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July 2021 Kili Team at Lava Tower

Today the Kilimanjaro team left Shira Camp and traversed the mountain, working their way up to the base of “The Lava Tower” at approximately 14,800 ft. They made a quick ascent of the lava tower, a fun scramble up with great views from the top, then descended down to Barranco Camp. From camp, the team enjoyed a great view of the Great Barranco Wall, the challenge for tomorrow morning!

Here’s a short message from the team:

Team Madison Mountaineering up with sunrise after a clear night packed with stars and the Milky Way!  Today up to 15,000ft.  A height record for nearly all!

Stats for day 3
Start: Shira Camp, 12,355’
Finish: Barranco Camp, 13,066’
Distance Traveled: 6 miles

Enjoying the beautiful Senecio trees on Kilimanjaro

Enjoying the beautiful Senecio trees on Kilimanjaro

If climbing Kilimanjaro is in your future, please contact our office, we would love to have you climb with us!


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow our teams as they make their attempts on the world’s most formidable mountains on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions.  Just say, “Alexa, play my Madison Mountaineering flash briefing.

Instagram:

– our Garmin inReach Mini powered real-time tracking map:

Sunset at Shira

Today, from the Machame camp the team started hiking up the trail through the forest and gained elevation very quickly, as the landscape changed from the lush forest to moor lands with large Senecio trees dotting the hillsides. They gained the Shira Plateau and enjoyed a great view over the valley below. Each day upon arriving at camp in the afternoon the team celebrates by dancing and singing with the staff, learning the dance and songs of the Chagga tribe! The team is doing great and are having a wonderful time on Kilimanjaro!

Here’s a short message from the team:

Out of the jungle and camped above the clouds at 12,000 ft.  Happy team relaxing in the sun.  Over and out. Team Madison Mountaineering!

Stats for day 2
Start: Machame Camp, 9,927’
Finish: Shira Camp, 12,355’
Distance Traveled: 5 miles

(photo: Madison Mountaineering archives)

If climbing Kilimanjaro is in your future, please contact our office, we would love to have you climb with us!


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow our teams as they make their attempts on the world’s most formidable mountains on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions.  Just say, “Alexa, play my Madison Mountaineering flash briefing.

Instagram:

– our Garmin inReach Mini powered real-time tracking map:

Fist bump for reaching the Lava Tower on Kilimanjaro

Today the team left Shira Camp and traversed the mountain, working their way up to the base of “The Lava Tower” at approximately 14,800 ft. They made a quick ascent of the lava tower, a fun scramble up with great views from the top, then descended down to Barranco Camp. From camp, the team enjoyed a great view of the Great Barranco Wall, the challenge for tomorrow morning!

Stats for day 3
Start: Shira Camp, 12,355’
Finish: Barranco Camp, 13,066’
Distance Traveled: 6 miles


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow our teams as they make their attempts on the world’s most formidable mountains on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions

Instagram:

Kilimanjaro Shira Camp

Today, from the Machame camp the team started hiking up the trail through the forest and gained elevation very quickly, as the landscape changed from the lush forest to moor lands with large Senecio trees dotting the hillsides. They gained the Shira Plateau and enjoyed a great view over the valley below. Each day upon arriving at camp in the afternoon the team celebrates by dancing and singing with the staff, learning the dance and songs of the Chagga tribe! The team is doing great and are having a wonderful time on Kilimanjaro!

Stats for day 2
Start: Machame Camp, 9,927’
Finish: Shira Camp, 12,355’
Distance Traveled: 5 miles

(photo: Madison Mountaineering archives)


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow our teams as they make their attempts on the world’s most formidable mountains on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions

Instagram:

Celebrating arrival at the Lava Tower on Kilimanjaro with headstands!
Follow the team’s progress with our real-time tracking map

Today our Kili team hiked up from Shria Camp to the Lava Tower at 4636 m / 15,210 ft.  The Lava Tower is a 300-foot high volcanic plug formation just below Kilimanjaro’s Western Breach that offers an amazing view for those that scramble their way to top.  So our team did and what a view.

After a nice lunch, they headed down among the giant Dendrosenecio kilimanjari to Barranco Camp’s 3981 m / 13,060 ft for the evening.

Tomorrow morning they will tackle the Barranco Breakfast Wall before crossing southeast to Karanga Camp.

Hiking from Shira Camp to the Lava Tower on Kilimanjaro

Hiking from Shira Camp to the Lava Tower on Kilimanjaro (photo: Drew Maloney)

The Western Breach and the Lava Tower of Kilimanjaro

The Western Breach and the Lava Tower of Kilimanjaro (photo: Drew Maloney)

Top of the Lava Tower on Kilimanjaro

Top of the Lava Tower on Kilimanjaro (photo: Drew Maloney)


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow our teams as they make their attempts on the world’s most formidable mountains on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates

Instagram:

The view from Kilimanjaro's Shira Plateau
Follow the team’s progress with our real-time tracking map

Another beautiful day on the mountain with our team reaching Kilimanjaro‘s Shira Plateau at 3845 m / 12,615 ft.  The day’s hike covered about 3 miles while gaining nearly 3,000 ft. in elevation.  Heading out of Machame camp at 8:30 am, our speedy team pulled into Shira Camp just in time for lunch!

Tonight they are hoping to catch a glimpse of the Perseid meteor shower in the crystal-clear dark skies above their 12,615 ft perch.  And tomorrow they will ascend up to the Lava Tower at 4636 m / 15,210 ft before dropping back down through the giant Dendrosenecio kilimanjari to Barranco Camp’s 3981 m / 13,060 ft for the evening.


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow our teams as they make their attempts on the world’s most formidable mountains on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates

Instagram:

Happy to reach Shira Camp

Meanwhile on Kilimanjaro, here’s lead guide Rob Smith with today’s progress report of moving from Machame Camp to Shira Camp:

We have had a beautiful day today on Kilimanjaro, moving up the mountain.

 

We awoke at 6am in the shade but in good weather. By 8am we were moving up the steep rocky trail above our campsite. The landscape changed from the dense rainforest we were in yesterday, as we passed through sparser trees and vegetation. Birdsong rang out and porters could be heard singing at the camp we had just left. A thick blanket of cloud lay over the plain below us. Higher up we reached sunlight and the temperature rose. We would crest a ridge to see another in front, with glimpses of Kilimanjaro through the trees.

 

Scrambling in places we finally reached out high point after 5 hours, and had a clear view of the mountain, its wide crater rim now visible. A quick walk downhill brought us to Shira Camp (3833m/12,575 ft), where we were greeted with harmonious singing from our porters. Tonight we will be sleeping at 12,500′ so we are making good height gain. A beautiful sunset and a very fine meal rounded off our day!

 

Today’s Swahali:  Mambo – What’s up? Poa – Cool.

Sunset at Shira

Sunset at Shira

Happy to reach Shira Camp

Happy to reach Shira Camp

Yesterday was a favorite so far for our Kilimanjaro team! The Baranco Wall can be an intimidating feature and as we woke up we could only see it for brief moments through the breaking fog. We stashed our trekking poles and steadily climbed. Mike, Todd and Cassey showed no signs of slowing as we crested the wall! As we bobbed and weaved our way around the mountain we were all in awe on the mountain to our left, and the beautiful countryside of Tanzania to our right. Karanga camp was a welcome sight!

Today we sit primed and ready for our climb tonight! The climb from Karanga to Kosovo camp at 15,500ft is a rewarding but demanding day. As usual Mike, Todd and Cassey floated it! As the scrub brush disappeared leaving only gravel and rocks, one starts to feel the change from hiking to climbing. Now we rest, drink water, eat and prepare for our late night start and our climb to the top of Africa!

Sid Pattison

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There are few places like the beautiful Shira Camp sunrise on Mount Kilimanjaro. Looking out over the jungle, seeing Meru peaking up above the clouds watching the frost give way to sun warmth is fantastic. Today the team rocked our acclimatization day climbing up to 15,000ft to the Lava Tower! We moved confidently and steadily up, happy to see our lunch tent through the mist. We dined in luxury on chicken, pasta, sandwiches and fresh fruit while trying out best to master the Swahili phrases of gratitude we have been learning. After a good break we descended down through the Hidden Moorlands of indescribable beauty. Wandering past waterfalls, clumps of wild Dr. Suess trees we arrived at Baranco Camp at 12,750ft. Red blood cells freshly oxygenated, we rest before dinner.

Sid Pattison

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Today we left Shira Camp and traversed the mountain, working our way up to the base of “Lava Tower” at approximately 14,800 ft. Lava Tower is a fun scramble up with great views from the top! After lunch we then descended down to Barranco Camp. The weather today was mostly cloudy with a few patches of sun. From our camp we have a great view of the Great Barranco wall, our challenge for tomorrow morning!
-Garrett Madison

Start: Shira Camp, 12,450’
Finish: Barranco Camp, 12,750’
Distance Traveled: 6 miles.

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Audio dispatch attached here by Garrett Madison.

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To monitor our climbing team’s exact route to the summit you can view our LIVE RainOn mapping platform here.

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Lava Tower on Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

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