Kilimanjaro 2 – 2nd Cave Camp to Mawenzi Tarn Camp
Kilimanjaro 2 is the second part of the expedition to climb this African mountain. Mt. Kilimanjaro is a dormant volcano in Tanzania, East Africa. It has 3 volvanic cones – Kibo at 5,895 metres/19,341 ft, Mawenzi at 5,149 metres/16,893 ft and Shira at 3,962 metres/13,000 ft. Mawenzi and Shira are extinct while Kibo is dormant. The last major eruption on Kibo has been dated to 360,000 years ago, with the most recent activity around 200 years ago.
After my experience with altitude sickness during the trek to the 2nd Cave Camp, Charles the leading guide, advised me to take some of the medication I had brought on the trip. This was the drug Diamox, which was taken to eleviate the effects of altitude. Although the prescription stated two per day, Charles told me to take one in the morning and an Aspirin at lunchtime to help thin the blood.
Diamox certainly helped on Kilimanjaro 2, and the difference was noticeable when the effects of the drug wore off. From the 2nd Cave Camp we ascended only 150 metres/492 ft today, to the Kikelewa Caves Camp. This small difference in height gained was a big help in acclimatisation and we were at the camp in time for lunch in the mess tent. After lunch and a short lie down we climbed a further 200 metres/656 ft. as a further aid to acclimatisation. We added an acclimatisation walk at the end of each day, from the first camp up to the final camp at Kibo.
The idea was to climb high and sleep low – the climbers maxim.
Our 4th day on Kilimanjaro 2 entailed a climb of 730 metres/2,395 ft to the Mawenzi Tarn Camp, a lovely spot by the towering Mawenzi Peaks. This again proved difficult for me and also affected my daughter-in-law with nausea and headache. Again, after a bite to eat and a rest, we took the acclimatisation climb but this time trying our Altox oxygen systems. Although helpful, I still had rapid breathing problems, which unfortunately never left me during our time on the Kilimanjaro mountain. I was also suffering from periphal endema – swelling under the eyes, which did recede after taking the morning dosage of Diamox. Fortunately, my son and daughter hardly suffered from the affects of altitude sickness. In fact my son was eating for the 4 of us, such was his appetite.
Tomorrow would be our push to the last camp at Kibo on Kilimanjaro, so an early night was again welcome.