I had seen pictures of others climbing Kilimanjaro Day 4 Barranco Wall, but it still surprised me of how steep it was in some places. The entire wall is 240 vertical meters (800 feet) and takes about 3 hours to get up. It was probably one of the more fun days of hiking since we were often climbing on all four just to get up.
Here is the Kilimanjaro Day 4 Video:
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The Kilimanjaro Porters Are Amazing
At Barranco Wall is when we really noticed how skilled the porters were. They would balance 20 kg of water or other huge equipment on their head and just stroll up Barranco Wall! They would pack our tents and equipment after breakfast, and then each day pass us up to get to the next campsite! Their ability to balance and carry such large loads is super impressive to me. One thing is to carry it on a flat surface, but to carry that kind of load on their head up a wall (when I’m struggling to get up carrying nothing) is simply amazing.
Can’t Look Down
What I found fascinating is that they do not look down at the path at all since they have to balance the load on their head. They are therefore always looking straight ahead and feeling their way forward with their feet. I don’t know how they do it because I was looking down at my feet the whole time to make sure that I did not step on a loose rock..!
If you’re not impressed by the porters carrying all the gear the first two days, you’ll really be impressed at Barranco Wall. They have amazing strength and balancing skills.
Top Of Barranco Wall Kilimanjaro Day 4
It’s fun climbing Barranco Wall, and it’s almost a little like mountain climbing on some parts! Most of it is very easy to walk, but some parts are really steep. The trek up Barranco Wall takes about 3 hours in total. The cool thing is that when you get to the top, there is a beautiful area to take pictures at with a stunning view. Here you can see some of the pictures:
Karanga Camp On Kilimanjaro
The get to Karanga Camp from Barranco Wall is another 1.5 hours to trek. This is mainly downhill, though the last part is straight uphill to get to the campsite. The porters will go up and down this hill to get water from the spring. The guys would carry 20kg of water on their head up and down and up again faster than we would be able to go up once!
Camp at 3930 Meters
When we arrived at Karanga Camp, we had half a day to rest. Karanga Camp is at about 3,930 meters (13,000 feet), therefore until Day 4, we had only slept at around 4,000 meters or lower. The following night we slept at almost 5,000 meters (16,000 feet).
Charging Batteries On Kilimanjaro
It was a sunny day, and I could have used my solar panel charger, but I had plenty of battery left from my external Anker battery. Before I left for the climb, I wondered if I would quickly run out of battery. I also heard that due to the cold weather batteries drain faster. I, therefore, brought 2 external batteries to charge my iPhone and my camera. I went with this one Anker PowerCore 26800 and it worked really well!
If I was going to buy a battery again I’d probably get two of the smaller Anker PowerCore 10000 since they are more convenient to use at home since they are much lighter.
Solar Charger Panel
When we arrived at Karanga Camp I just wanted to rest! And since I had plenty of battery left on my external battery chargers, I didn’t see a need to use the solar panel charger to charge the batteries. I kind of wanted to try it out since it was new, but I was just totally exhausted! I was in my tent resting the whole time. I did try it at home before I left and it worked great in direct sunlight.
I gave my solar panel charger to one of the porters, but it was similar to this one Anker 21 Watt Dual USB Solar Charger.
With the weather we had, Karango Camp was the best location to charge batteries using a solar panel charger. We had a half a day to rest and the sun was out. The other days when we arrived at the campsite, it would be later in the day and often cloudy.
Phone & Camera Battery Life On Kilimanjaro
When I used my iPhone and Sony HDRAS300 camera, I only took short video clips that were about 10-30 seconds long. I really like this Sony camera, and many of the videos from the trip are recorded using this camera. I also recorded video with my iPhone.
With my iPhone, I took around 50 pictures per day and a few video clips and for this type of use, having enough battery was no problem at all. I charged my iPhone and camera in the evenings and had plenty of battery for the next day. I did put my phone and camera in a sock inside of my sleeping bag. I didn’t do that with my external battery. I just put it in a sock and wrapped it in other clothes. The battery did not drain at all, and it worked perfectly. I was told not to leave the battery directly on the ground in the tent since the ground would get really cold at night and that’s how batteries drain.
Solar Panel With Battery Pack
If you’re a professional photographer or taking lots of videos you might want to consider having a couple of extra battery packs and use a solar panel charger when you can. My solar panel charger did not include a battery pack. I, therefore, had to directly connect my phone to the solar panel charger for it to charge and it would only charge when there was direct sunlight. It’s therefore not ideal to hang on your backpack during the day. It will start and stop charging again and again, and this I have heard is not good for the battery.
Need Direct Sunlight
From what I understand it’s not good for your battery to start and stop charging hundreds of times like that. These solar panel chargers are therefore best to use when you’re at a campsite and it can be placed in direct sunlight while charging without interruption.
I did see people hang batteries on the outside of their backpack with a built-in solar panel battery. These would be great to hang on your backpack to charge during the day, and then use to charge your camera in the evening.