Day 4, October 7
“JT for summit day in the book you need a title right?”, “Yes, Ladi” “How about Throwing Up With a Smile?” Let’s jump back to the start of the day with our 4:00 am wake-up call, vitals, some food and go over the route with our team. We were leaving from Arrow glacier, heading up the Western Bridge to the summit, which is the most challenging route up Kili. So we started our ascent at 5:26 am, it was cold and dark, but the stars were incredible. I have never seen stars like this before, being so high up and in the middle of nowhere….they just popped. As we continued up the mountain the sunrise was so cool because we were above the clouds and the rocks were all around us had a glow from the sun hitting them. The clouds had a pink blanket coating them. About one hour into the climb Simon, our guide, told us there is NO turning back from here NOW. We had just crossed over an ice shoot, using ice picks to cross. Looking below there was a ledge and it was a several thousand foot drop. We continue to climb and the shadow of the mountain continue to drop.
My stomach started to feel upset, not a good sign when your only half way up to the summit of Mt. Kili. Well, unfortunately, this was something I must have gotten from the water or the food. I was trying really hard to avoid this knowing that my system is a little bit more susceptible to bacteria than others. While I was trying to focus on other things around me, my stomach started to get to me as we reached the big glaciers at the top of the Western bridge. At this time I had to throw up! Wow, what was happening? I knew at this point I was getting dehydrated from my stomach issues and because I was unable to drink enough and keep fluids in, so now altitude sickness was sneaking up on me.
As we pushed on we came to a flat-topped part of the mountain that just went off into the clouds. Then all of a sudden, the SUMMIT appeared!! It was so very exciting to reach the SUMMIT! I was so tired, but I was able to run the last 20 yards to the peek. It was so rewarding and made me feel a bit emotional as well. Just being up there makes you think how amazing our God is. To be continued……..