Day 4: Barranco Camp (3950m) to Barafu Camp (4550m)

May 21, 2017

After 24 hours of travel and three days on the mountain, the end was finally in sight.

 

The day commenced with climbing the famed Barranco Wall. The Barranco Wall is a 300 foot high rock face looks that appears menacing from afar but is just a fun scramble -- unless, of course, you dislocate your shoulder while scaling it (more about that later). 

The morning view from Barranco Camp

 

 A view of the Barranco Wall. It was hard to get a good picture with the sun directly above.  

Click HERE to see the route up the wall.

Click Here to see pictures of the porters scrambling up the Wall with 30 pounds of gear on their heads

 

About 10 years ago, I had surgery performed on my left shoulder, due to chronic dislocations.  I experienced no further issues until January 2016, when I fell off a treadmill and dislocated my shoulder again. The shoulder remains unstable and susceptible to further dislocations.

 

On all my hikes, I have been mindful not to extend my arm too far. After all, who would ever want to dislocate a shoulder on the Barranco Wall of all places?

 

As I was making my up the rocks, however, my shoulder popped out of the socket. Thankfully, it was only a partial dislocation, and, with the help of Joy, we were able to roll it back into the socket. However, it would remain sore and prone to another dislocation for the remainder of the hike. I would have to be careful not to fall or stumble, especially on summit night and descent. 

 

 Atop the Barranco Wall, with a little support for my left arm

 

After making it to the top of the wall,  we headed down through the Karanga Valley over undulating ridges and valleys, where the trail joined up with Mweka/Barafu Route

 

A map of the Lemosho Route. We camped at Mt. Mkubwa, then Shira 2, Baranco Camp, and Barafu Hut.

We would descend via the Mweka Route

 

 

 

The weather turned quickly, as we were enveloped in clouds. 

 

 

 

We would then hike for a few more hours and arrive at 4 PM  at our last camp, "Barafu Hut,"  at over 15,200 ASL.

 

 

Dinner would be served....

 

 

.. and, and in a few hours, we would head out after midnight for the six hour summit push, followed by a six hour descent.

 

A truly epic itinerary! 

 

 

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