Day 7 – Karanga Valley Camp (13,106ft) to Barafu Camp (15,331ft)
Today we were back to climbing, but it was a short day, climbing 2,200 feet in about three hours to Barafu Hut, the high camp from which we would depart for the push to the summit.
We arrived at Barafu just before noon. From here we could see the approach to the summit. I was amused by the fixed latrines here, marked “Tourist Toilets”. By now, none of us were feeling like tourists. The camp is atop a ridge, with a cliff along one side that nobody seemed overly concerned about. We were far past any sign of vegetation at this point, and the only wildlife were the four-striped grass mice darting from rock to rock, and the bold and ubiquitous White Necked Ravens.
After lunch we checked and prepared our gear and rested for the afternoon. We would be split into 4 groups for the final climb to the summit, 4,000 vertical feet above us.
As we gathered for dinner, it was snowing and the wind was rising. Part way through dinner we were holding on to the mess tent as it shook in the wind.
Following dinner, we all headed back to the tents to get what sleep we could. I was surprised that I got about 3.5 hours of relatively undisturbed sleep.