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Mt. Kilimanjaro Trek - To the Lava Tower and Beyond

Midway through the day, the clouds rolled in about the time Simon redirected us to a side tour via the lava tower. We were currently at 4,420m / 14,500’ and the detour, which is taken by less than 10% of the people, required climbing to 4,660m / 15,280’. From an acclimatization perspective this was an excellent idea. Hiking higher and sleeping lower was always a prescription for success. As we climbed, our lungs were challenged by the lack of air. Our effort wasn’t rewarded though, because when we reached the “tower” there wasn’t much to see. An unimpressive bland rock formation rose above us. Perhaps in different light it looked more appealing.

Mt. Kilimanjaro, Toward Barranco Hut, Tanzania

Before shifting gears and heading down, we had a quick snack of some refreshing carrots. As we descended, we were quickly surprised by how treacherous the trail became.

Mt. Kilimanjaro, Descending from the Lava Tower, Tanzania

Cursing under our breath, we wound down the trail passing dramatically different foliage. Surprisingly, there were giant cacti like trees and lichen..

Mt. Kilimanjaro, Toward Barranco Hut, Tanzania

Soon we reached the Barranco Camp 3,950m / 13,035’, sitting below an ever closer Kilimanjaro

Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

The story continues...