I probably should have researched this climb more carefully because if I did, then I would have realised it's not just an easy days trek! Having summited Mount Kilimanjaro the week before I believed that this climb would be far less challenging and require far less motivation. It became clear to me that it was already not as simple as first thought when our Maasai guide instructed us to be up and ready to leave the tented camp at midnight so we could begin the accent in the dark. The accent was incredibly demanding, requiring me to often use hands and feet and be bent over crawling up the volcano rather than walking. I definitely recommend hiking poles for this climb. However the view of the stars as I climbed was quite spectacular, and made it worth while. After what seemed like days of clambering, we finally reached the rather rim. After sleeping for an hour to wait and see sunrise (take warm clothes for this wait!!) we begun our decent. I personally am not great with heights, and it seemed inevitable that I would need to face my fear on the way down after thinking of how steep it was on the way up. It was not as scary as I thought, apart from dodging falling rocks from people behind.. This section was by far the hardest as it puts much strain on the knees along with having very low morale because of being tired and in slight pain. It is extremely dusty on the way down, if you war contact lenses (like I do) I recommend you wear good sunglasses overtop as I had to take my contacts out on the way down because they became too dusty. After finally reaching the jeep, I realised what a feat this climb actually was, accenting and descending a 10,000 foot ACTIVE volcano all in the space of 10 hours is quite an achievement. I definitely recommend you do this if feeling physically up to it, it makes for a good story!
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