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Mt. Kilimanjaro - 19,340 ft. (5,895m)

January 27 - February 16, 2013

Where Lucille has been for the past 24 hours.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Some troubles on the mountain.

Well with a subject line like that I should first say that everyone is OK and for you not to worry.

Everyone is wondering, no doubt, about flight status and why it appears some have gone and others not. Well first of all, it was way too windy to fly, so the popular sport of Parawaiting has emerged, even at 19,500 feet. They plan to wait it out one more day for a potential to fly down.

However, there has been some kind of misunderstanding among the guides and porters and some tempers flared. I would be concerned too if I hadn't been paid yet for my work and your customer is about to fly the coup. In the local economy, there isn't the same level of trust and protection as elsewhere.

So, hired by the guiding company there are a number of guides and a large number of porters hired for this trip numbering close to 600 in total. Apparently the misunderstanding has escalated to the point where ten guides have withdrawn their services, and convinced 100 porters to follow their example. To make matters more challenging is that this group has descended a ways, and are blockading the passage of water up to the group, so where everyone should be drinking three litres a day, they have only had access to one litre this past day.

There has been a helicopter drop arranged to get them more water, but long story short, they will have to either fly off or start their descent in the next day, so the flight may not see safe wind conditions in time.

Lets hope that cooler heads prevail and this misunderstanding gets resolved. The participants also have to put their personal gear at risk when they fly off the mountain and are trusting that they will see it all again at the bottom.

Through all of this some participants have already started to descend, mostly those that were not feeling that great up at 20,000 feet. Our intrepid group of Lucille, Mike, Marco, Alan, and Bob are doing well and perfecting their Parawaiting form and technique.


1 comment:

JK & Ira Shea said...

Thank you so much for the update! My husband is one of the pilots and I haven't heard from him since he left 8 days ago! So good to hear the news! I hope they can fly tomorrow since should be less windy. Thanks again!!!

Irina Shea (JK Shea's wife)