Frozen on the equator

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The glaciers of Kibo’s rim are visible above Barafu Camp. In order to reach that icy summit by sunrise we go to bed after dinner and try to get a few hours of sleep. The wake-up call comes at 10:00 pm. We try to eat something (altitude has a way of suppressing the appetite) and depart the camp by starlight at 11:00 pm.

Packs are stripped to essentials. Water bottles are wrapped in socks and buried upside down in the pack. Water freezes in the mouths of bottles carried right-side up and renders them useless. Exposed bottles freeze solid before sunrise.

So do fingers, by the way.

This photograph of Barafu Camp was taken by Mohammed my tent-mate.


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Even before summit night we’ve had troubles with ice forming in unprotected bottles. Drinking hoses and pack-bladders are useless in these conditions.


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