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After topping out, we were treated to the sight of this valley, and yet another climb on the far side. Our camp would be at the top of that distant ridge.


This is the view of the trail back across the same valley from the camp's ridge.


We collapsed into our tent at Barafu Camp with a view of of the full moon. Elevation here is about 15,300'. Pretty cold in that sleeping bag.  


Summit Assault Day, 2 am. We headed out with headlamps under a beautiful full moon.   


About 4 hours into the climb, the stars faded into a sky turning from black to blue. Sunrise over Mawenzi Peak, about 6 miles to the east, was spectacular. 


It warmed up when the sun came out, which was a good thing. 


Later in the morning, and above 17,000', Terri began to show subtle signs of fatigue.


At 18,000' the condition of our group was not great and we had to make some tough decisions. The sight of some slack-faced climbers being dragged down by their armpits didn't exactly encourage us.


One iron man in the group went on to summit solo, and the rest of us reluctantly decided to head back down, only about 1000' shy of the top. 


This is the view to the top. While seeming close, at our oxygen-starved pace it was still at least two hours further, much too long to leave anyone here to wait. And we still had to get ourselves down. Not many smiles in the group at this point. 


After a very long downclimb, we were completely wasted when we got back to camp. We rested a bit before packing out to our final camp at a lower elevation. 


I almost don't remember packing down to our last site at Millennium Camp. At about 12,500' we could breathe more easily here and in the morning Kilimanjaro was in our rearview mirror.


On the way down, smiles were directly proportional to oxygen content.



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