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Epilogue

Epilogue
 
 

FLYING out from Kilimanjaro Airport the following morning, the mountain mysteriously revealed itself through the top of the cloud in its glory to the right, and I had a clear, though hazy view of it towering high above us. The plane ascended to 16,000 feet, a full kilometre below the altitude of the summit. Much of the mountain was obscured into a blue colour in the haze apart from the bright patches of glacier above us. The cloud below was a brilliant white.

Strange how the view out of a tiny aircraft porthole pales so much into insignificance compared to having the complete freedom of a total vista when you are standing on the summit of a high mountain. The dirt and reflections on the portholes further reduces the experience. That being said though it was nice to now be in a comfortable seat in a pressurized cabin.

Having been on the mountain I had a much greater appreciation for it. Uhuru Peak stood out as a large dome attached to the edge of the otherwise almost perfect crater. A long range extended past the peak towards us, no doubt being an extension of the long fissure that had opened up in the rift valley to create this compound volcano. There was another obvious peak that had been worn down to a large round dome. Even Kibo had been worn down significantly from a maximum height of perhaps close to seven thousand metres above sea level after the last major eruption around three hundred thousand years ago.

Cloud was suddenly appearing and hugging the side of Kibo. No doubt within the hour the cloud will be enveloping the entire summit area. By now the large plane propeller was blocking much of the view, and the mountain was starting to fade away into the distance as one chapter of my adventures closed and other one was about to open.

I had conquered it - the world’s tallest free standing mountain.

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20 August 2011

 

Mount Kilimanjaro

Tanzania

 

2°S
37°E
5400m ASL

 

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