Nov 192008
 

shira-plateau-from-arrow-glacier

Anny Curry is still at Arrow Glacier camp and reports still feeling somewhat sick despite taking a rest day.  It was 3pm Kilimanjaro time at the time the video was made.  This is not a good sign and I predict she will not attempt the Western Breach tomorrow morning.  Proper acclimatization is particularly important when using the Western Breach because once a partial ascent is made, it is tremendously difficult, if not impossible, to descend on the breach.  Therefore, if her symptoms worsen during the climb, she will not be able to make an immediate descent, which is the best treatment for altitude sickness.  Instead, Curry would still have to continue climbing to the crater ridge before descending on the other side of the mountain.

Additionally, her itinerary probably calls for her to spend a night at Crater Camp (18,500 ft) tomorrow night.  The increase in altitude from Arrow Glacier to Crater Camp is beyond the recommended guidelines which say that ideally one should gain no more than 1,000 feet per night.  Crater Camp also sits in what is classified as the “extreme” zone – over 18,000 feet.  So it would be highly risky (and pretty foolish) for someone who is experiencing altitude sickness at 16,000 feet during a rest day to stay at Crater Camp on the next night.

Curry also mentioned on video that yesterday she climbed from Barranco Camp, not Moir Hut, to Arrow Glacier.  Barranco sits at about 13,000 feet.  Thus, it appears that her climb itinerary looks like this so far.

Machame/Western Breach

  1. Machame Gate to Machame Camp (9,350 ft)
  2. Machame camp to Shira Camp (12,500 ft)
  3. Shira Camp to Barranco Camp (13,044 ft)
  4. Barranco to Arrow Glacier Camp (15,998 ft)
  5. Rest day at Arrow Glacier Camp (15,998 ft)

Again, this is not a typical itinerary.  I’ll be watching closely to see what happens from here.

Nov 182008
 

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Ann Curry, Today show anchor, is reporting from Arrow Glacier camp (16,000 ft).  She stated that she has climbed from 13,000 to 16,000 ft. today in 8 hours, which suggests that she left from Moir camp (13,800 ft).  The distance between Moir to Arrow Glacier is about 5 miles.  This would not be a typical itinerary, if this is the case.  The Machame route usually goes from Shira Camp to Arrow Glacier, with a stop at Lava Tower.  Moir Hut is used moreso on the Lemosho route.

Curry is feeling the effects of altitude and will stay at this altitude for an extra day to acclimatize. From what I can gather from her videos and journal entries, she began her Machame route climb on November 15th, making today her fourth day on the mountain.  Her summit attempt should occur on November 20th (day six) or 21st (day seven), depending on whether she spends a night at Crater Camp at all, and if so, whether it is before or after summiting.  The next segment, the climb up the Western Breach to Crater Camp (18,500 ft), should prove to be the most physically challenging of her journey.

Videos of Curry’s climb are linked below: