The summit of Kilimanjaro is the final moment of a long journey that begins with a dream and takes courage, hard work and ambition to achieve. At 5885m, Kilimanjaro is the highest peak on the African continent.
On February 8, 15 students left Switzerland with the goal of the summit firmly in their mind. Arriving in Tanzania they were taken to the base camp and after a full day instruction and checking of kit, they took their first steps towards the summit. Following the Machame route, which is renowned for its spectacular views and level of acclimatization, the group passed through rainforest, across the Shera Plateau arriving at the high-altitude camp at 4900m on the 14th of February.
As the group rested before the planned summit attempt, the wind picked up during the night and with gusts of up to 80km/ hour, it became evident that the mountain was dictating the rules. Surveying the damage to the tents and equipment and realising that the mess tent and two of the groups smaller tents were destroyed, the group had no choice but to head back to the safety of lower climates and the comfort of a warm shower.
Whilst it was disappointing not to reach the summit, the courage, commitment and teamwork of the group was incredible and our students can feel rightly proud of their achievement.