Brande Looks Back: Kilimanjaro Day 5 (Summit Day – Emotions)

uruhu peak, kilimanjaro

Uruhu Peak, the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro

Here we go, Kilimanjaro summit, day 5 of the hike …

(If you missed it – here is my look back on Kilimanjaro Day 4)

I figure I need at least a few posts and maybe a book to tell you about the day we went up and down the summit of the amazing Mount Kilimanjaro. Lets start with this post at least and see where it takes us.

Funny or sad or surreal or crazy enough, when I think of standing on top of Mount Kilimanjaro I get emotional and am now writing this very sentence through salty tears in my eyes and on my cheeks. I want to try and tell you why that is, if I can even put to words the emotion of such a moment. I can’t even call it a moment as the experience was more than even moments; it was the accumulation of emotional, physical and really quite spiritual challenges and ah-ha experiences that in the end become your “Kilimanjaro memory’ if you will.

So really, stay with me, as I try to explain how it felt, how I actually think it has changed me, and through that hope it encourages you to challenge Kilimanjaro Mountain itself or your own ‘Kilimanjaro challenge’ whatever that might be in your life. In my next Summit Day – Hiking post, I will give you more of the factual, step by step of summit day stuff and lots of pictures. I felt I had to get this emotional stuff of my chest first before I could get into hike-y stuff and wanted to paint the picture of how it felt before dazzling you with summit pictures of glaciers and volcanic craters and such…

Some of you are probably still stuck on the Brande is crying while writing – what the heck? When you hear I have tears, please don’t be sad for me! These are tears of pride, of amazement, of feeling blessed, of being awed by our amazing planet and its Creator, and of being speechlessly reminded of how much the human body and mind are actually capable of. Of course, I will be honest with you and admit they are not all happy tears some are sad but that’s ok too so please still don’t feel sad for me. Some of the salt water in these eyes as I write are in memory of the fear of heights during the climb, the dread I felt when I honestly believed the next cough would leave blood in my palm, the next puking fit would leave me too exhausted and unable to continue.

A little caveat before we start, I am hoping beyond hope that none of my fellow hikers actually knew I was feeling all this. I was trying to keep it in so they could focus on their own hikes and not me all working my crap out up and down a mountain summit. I am not sure if I was able to dupe my hubby, bestie or sister but a girl can hope.

My memory of that day has gaps for sure. But as usual, the next morning I woke (light headed and coughing) and sat in the tent scribbling down every detail I could recall… here is how I remember feeling (think roller coaster) …

I remember feeling guilt. Yup, guilt. The guilt I have for making my wonderful husband stand by and watch his wife suffer though nothing shy of a wee dose of pulmonary edema purely for the thrill of knocking something of MY “must do” list in life, not his or ours – but my list. I think it is nothing shy of total and complete love that he, with full support and love, saw me through it, and even climbed it with me. You have probably read before that my husband hates hiking. Well his love is more for me than his hate is for hiking, so he does strap on his hiking boots once in a while just me and that includes to hike Kilimanjaro. I feel looking back I was very selfish asking him to hike for 7 days straight because I wanted to and then topped that off with me getting sick on the summit and scaring the crap out of him in thanks. So lets admit here, I know some of my emotion is caused by this overwhelming display of his love for me and just how far and high, literally, he is willing to go to demonstrate it. Wow! Right? So not just guilt, but also fall-in-love love all over again too.

Any who – carrying on.

I remember feeling stupid, yes you read that right – stupid. When we started out at 5am in the morning. I had all the right gear, the right training, my body felt mostly right that morning but yet I had a voice in my head that said ‘who do you think you are stupid girl, you were the chubby kid in school, the every diet out there I tried it gal, the just shy of being really good at sports but never amazing girl, the etc etc etc (insert all kinds of nasty self talk here). Stupid! I felt stupid cause of my self talk and I felt even more stupid for letting this self talk even enter my mountain-climbing, kick-ass mind.

I remember, on the very opposite spectrum, some very awesome self talk. Giving myself a mental high five for training so hard and feeling so good in my muscles and joints as a result. There was some definite you are bad-ass and hear me roar self talk moments happening!

I remember feeling thankful. Thanking myself for all the hours and hours of research I did so there were no surprises along that way that can trip up my brain into an anxiety / obsessive worrying. Thanking God for my body and the opportunity to be able to experience something so amazing on this globe of ours. Thanking all the family, friends, and support I have who were so excited for me to do this and so willing to jump in and make sure it was possible to get here and get up the mountain.

I remember looking around at my fellow climbers and feeling so blessed to have such amazing friends and family. I was on a mountain with my wonderful husband, with my so tough and so funny sister and her awesome husband, my hilarious and inspiring best friend, and the two closest friends my husband and I could ask for in the Carmen brothers. How did the universe align for such a rock star group of loving, darn funny and supportive people to come together? To accomplish this feat together? For all of us to be successful together? I will never know but it was a great reminder of the power of the universe (not to sound cheesy).

I remember feeling lonely. I had to leave behind the group on our descent as I was told to link arms and scree ski down with our Assistant Guide Felix and get down to a lower altitude where my breathing would get easier. I remember feeling lonely that my husband was not with me and yet rather glad he would not be next to me to see how much I was suffering, to hear that popcorn crackle in my lungs, or to see the liquid coming with each coughing fit. If I saw concern in his eyes for me it would be my undoing I think. I was channeling all of my ‘you are strong’ woman feelings I could. So best we could not make eye contact really.

I remember being frustrated. Getting back to the tents and being so glad that they came so quickly upon on us and yet so mad that they seemed to take forever to materialize. I was walking with my husband again shortly after scree skiing and glad for it. I have gaps in my memory here but know he was always asking how I was and was not impressed when I went to my knees in a coughing fit or puking fit. For both of us, for different reasons, we wanted to turn the next corner and see our tents.

I remember being scared. I think my hubby knew I was struggling with breathing already but really getting back into our tent tent was when quiet the crackly/pop of my lungs hit home for us (BUT I was still breathing and exhausted smiling to have made it).

I remember being happy. When we arrived back at the tents my oxygen saturation was 60% and heart rate low (not a great combo) when we first got to the tent but I recovered to 62% with some focused breathing in just minutes. So I figured it would climb right up in 2% increments with more good breathing and I would be golden in no time. Yahoo I am breathing better already and I climbed a mountain!

I remember feeling ashamed. The moment when I saw the not impressed, incredulous, what-the-hell-are-we-even-climbing-a-mountain-for look on the husband’s face made me feel bad for my selfish bucket list. I knew he was worried for how I was feeling and more than anything my response to how I was feeling. But I actually think this helped me. I went into focus on getting oxygen in, getting the vision back to clear and without little fire fly bugs, and get the fear / mad out of my husbands eyes. Not to sound like a generalist, but I think the fear / mad thing is a total guy thing – they are scared for you but mad at whatever made you sick or hurt in the first place.

I remember feeling so taken care of. Shortly after the not impressed-husband look he was lovingly (and romantically in my opinion) unlacing and pulling off my dusty boots for me as I laid on my sleeping bag focusing on not passing out. Then shortly after, that amazing sister I mentioned early, who is also Asthmatic sadly but  bless her cotton socks for it, came by with her inhaler thingies for me and I was soon feeling better and better as the night progressed. Moments again after that my husband was teaching me how to use an inhaler for the first time between coughing fits. Finally, him him chuckling at me as I wrapped myself in an emergency blanket like a baked potato and fell back to sleep like a rock.

I told you … roller coaster!

Oh Kilimanjaro, I may not have left any toenails on your mountain side .. but I sure did leave a blazing trail of emotions up and down your summit!

Next post I will honour the beauty of the mountain with pics of the summit day and a hiking account. They will be so much more meaningful now that you have the emotional foundation to lend some passion to the images.


Lana Looks Back – Kili Day 3-4

(If you missed it – here is a link to my look back on Kilimanjaro Day 2)

Day 3 – Morning Paradise

It feels as though it’s been a long time coming but looking back to just 3 months ago, to the day I woke to the most amazing sunrise above the clouds, I can easily recall the surreal scene. It was as if I had been transported to a fantasy world high above the earth, it’s peak surrounded by a dense puff of cloud and it’s inhabitants squinting against the fiery ball of sun rising through the clouds, basking in the warmth it brought.

 This image and other spectacular moments are emblazoned on my memory but the complete compilation of day to day activity that brought myself and our group to these fantastic places is somewhat jumbled, the order misaligned in my mind. On reflection, the single days seem to run in to one another making it almost impossible for me to accurately state which event took place on what day. I struggle to recall the order of days even as I look through my photos, thankful that they have been recorded in some semblance of time and place in a week filled with so many amazing experiences. A word to the well intentioned, procrastinating, journal writers out there (me)… “Take notes!” I am thankful for my blogging partner’s discipline with jotting down daily events, experiences, and itineraries, but even as I read her recollections,  knowing they are accurate – I still have my doubts, wondering if she has it right. I have to wonder if maybe it’s because only 2% dehydration affects one’s attention, memory, and cognitive skills or if perhaps my brain cells were cannibalizing themselves in an effort to ward off starvation… With the incredible food we were being provided I can’t imagine it was the latter so at this point in time, even knowing that memory is a tricky part of the brain affected by emotion, past experience, and interpretation, I’m going with the dehydration option.

 On the morning of day 3 at Kikilewa Camp while our dining table was set in the open air and our bags and tents were packed and portered out, we lingered in the sunshine (and by lingering  I mean bandaging my battered heels) and set out late – close to 8:30am! Our trek was reported to be only 3-4 hours today with an acclimatization hike after our arrival at Mawenzi Tarn Camp – I know, sounds like great news! After an hour or so of upward and upward I wasn’t as excited.  My excitement waned further as another hour took us and my Darth Vader-like respirations upward yet. By the final hour I was wondering what kind of Tom-foolery I had signed up for. I felt deceived by the morning feast and the easy gathering around a heavenly table for 7 only hours before. What had begun as a lighthearted fellowship enveloped in sunshine and grace had turned into an ongoing slog of one foot over the other in the shadow of Mawenzi peak, surrounded by nothing but the grey rocks and dirt of Kilimanjaro.

 Cresting the ridge to Mawenzi Camp was a relief and even the slimy green puddle, the pale green of our tents, and the welcome of our home camp appeared to be a kind of oasis after our colourless morning.

 It took only moments before my grey thoughts were lifted. Popcorn, peanuts, and a lovely cup of tea have a way of quickly raising the spirits! A few card games in the dining tent, an amazing lunch, and we were set for a short acclimatization hike. The purpose of these wee treks was to climb temporarily to a higher altitude ensuring that the climb high – sleep low rule was followed so that our bodies had every opportunity available to adjust the altitude and maximize our chances of reaching the summit. The 20 minute rest at the height of the hike was an opportunity for the guides to lay out the plan for the next day and quietly assess each one of us and our physical, mental, and emotional state almost midway through this adventure. The knowledge and intuition of our guides never ceased to amaze me and I noted their keen sense of our team throughout our trek.

During one of our many water breaks, Felix #1 asked me how I was doing. I replied that I was doing well – no headaches, nausea, or shortness of breath (except on the uphill!!!). After confirming again that I was okay, he then questioned why, whenever he looked back, that I walked with my head down and was so quiet. “What are you thinking?” Initially I was shocked that I hadn’t noticed him looking back at us while he was in the lead –   I had been behind him directly or at least 2nd in line for the last couple of days! Secondly, for him to note my style of gait, and my quiet character surprised me.  For those who know me, they can imagine my discomfort at the beginning of this trek, despite being with one of my best friends, being smack dab in the middle of a group of 7 who I had met only a couple of times before – I mean, I’m basically a hermit! My response was that I was in fact doing okay. I was quiet because in the day to day busyness of life there isn’t much time for quiet contemplation and that I was only thinking one thing while on the uphill, “One more step, one more step.” He laughed at this and told me the next time he asks how I’m doing, if I feel as good as I do today,  that I should reply, “Ajabu,” which means fantastic. I believe that each one of us had at least one encounter like this with at least one of the guides as they observed and endeavored to learn more about each one of us, our physical state, and our well-being  whenever the opportunity came about.

 The day 3 acclimatization hike had served it’s purpose and after we settled in for an amazing supper I was satiated and sleepy. We all went our separate ways, snuggled into our tents for the night, and while I can’t speak for anyone else, the supposed theory of the difficulty of sleeping at altitude had thus far been disproven and remained merely a myth. I slept like a rock! I was looking forward to a day crossing “The Saddle,” which I had read was dry and hot, where the sun scorched and burned anyone who dared not cover their head. Oh yes, after the chilly, grey afternoon/evening of the third day, I was already dreaming of the desert tundra of day 4 in all of it’s warmth and glory!

Day 4 – A Change of Plan

During our acclimatization hike on Day 3, the guides suggested an alternate route that would shave several kilometres off of our trek and allow our group a greater chance of successfully reaching the summit. As it turns out, we voted unanimously in favour of the alternate route albeit for each one of us, the reason was different. We would now attempt to summit on day five, leaving in the daylight rather than making an overnight attempt. This new route would also involve us skipping the original stop at Third Caves Camp and making our way directly to School Huts Camp (4800m) one day early. I was greatly in favour of this part of the plan because it meant that we could stay in the same camp for two consecutive days and I wouldn’t have to tidy or pack anything before our 5am attempt at the summit!

 Breakfast was early and by 7am we were already into the second course.  This morning’s porridge was something new however, it was made from millet. Hmmm… not sure if I was a big fan of this change because of the taste or because at some point on day 3 my stomach had started to give me a bit of trouble. No nausea, no diarrhea, nor any acclimatization flatulence to speak of (my tent-mate was probably grateful for that!), just dull, continuous, epigastric pain that could not be relieved. Weird, but I was not going to be deterred from what I knew was going to be a fantastic day. With heels bandaged and taped, boots strategically tied, and my sunscreen at the ready, we set out for The Saddle. Up, up, and up we went, each time reaching a small summit then being rewarded with a small downhill section of trail. Finally, when we reached the peak and gazed over the edge, we could not only see the trail we would take across the saddle, but the path beyond leading onto the mountain, it’s solitary form rising up in the distance. Kilimanjaro – our final destination.

 There wasn’t a cloud in the sky as we descended into The Saddle. The azure blue overhead extended across the horizon and in every direction as far as we could see. The warmth of the sun was in direct opposition to the coolness of the high altitude breeze in the way that you could feel the shining rays on your face but when you touched your skin it was cold. Oh, there is something amazing about the sunshine and how it can transform the way you feel. Well, the way I feel anyway. I felt as if I could walk all day with our easy pace along a slow and barely perceptible incline… Now this was the hike I had dreamed about and the day that I most fondly look back on. The pace increased slightly as we excitedly began our cross country trek. Nothing but open space in front of us, our goal in sight every step of the way. After an hour I think our pace had slowed… It felt as though we had not made any gain at all. I think each one of us was marking rocks or breaks in the trail to ensure we were actually moving forward as the distance did not seem to close in any measurable way at all. I found that it was only when I looked back from where we had come that I realized the distance we had covered, the progress we had made. Life is a bit like that too, I think. Sometimes we have to look back to see how far we have come. So looking forward, there seemed no end but I didn’t care at all – the blue of the sky, the brightness of the sun, the freedom in my spirit, and the beauty of this place were like something one reads about only in books.

The easy pace of this day kept my abdominal pain at bay but the ache returned on the evening acclimatization hike and had me wondering if my breathing pattern was to blame. In medicine, when you are bagging a patient you don’t want to fill their tummy with air by pushing too much volume too fast. I thought maybe I was gulping air while trying to take deeper breaths in an attempt to get more oxygen at this altitude. I wasn’t able to eat anything really but it was due to pain more than anything else. Again, I was not nauseated, had no vomiting or diarrhea, did not have a headache, and thankfully, was not experiencing the dreaded acclimatization flatulence. I went to the tent earlier that afternoon for a rest but no luck. Thankfully, the Rolaids that Brande had given me had provided momentary relief.  My nursing mind was trying to come up with answers but nothing seemed to fit.

The night chill came early and it was freezing in the dining tent. I was cold and uncomfortable, and not really myself so I was off to bed soon after our briefing. It was decided we would wake up at 4am, leave at 5am, and summit around mid-day. I tried to be excited as I took out all of the clothes I would need and put them in the inner part of our tent… It was freezing up here and I knew I wouldn’t want to put on cold clothes at 4am!! It had started to rain/snow and I wasn’t looking forward to the morning but imagine my surprise when I unzipped the tent to make  my way to the toilet and a sheet of ice shattered and slid off the roof! Nightmare! Not only did the noise wake up Matty, I thought I would be slip-sliding all the way to the summit! By the time we woke up for real, there was only a light dusting of snow on the ground and thankfully, no evidence of the aforementioned ice storm. It was time to start day 5 – Kilimanjaro Summit day.




Brande Looks Back: Kilimanjaro Day 4

Date: Oct 3 2015 Saturday
Route: Unique Rongai Route
Destination: Mawenzi Tarn to School Huts
Duration: 3hours walking (+ 1hour acclimatization hike)
Distance: 8km
Elevation Gained: 420m (1,378ft)
FitBit Steps: 23,392
FitBit Calories Burnt: 3,931

(If y’all missed it – here is my look back on Kilimanjaro Day 3)

Mount Kilimanjaro, Day 4 of 7

Mount Kilimanjaro, just over there on the other side of the saddle …

Day 4 was the start of a twist on our original itinerary and one of my favourite days on the trail…. the original plan was to leave Mawenzi Tarn and make our way up and then down again into Third Caves Camp on day 4, then walk to School Huts Camp on Day 5, and make our attempt for the summit at 1am on Day 6. This original route really put in place the climb high and sleep low theory that is meant to be the key to avoiding altitude sickness to give us the best chance at the summit. However, the day prior, our Guides suggested we consider another unique twist to our already ‘Unique Rongai’ route.

The new, suggested Unique-Unique Rongai route had us skip Third Caves Camp all together and instead make our way straight to and up to School Huts Camp on Day 4 and then make our summit assault on Day 5 during the day. Our Guides strongly suggested this would give all 7 of us the best chance at reaching the summit.We chatted about it as a team and everyone was on board – oh my goodness we are going to summit Mount Kilimanjaro tomorrow! eeeeeeek butterflies!

The decision for me was not too tough. I was a little bit sad that we would be cutting a few kilometers off the trail (yes I know get over it, do I really need more than 84km?) but I was also ecstatic that we would make our summit attempt during the day (I hate walking in the pitch black with a headlamp when you cannot even enjoy and/or be distracted by the sights!). I also liked that we would get to stay in School Huts Camp a second night right after our summit success. This shaved a full 10km off of our post summit hike and I had a feeling I would appreciate getting back into my already set up tent 10km closer!

So our new, unique Day 4 of 7 was to School Huts not Third Caves Camp.

Our day started like any other. Lance and I were up about 5am for his usual lay in sleeping bag and chat with me while I jotted in my journal the details from the day prior. Then around 6am we were up and out of our tents. Either from desperate need to relieve the diuretic pressure, if you know what I mean, or because the sun was coming up and you do NOT miss a sunset on Kilimanjaro – they are a definite highlight of the experience.

7am we were eating our yummy breakfast spread of scrambled eggs, pancakes which are really crepes, millet porridge (which our Guide Leo said is a staple in local breakfasts), sausages which are really hot dogs, toast, jam and peanut butter, mango and pineapple, and all the hot mix drinks you can want. Rough eh?

820am we were on our way. The day was meant to be about 3-4 hours, approximately 8km in distance, sun baking us like crazy, and as usual 98.5 percent chance of rain (as per our Guide Leo who always made sure that even if it looked impossible that there would be any chance of rain, we had our rain gear in our packs).

The first 40mins was a bit tough, it was largely up hill, a little down hill which felt great but don’t get excited, and then back up hill again – repeat. We were walking slow this day. At over the 14,000 foot marker of altitude the air in the lungs was not feeling quite as fulfilling as it was the days prior. Pole, pole (slowly, slowly) was the mantra!

almost to the saddle, day 4 of 7

Before walking through the saddle you had to walk up and over a few summits – these felt huge!

After our up hills, we spent the last 3+ hours walking through the “saddle”. The saddle is a desert like area on Mount Kilimanjaro. The sun was shining and there were hours  of not a cloud in the sky. The uninterrupted views of the blue sky were something to remember.  I have to tell you there is a different blue to the skies above Kilimanjaro then there is here at home in Canada – more crisp, more blue, more something. Now do not get me wrong; we have some awesome skies here in Canada but wow there is just something different about those in Tanzania. Trust me, check out these photos.

the saddle

Day 4/7 The Saddle – me and hubby Lance.

the saddle, rongai route

Day 4 of 7 a pic here of our almost complete crew as we get started on our decent down and across the saddle.

Just like a desert though, your destination looks so close and yet you never seem to get any closer. We knew were were making good time as rocks in the distance would be upon us soon enough. We treated these rocks like break markers. Lance or Paul would crack their backs, the rest of us would load on the sunscreen and lip chap, Lance would hand out hard candies, and then we were on our way again. But the path in front of us always seemed as long as it was before the last break and the camp you could just make out seemed to stay that teeny, weeny size it was when we started.

saddle, day 4 of 7

The saddle and that there is our trail, across the plain and to the right is our next camp School Huts

The temperature was interesting too. The sun was baking us – sun screen applications were happening every  break and sometimes while moving, especially on the lips. Yet the wind would whip up to the point of having to hold your hat on your head and chill you right down again. I was doing more wardrobe layer changes than steps it felt like at some points. Water was a big deal this day, from the heat and the dusty wind. I ran out and had to use Lance’s water as back up for the last 40mins. How any of my fellow trekkers had any water left I will never understand – I was so thirsty! Pole, pole and drinky, drinky peeps!

Thank goodness for the conversation as we slogged along. At one point we had a zombie apocalypse conversation. This was serious stuff. Our friendships were solidified this day and if ever the zombies come for us our trusty Kilimanjaro band would know exactly how to support each other to avoid being eaten or worse yet turned into zombies! Basically, we all decided that zombies would not be impacted by altitude sickness as they don’t have red blood cells that can be impacted by altitude. Well they do have blood but its black so we didn’t think altitude would impact black blood. So really we would not be fully safe on Mount Kilimanjaro but because there are so few of us on the mountain its likely we would not be the first target in the Zombie War so we could hang out for a while with our crew, we had a great cook on the trip with us, still needed to summit, and probably had enough protein bars collectively to live 10 years up here!

Also thank goodness for distractions along the trail that brought us out of the ridiculous yet entertaining zombie conversation. Along the path we passed the wreckage of a small plane crash from 2008. The four tourists were killed sadly and the pilot seriously injured in the accident. This is in fact not the only plane crash on Kilimanjaro, seems a few small and large planes have had a horrible fate either getting to close for a great look or coming upon the mountain out of the clouds with no warning. Sad.

saddle, day 4 of 7 Rongai Route

Day 4 of 7 Rongai Route walking through the saddle past what is left of a plane crash from years ago.

12:15pm we came into School Huts Camp finally. I arrived with a nice headache and pesky cough. OK I will be honest the cough was not as pesky as the “grandma” comments my fellow hikers were making every time I went into a wee fit which seemed to be every time I laughed or talked to much. So yes, they happened often as I do talk a lot and laugh even more.

school huts, rongai route

School Huts Camp, Rongai Route our base camp for two nights and our summit attempt

After signing in at the Camp Hut, we made our way to our tents to set up. Lunch was again massive and amazing and sadly all of us thought we were hungry but had no appetite when we actually went to eat something – thank you altitude. Most of us forced what we could down because we knew the calories would be so important to our summit attempt the next day but there was not a lot of enjoyment.

school huts camp, lunch time

Lunch time at the School Huts Camp and all of us know we should eat but no one had an appetite.

Following lunch was a short break where we all sat in our separate tents listening to a weather system come in that was promising rain, hail and maybe even some snow while waiting for the Guides to tell us its time for our acclimatization hike. Today’s acclimatization hike was important. A few of us were experiencing headaches, I had a cough, and we needed to give ourselves the best possible chance of a good sleep before our big summit day the next morning. So feeling as good as we could was important for all of us.

Back down, we met for dinner and repeated our not hungry but try and eat any calories you can stomach routine. I was feeling much better and ate more for dinner than lunch. The headache I showed up at camp with was gone after our acclimatization hike so all I had left was the annoying cough but with all the dust in the saddle and at camp it was not surprising. I think most of us felt good, and all of us were excited for the next day.

Lance and I retired to our tents early after our briefing with Guide Leo and got all of our gear ready for the next day. We had a 4am wake up call coming our way and the crew wanted to be on the trail by 5am. Getting to sleep was tough with how excited and nervous I was but we both felt ready and looking forward to the summit. The chill in the air and the snow in the night made sure you stayed cuddled in your tent which prompted sleep – thank goodness.

Eeeeeek more butterflies and tummy flips!


(If you are keen – check out my look back on Kilimanjaro Day 5, the Summit)