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Tanzania 356

Team Martin Summits Kilimanjaro!

We’re hap­py to report that the Mar­tins suc­cess­ful­ly reached the Roof of Africa on Decem­ber 29, 2009. After a painstak­ing climb up the West­ern Breach, made more dif­fi­cult by the pre­vi­ous day’s snow storm, and a short rest in Kibo’s crater, the Mar­tins climbed the remain­ing 800 feet to Uhu­ru Peak. Sum­mit­ing in the after­noon allowed them to enjoy the 19,340 ft. peak to them­selves. Case, Matt and Mandy, with their char­ac­ter­is­tic cheer­ful­ness and com­pet­i­tive­ness, pushed them­selves to tag the sum­mit sign first, fol­lowed by Lynn and John. After hugs of cel­e­bra­tion, a round of pic­tures and ser­e­nad­ing in Swahili from Moun­tain Mad­ness’ Tan­zan­ian guides, the group start­ed their descent.

The Mar­tins had fol­lowed the Shi­ra Plateau Route, which allowed them to accli­ma­tize at suc­ces­sive­ly high­er ele­va­tion camp­sites, includ­ing Moir Huts, Lava Tow­er and Arrow Glac­i­er. After two days under over­cast skies and snow show­ers, the sun broke out the after­noon before their big push to the crater rim. The spec­tac­u­lar view of Lava Tow­er, the Shi­ra Ridge and bil­low­ing cloud for­ma­tions was sur­re­al,” said Lynn. The sun lift­ed the spir­its of the group before its 4:00 a.m. depar­ture up the West­ern Breach. 

Vet­er­an guide, Lawrence, led the group. Lawrence was the con­sum­mate moun­tain guide, botanist, his­to­ri­an, sto­ry teller, coach and card play­er,” said John. His exper­tise, expe­ri­ence, humor and efforts con­tributed sig­nif­i­cant­ly to the suc­cess of our climb. We couldn’t have made it with­out him.”