Excerpt from the chapter “Day 11”:
Walking around up at the peak you see the glaciers from above; HUGE glaciers. And I could see into the ash pit from a completely different vantage point than the day before—it was much better the day before, up close. I could see Mt. Meru off in the distance. It was a beautiful, clear morning. We have been incredibly fortunate with weather. It’s been cold, of course, but that’s to be expected at this elevation.
Then we started to make our way down and boy was that fun! The trail that most people take up is a steep, long, 100% scree hill and what we ended up doing was, well, we skied down. We had our poles and our feet and thank goodness for gaiters! When Wilson saw that I was enjoying it and I told him I was, he looked for places where we could do more, faster. When we’d come to a big rock in the middle of our trail, then of course we’d have to slow down and step around it but “dust be damned.” It was exhilarating to ski down on my feet from the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro on scree.
Here’s my theory: the reason that Uruhu peak might be smaller is because there is all of this scree on the side and trekkers are pushing it down as we all walk up or scree down.
I saw a lanky young man, well over six feet tall and perhaps late teens or early twenties—didn’t look old enough to shave yet—being escorted by two porters, one on each arm to steady him as he struggled with his swaying gait. If I didn’t know any better I’d think the poor guy was drunk, but it was altitude sickness and this
kid was in bad shape. We watched him approach, asked if we could offer any assistance, but the porters told us they would bring him down.