Tarn (14,000') which is at the base of Mawenzi Peak, the jagged sister peak of Kibo, Kilimanjaro’s summit peak. During the hike, the weather was cooperative, but once in camp, it was a bit rainy and chilly. After dinner, everyone settled into their tents for a good night rest before starting again in the morning.
Kibo Hut, February 7, 2008 8:30am MT update (6:30 pm on the mountain)
The whole group arrived in the early afternoon to Kibo Hut, our high camp at 15,500 ft. The weather was not ideal today, snowing off and on. It is currently snowing now, though we are hoping for the weather to clear tonight as the climbers begin their summit ascent.
Everyone is in good spirits and all climbers have chosen to make an attempt for the summit. We are sending two groups up the mountain - at 10:30pm local time we expect Patti B., Jim & Rosie to begin their climb. At midnight, the remaining climbers plan to begin their summit climb.
Now the group will take a few hours to rest and mentally prepare for what will be a very difficult 6-10 hour attempt on the highest peak in Africa. We expect to hear from the group again between 6am and 9am local time, which is 8pm - 11pm Mountain Time in the US. Depending on conditions, we may hear from them at Gilman's Point (18,600 ft.) or otherwise from the summit of Kilimanjaro (19,341 ft.) Stay tuned!
Uhuru Peak, the Roof of Africa! February 9 @ 9:15pm MT update (7:15am Feb. 8 on the mountain)
Success!!! At 7:15am local time, 7 of our climbers achieved the summit of Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa! Congratulations to Patricia W., David, Mary Lou, Joe, Holly, Mark & Sunondo. Just a few minutes ago, we heard from them as they stood at 19,341 ft! They reported that it was cold, VERY cold and that they were heading back down the mountain.
Reports from the mountain indicate that everyone is now safely on their way down to Kibo Hut. We expect to get a final report from Horombo camp at 12,000ft. around 8am tomorrow morning MT - 6pm local time on the mountain. By then, everyone should be starting to feel better and the effects of the altitude should be wearing off. Check back in with us in about 10-12 hours for our final report from the mountain. Congratulations to all of our climbers on a valiant effort on Kilimanjaro!
Horombo Camp, 12,000 ft - February 9 @ 9:45am MT update (7:45pm on the mountain)
Everyone is Safe in Camp.
The group has safely descended from the summit and from Kibo Hut and arrived into Horombo Camp. The descent was grueling, not helped by poor weather and a lot of rain between Kibo & Horombo. The group is exhausted, as to be expected...but all are happy and in good spirits and proud of their accomplishment as part of our expedition. And all are ready for that hot shower and bed awaiting them tomorrow night in town!
Congratulations again to all of our participants on a successful expedition. We are now signing off, but check back in a day or so, as we hope to post some photos from the trip once the group gets to town and can email them to us.
Thanks for Tuning In!
Northwest Voyageurs & UIAA EXPLORERS