President Donald Eastman and his wife Christine met up with the team for the Serengeti portion of the trip prior to visiting another Winter Term group in Cape Town, South Africa
Team member Craig Altemose completed his world tour of the 7 continents, having visited the continents of Africa, Europe, Asia, Antarctica, and South America through Eckerd
5th Covey Habit - SEEK FIRST TO UNDERSTAND... THEN TO BE UNDERSTOOD
Saturday, January 14
We were awakened at 11 p.m. for a quick snack. The guides tried to get everyone ready to climb as quickly as possible, leaving at midnight. Starting off, the trail was a zig zag back and forth up a steep slope and the climate was bitterly cold. The summit climb was an event we will not forget, with the night sky full of stars and only our breathing to help focus our minds. Most climbers arrive at Gillman's Point (18,635 feet) in time to enjoy sunrise around 6:30 a.m. The views from the top looking down on the plains of Africa made it all worthwhile.
For the strong, the true summit was Uhuru Peak (19,340 feet) - an additional 3 hours away roundtrip. At the summit, a sign posted by the Tanzania government and covered in travel stickers from past trekkers who have left their mark on the top of the peak read:
Congratulations! You are now at Uhuru Peak, Tanzania, 5,895 m. AMSL
21 of 21 Eckerd team members who made it to Gillman's Point successfully reached Mt. Kilimanjaro's highest point, Uhuru Peak. Congratulations! The descent from Gillman's Point was fairly rapid, taking about 2 hours. Most climbers took a short rest at Kibo Hut before descending to Horombo Hut for the night, arriving in the late afternoon. Today was a long day that tested our fortitude.