Ouch. Long day: 10.5 hours. Technical from start to finish, and unrelenting. I did a series of about 1,000 three-to-four-second sprints at 12,000 feet and 3,300 vertical. I didn't use the winch. We're saving it for the upper mountain.
The Harken winch is a great mechanism. We're still figuring out the intricacies for our purposes, but no doubt we will figure it out.
On the other side, the rig ran great. I was constantly surprised at what I climbed. The new pivot is fantastic.
I knew this would be the most difficult day other than the summit day. It took longer than I hoped, but it's behind me now. With each step of this journey, I feel more optimistic--but cautiously optimistic. The first half of tomorrow will be technical. The second half will be on the road. Hopefully, the dust will subside. Sarah Wallis told us before we left that it was "exploding dust" on the mountain. She was right.
The coolest sight of the day: leaving the rain forest and getting our first majestic view of Kili and her glacier-crowned glory. It's a magical draw.
In the fall of 2009, Chris Waddell will attempt to summit Kilimanjaro.Sounds like a basic goal, until you consider that this star athlete andparalympian will conquer the 19,340-foot-high mountain without the useof his legs. If successful, Waddell will become the first paraplegic tosummit Kilimanjaro unassisted, the tallest freestanding mountain in theworld. He is writing a series of dispatches on this expedition for Outside Online.