Mawenzi Tarn is a tiny but beautiful lake surrounded by moss and lichen covered boulders. It is our most serene camp site of the trip and once again we are the only climb team to occupy it on this day.
Nicolai looks on as the clouds disperse to reveal the sharktooth like ridgeline of Mawenzi. Although climbing Kibo will take us much higher than Mawenzi, the later remains a much harder mountain to climb.
Climbing today becomes significantly more difficult with large rock formations to traverse. The guides repeatedly offer to carry Nicolai over difficult sections but he insists on doing it himself. Nonetheless, notice how carefully they position themselves to catch Nicolai should he fall. I could not be more impressed with how attentive our climb team was to our safety.
Temperatures continue to drop as we ascend and we add warmth layers to compensate. Nico has reverted to his soccer shoe for climbing as it is one fourth the weight of his boot. This makes covering long distances much easier for him. He will go back to the boot when we make our bid for the summit.
We arrive at our 3600m high camp site at Kikelelwa Cave by 1PM. By now you will recognize our tent. The large tent is the mess tent and where all the porters sleep. The dome shaped blue tent is where the guides sleep, and the green rectangular tent is our portable out house. There was an additional fee for the later but it was worth every penny, affording us a small measure of convenience and comfort. Almost every day begins with clear skys and then by late morning the clouds roll in. Generally by late afternoon the skies clear again.
During a snack break, Nico offers his father a soft lap in an environment of hard rocks. My knee has been holding up fairly well until today. One missed foot plant and I tweaked it rather badly. It will bother me for the next two days but will not hurt on the day we attempt to summit.
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