I consider this to be the most physically and mentally exhausting day of the trip. The fabled Barranco Wall greeted us as we were one of the first groups to await our ascent at the base. While scaling the wall was not a technical climb it was a very steep face. The journey up was less of a climb than it was walking along a ledge of switchbacks. At the top while we were exhausted, we had enough energy to dance together. The top of the wall however was hardly the end of our day. We would venture on through the rocky, barren landscape for several more hours.
The excitement I felt in the morning from a wonderful night sleep was ruined that night when my body completely and utterly quit. My body could no longer take the strain I was putting it under and collapsed. The first to dinner all I could think about was scarfing food so I could attempt to pass out and feel better. I thought sleep and some stretching might just do the trick. I will never forget having to defend my need to sleep as being more important than the ridiculous portions we were expected to finish. In fact I felt so horrid that I began to question whether or not I would be able to push through.
This was a very defeating night. Here I had come so far along with the singular goal to gaze out from Uhuru Peak only to feel so dreadful the night before our final push. In the end though, failing to summit would be a reflection of myself I would be unable to accept – so I decided I had come too far not to push through. I would continue no matter how fatigued.
We would push on from 4,000 to 4,600 meters the next day journeying from Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp. I would wake up with enough energy to push through, but I remember being distinctly singular. I did not really speak with anyone in an attempt to focus on my well being.