Cancer Climber

CANCER CLIMBER is now recruiting participants for the 2013 Kili Team!

For more information about the trip to Africa with Sean please contact us at info@cancerclimber.org

Day 6…All Done!

Day 6 (Mweka Hut/Camp to Mweka Park Gate to Moshi) is done, and everyone is back safe and sound at the hotel in Moshi.  As mentioned in yesterday’s BLOG, everyone woke up, packed up their daypacks and porter bags, ate breakfast, and hiked the final 3 hours to Mweka Park Gate.  Sean signed everyone off the mountain, everyone got in the vans, and off to the hotel in Moshi they went.  Once at the hotel and after a long awaited warm shower, everyone just relaxed around the hotel before calling it a night.

Tomorrow is Day 1 (Moshi to Lake Manyrar) of the Serengeti Safari, and we normally do not BLOG as often and as in much detail as we do during the Kili portion of the trip.  It’s more or less riding around the Serengeti in a Land Rover trying to find the Big 7, but we’ll try to post daily (or at least every other day) where they have been, what they most likely have seen, and what they have reported back.  You can still send them text messages to the satellite phone, and after everyone gets back from the day’s safari, cleaned up, and ate dinner at the hotel Sean downloads the day’s messages.

Sean did not relay any satellite phone text messages today, but we can give a shout out and thanks to VICKY HAYDEN and SHANNA PREVOST for their generous Crowdrise donations!  Sean and the CancerClimber Association depend on donations to be able to continuing doing what they are doing, and thank you Vicky & Shanna for all your support!

Keep sending FREE satellite messages to the 2013 Kili Team!  Visit www.iridium.com, at the top of the page click “Send a Satellite Message”, in the “To” field make sure to enter the code (satellite phone #): 881632511299, then type away and send.  Your message will be delivered to them in Africa…all thanks to USSecure Net!

Thanks to everyone (Sean,  the 2013 Kili Team, Guides, Porters, Cooking Crew, Sat Phone Texters, Crowdrise Donors, and the followers of this year’s Team and BLOGs) for making this year’s Kili Climb a success, and it could not have been done with you…Kuche Kuche!

Finally, the below picture is taken at Mweka Gate Park.  The porters are piling up people’s porter bags before taking them to the vans to return to Moshi.
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Day 5…They Made It!

Day 5 (SUMMIT DAY) began at…oh what the heck, we’ll just cut to the chase and let you know EVERYONE made it to the summit!!!

As mentioned in yesterday’s BLOG, everyone was up by 11pm, put on their gear, headed to the Mess Tent for last minute instructions and details, had a cup of tea and some biscuits, and started hiking up around midnight.  It’s a long, chilly night-hike, going very slow (pole pole…[poh-lay] slowly slowly in Swahilli), and stopping frequently to rest & keep hydrated.  A couple hours hike below Stella Point (picture below), which is a 40-minute hike away from Uhuru Peak (the highest point on Kibo), one of the most spectacular sunrises ever to be seen is happening.  As the sun rises, the temperature does as well and that feeling of “the light at the end of the tunnel” is realized and everyone’s adrenaline and excitement level begins to climb.  Once at Stella Point, the Team is surprised with a cup of warm tea (that the porters brought up for everyone) and a small rest period to enjoy the view at the Crater Rim.

After enjoying the summit for about a half hour, it’s back down the mountain to Barafu Camp…but not on the same trail as hiking up on (the down trail is a lot shorter & more “make your own way”).  Once at Barafu, the Kitchen Crew has snacks and fruit juice (the most delicious cup of mango or pineapple juice you’ll ever have) ready for everyone to indulge on.  Before heading further down the mountain, everyone swaps out their summit gear for lighter hiking gear, packs up their Porter Bags, and then hikes down to Mweka Camp.  Mweka Camp is still a good 5-6 hour hike down from Barafu, and after all the hiking that’s been done so far it’s no” walk in the park” getting to Mweka Camp.

Sean messaged on his way down how impressed he was with everyone’s will power today, how happy he and everyone are, and everyone is on their way to Mweka Camp.  Mweka Camp is situated in the thick part of the rain forest region on Kili and the sat phone signal may not be strong enough to send out any messages (it’s hit & miss), but we’ll let you know of anything we receive once we get it.

Once at Mweka Camp, it’s a short-lived festive environment (Summit Day is a grueling day and a lot happens from Camp 4, up to the summit, back down to Camp 4, and then finally to Mweka Camp) and after a quick rest and warm and hearty dinner it’s time to hit the tents and get one of the best night’s sleep one will ever get!

After they wake up in the morning and have breakfast, Sean and the Team will hike the final 3 hours to Mweka Park Gate where Sean will sign everyone off the mountain, they’ll take a bus down through the coffee plantations, and finally return to the hotel in Moshi.  After a long warm shower, a late lunch, and possible dip in the hotel pool, everyone (including the Guides) will get together and celebrate the experience they all shared together.  At this time, Sean will give the Team their Certificates of Achievement to forever document their effort and accomplishment on Kilimanjaro.

Today’s satellite phone text messages thanks go out to Dane, Pamm, Abby, Aaron & Ruby, Shannon, Caleb & Jackie, Kyle, Madison, Shanna, Pete & Family, Tina & All, Na & Pa, Aunt Beck, Danielle, Kevin, Carol S., Ronda.

Keep sending FREE satellite messages to the 2013 Kili Team!  Visit www.iridium.com, at the top of the page click “Send a Satellite Message”, in the “To” field make sure to enter the code (satellite phone #): 881632511299, then type away and send.  Your message will be delivered to them in Africa…all thanks to USSecure Net!

It’s not too late to donate and support this year’s CancerClimber Association’s Kili Climb and Serengeti Safari Fundraiser: http://www.crowdrise.com/Kili2013.  The Team did their part, so please show them yours and how much you support their efforts with a little donation to the CancerClimber Association (all proceeds go toward the Mobile Camp and Adventure Support Grants so cancer survivors can participate in future treks with Sean).
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Day 4…Easy as 1-2-3

Day 4 (Barranco Huts/Camp to Barafu Camp) is done and over with, and we’re happy to report everyone made it to Barafu Camp (aka, High Camp). Everyone is looking strong, and have been given the green-light for the summit push. Day 4 started the same as all the others with fluids, warm water to freshen up with, and a hot breakfast. Gaspar “The Cook” is hands down the BEST chef on Kili, and without him the team would be eating freeze-dried nasty’s and bologna sandwiches instead of

…for breakfast: porridge, eggs, sausage, toast, bananas
…for lunch & dinner: pasta, chicken, steak strips (let’s just call it this and leave it at that!), stir-fry, vegetables, fruits, & chips (OK, french fries…and yes, you read this right!).

After breakfast, it was up and over Barranco Wall, through the Karanga Valley, and onto Barafu Camp. Sean relayed back it was sunny and warm weather all day long, and at 15,000+ feet the sun’s rays are intense and staying hydrated is a must. Once at Barafu there is not a lot of time to relax before dinner and a brief nap, as everyone will be getting up in 6 hours (11pm Tanzania Time) to start their push to the summit. After dinner, and thanks to another great photo from Juliana Teles, below you can see the Fearless Guides (left to right) Theo, Filbert (aka, FBI), and Zungu giving important details and instructions on what to do before they leave and what to expect heading up…Thanks Kakas (Brothers in Swahilli), and without you and your Team this journey of a lifetime would not have been possible! Once back in their tents, everyone would be getting their gear ready (hopefully remembering to put their water bottles in their sleeping bags as they nap – so water doesn’t become ice on the way up) and taking a nap. The Team will be starting their ascent at midnight, and should reach the summit around 9am (both Tanzania Time). Once they wake up, it’s time to put on the layers of gear, get some hot tea and biscuits in their stomachs, turn on the head lamps, and up they’ll go. Finally, the other below picture is of Barafu Camp and Kibo sits silently in the background awaiting the Team’s arrival – Enjoy!

Today’s shout outs go to Sheri, Aunt Becky, Aaron & Ruby, Nana Mary 98 Ystrday, Mom, Suz, Carol S., Shanna, Mike B., Nikki, Aunt Gail, Seth, Stef.

Thanks ANDREA WITHROW, ADAM HARRIS, JOSHUA PAINTER, MARY JO, JIM, & BR MURPHY (ELIZABETH MURPHY), SKYLAR BROWN, and NICHOLE ZABLOCKI for the Crowdrise donations!

Want to keep sending FREE satellite messages to the 2013 Kili Team, and encourage them to KEEP CLIMBING up Kili??? Sure you do, so visit www.iridium.com at the top of the page click “Send a Satellite Message”, in the “To” field make sure to enter the code (satellite phone #): 881632511299, then type away and send. Your message will be delivered to them in Africa, on the side of Kilimanjaro…all thanks to USSecure Net!

Keep sharing and viewing http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mi2mmwLsag - a lot of work got put into this, and we don’t want that to go to waste now do we!

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Day 3…Check!

Day 3 (Shira Plateau/Camp to Barranco Huts/Camp via Lava Tower) started at 6:30am for the Team, and after another hot and hearty breakfast off they went towards Lava Tower and finally to Barranco Huts/Camp.  Today was a long day.  The Team hiked a lot longer in the morning before stopping for lunch and having an extended rest period near Lava Tower.  The reason for this is to allow the Team to spend as much time near Lava Tower as possible at an altitude above 15,000 feet before heading down to Barranco Huts which is just below 13,000 feet – aka acclimatization.  The “normal” person tends to feel the effects of altitude at around 16,000 feet, and we’re happy to report the entire Team felt great at this altitude.  After having lunch and playing around Lava Tower for a while, everyone hiked just a couple more hours and arrived at Barranco Huts around 3 pm.  Enjoy the below two pictures showing the hike down to Barranco Huts (and Barranco WALL!) and behind the Camp the summit of Kili (Kibo) for the Team to admire as they get closer and closer to her.  Sean messaged back everyone is feeling great, a little tired, and attitudes are awesome and everyone is excited (yet a little nervous) for tomorrow night (Summit Day!).

Everyone is enjoying the text messages, so keep sending them!  The latest shout outs go to Garrison, Suz, Ben Heidi and Charlie, Stef, Ary Family, Lisa, Diana, Kathy, Aaron, Kyle, Christy, Tim, Caleb and Jackie, Abby, Ann, Mom.

Keep sending FREE satellite messages to the 2013 Kili Team, and encourage them to KEEP CLIMBING up Kili! Visit www.iridium.com, at the top of the page click “Send a Satellite Message”, in the “To” field make sure to enter the code (satellite phone #): 881632511299, then type away and send.  Your message will be delivered to them in Africa, on the side of Kilimanjaro…all thanks to USSecure Net!

Don’t forget to donate and support this year’s CancerClimber Association’s Kili Climb and Serengeti Safari Fundraiser: http://www.crowdrise.com/Kili2013.  The Team is doing the hard part by hiking 15,000 vertical feet (Kili is the largest free-standing mountain in the WORLD), and all you have to do is click on the above link and in 3 minutes you’re finished!

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Thanks to photographer Juliana Teles for today’s images!

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Day 2…In The Books!

Day 2 (Machame Huts to Shira Plateau/Camp) is in the books, and we’re happy to report all made it to Camp safely and without any issues.  After getting a good night’s sleep last night, everyone awoke to an early morning wake up knock on their tents accompanied with hot coffee and tea.  While sipping on their coffee and/or tea (while still in their sleeping bags!), everyone would have started to pack up and get their day gear and porter bags ready for the day’s trek up to Shira Plateau.  Once out of the tents they had warm water to clean and freshen up a bit with.  Next was breakfast…more warm fluids, porridge, eggs, sausage (aka hot dogs!), and toast!  They will be burning a lot more calories the higher they ascend, so it is important to fuel the body as much as possible during breakfast.  After leaving Machame Huts (and no, they are not sleeping in huts…it’s just the name of the Camp) they hiked, and hiked, and hiked.  The rainforest gets lighter and lighter the further they hike up Kili, and by the time they reached Shira Plateau they will be at the edge of where it ends…and a different true beauty of Kili emerges.  About half way up yesterday they stopped for a warm lunch, and a little rest.  Once reaching Shira Plateau/Camp, it was the same routine as when they reached Machame Huts yesterday evening…warm water to wash up, relax a little, eat a warm and hearty dinner, and sit around the Mess Tent and read the day’s satellite phone text messages.  Speaking of, here’s the shout outs to those who sent some encouraging messages to everyone… Thanks to Shanna, Mom, Abby, Gail, Becca and Melissa, Jenn B., Aaron, Kayteebell, Diana, Don, Garrison, Pamm, Stef, Lisa, Tim, Gina, Tina, Alli, Danielle.

Keep sending the satellite text messages! Send a FREE satellite message to the 2013 Kili Team, and encourage them to KEEP CLIMBING up Kili! Visit www.iridium.com, at the top of the page click “Send a Satellite Message”, in the “To” field make sure to enter the code (satellite phone #): 881632511299, then type away and send.  Your message will be delivered to them in Africa, on the side of Kilimanjaro…all thanks to USSecure Net!

That’s all to report on today, and again everyone is well, having fun, and in high spirits.

Once everyone gets off the mountain and back to Moshi, Sean will upload & post the videos taken on the mountain.  For now though, watch the following video and share with everyone you know http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mi2mmwLsag.

So you can see what the Team is seeing, enjoy the below two Shira Plateau/Camp pictures (again, all courtesy of our friend, cohort in crime, and photographer Juliana Teles!)

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