Hidden Valley Safaris

Day 6

Around midnight (your guide will judge the time that is optimal for you based on your pace thus far) quit camp for the assault via Stella Point (5752m) to the summit. Tonight is very difficult – particularly the final 500m – and you’ll need to commit to fight for the summit. You will inevitably feel like giving up and going to sleep. This is normal and can be overcome with perseverance. When resting please ensure you only stand or sit and do not lie down or close your eyes. Please trust your guide; he is very adept at judging whether your condition will allow safe progress or whether you have succumbed to a potentially dangerous condition and to proceed will not be safe. Nausea and headaches are normal and around a quarter of climbers will vomit at or near Stella Point. While very uncomfortable, these are not symptoms that are indicative of being at risk, per se. The onset of cerebral and pulmonary oedema are marked by distinctive early warning symptoms that your guide is capable of identifying. Please maintain regular dialogue with him and frequently update him on how you are feeling.

When you reach Stella Point you will sit and rest. At this point the body often thinks you have finished your uphill fight and will be trying to coerce you into giving up and turning around. While you may genuinely believe that you have already exhausted your reserves in reaching this point, this is actually very unlikely to be so. Remember that you are only 143 vertical metres short of the summit, the journey from here is much less steep, and you have plenty of time for further pauses. If you do feel the need to give up at Stella Point please proceed towards the summit for just two minutes before making your final decision. In most cases this act of re-establishing momentum is enough to persuade the mind and body to co-operate with your intentions and you will ordinarily find hidden reserves for a final push, reserves that you were not aware you still had. Almost there!

Keep your thoughts positive, as your thoughts become your words,
Keep your words positive, as your words become your actions,
Keep your actions positive; as your actions become your destiny you can do it!

On the summit your guide will advise how much time you can spend there in consideration of your condition, your timings, and the weather. The brain does not function very intelligently at this altitude so please remember to take many photographs in all directions or you will probably regret not having done so at a later stage.

From the summit you will descend to Stella Point and from here your guide may opt to switch left onto the loose scree, a departure from the ridge up which you ascended. On arrival at Barafu your tents will still be erected and ready for you to rest an hour or so before continuing the descent after some refreshments.

From Barafu you will usually descend to Mweka Camp (3090m) for overnight. If your guide judges that a shorter day will benefit you and preserve sore knees and ankles, he may decide to stop short at Millennium Camp (3820m) instead.

 

  • Distances on summit day
  • Barafu to Stella Point: 3.3km
  • Stella Point to Summit: 1.2km
  • Summit to Barafu: 4.5km
  • Barafu to Mweka Camp: 6.3km
  • Total = 15.3km