Kilimanjaro Day 5 is a blur for me. I think I was “high” on altitude or something. In the video I recorded when I arrived at Kosovo Camp, I was just rambling. I was exhausted from the trek as you can probably tell 🙂
Video From Kilimanjaro Day 5
Kilimanjaro High Camp
We were fortunate to be able to stay at a camp that is higher up than Barafu Camp. Barafu Camp is referred to as “High Camp,” but there is a location that is even higher than Barafu Camp, called Kosovo Camp. It takes about an hour to walk from Barafu Camp to Kosovo Camp. What is nice about setting camp at Kosovo is that for summit day we did not have to climb this 1 hour stretch in the dark (using headlamps) since we climbed it on Day 5 instead.
From Barafu Camp
Most people leave around midnight to start their summit trek from Barafu Camp. It’s only about an hour of a climb up to Kosovo Camp, but in the middle of the night when it’s dark and fairly steep, that one hour climb is a really big deal!!
Here is a view of Barafu Camp from Kosovo Camp:
From Kosovo Camp
Since we spent the night at Kosovo Camp we got up at 3:30 AM and then left at 5 AM. If your trekking company is able to secure a spot at Kosovo Camp, then it makes the climb on Summit Day a lot easier.
The walk from Karanga Camp to Kosovo Camp was about a 4-hour walk. I still can’t remember much of the terrain, but I’m sure it’s like the picture below 😉 At this point I was exhausted and didn’t have the strength to record many video clips. I was just trying to get up there!
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I would pressure breath the whole time and take slow steps. Kosovo Camp is at about 4,800 meters (almost 16,000 feet), which is quite high up there!
The DeLorme Insight Explorer GPS was showing 4875 meters (16000 feet) at Kosovo Camp.
Acclimatizing Before Summit Day
I felt that my body had done a great job to acclimatize to this elevation. I measured at about 94% with oxygen in my body. This is considered above average for that elevation. The lowest I had been was 84% when we arrived at Karanga Camp.
Here is my Climbing Kilimanjaro Gear List.
I wish I would have purchased a pulse oximeter and brought it with me so I could have documented what I measured at multiple times a day. Here is a popular pulse oximeter on Amazon made by Santamedical.
Packing For The Big Day
When we arrived at Kosovo Camp we rested and the started preparing our gear for the next day. We went to bed a lot earlier than previous nights, since we would be waking up at 3:30 AM. I slept in the thermal clothing I would wear the following day and had all my gear out, so it was easily accessible. We would leave in the morning when it was still dark, therefore having a good headlamp is important and WITH new batteries. Changing batteries on a headlamp in the dark is not easy 🙂
Warm Clothing For Kilimanjaro Day 6 Summit Day
I would encourage you to bring really, really warm clothes for the first 2 hours of the hike. Then make it easy for you to remove the ultra warm clothing when the sun comes out and it warms up. I had thermal pants, thin hiking pants, fleece pants and then thick outer winter pants. The fleece pants and outer winter pants I removed when it got warmer. I had 3 pairs of socks on AND small hand-warmers in my hiking boots 🙂 I removed 1 pair of ultra warm socks and the hand-warmers when it warmed up.
If you’re starting from Barafu Camp at midnight, then you might actually want to wear the warm clothing for most of the day since you’ll probably summit around sunrise. But if you start the day at Kosovo Camp at 5AM like we did, you only need warm clothing for the first couple of hours when it’s freezing cold.