Day 6: Karanga Camp to Kosovo Camp (16,010′); 2.2 mi.
Today was the staging day for our push to the summit. Last night at dinner we got our normal daily briefing from our Head Guide, Athumani, on the plan and what to expect today. The plan included an overview of the route and our planned wake-up, breakfast, and departure times. Additionally, we got an overview of the terrain we will be crossing and the planned time it should take us. All of this is important because the goal is to get to the next camp by noon, followed by lunch/dinner at 2:30, so we can spend the remainder of the afternoon and evening resting and/or sleeping since we have a midnight wake-up call for our summit bid.
Although we only hiked about 2.2 miles today, it took us 4 hours. That may seem like a long time, but in that short distance we ascended 2,854, at an already high elevation, to the Kosovo Base Camp that sits in a relatively flat area at 16,010’.
Along the way we passed through the Barafu Base Camp that most trekking companies use. For two reasons we were happy that we hiked the additional 45 mins and gained another 700’ in elevation. First, Barafu Camp is very large and crowded, located on a steep, rocky slope… not the best place to start a summit bid. Second, Kosovo is closer to the summit, which means we can rest a bit longer and hopefully rise refreshed and ready for what we all expect to be a challenging and very long day.
Fortunately everyone in our group remains in good spirits and good health, so we are quietly confident that we will stand together on the summit to witness a spectacular sunrise.
Wish us luck…