The second day started with a comprehensive breakfast at 7am, we left camp at 8am. Today a more demanding stage awaited us. 1,000 height meter had to be climbed, the final altitude of 3,720m have already been a record for some of us. After half an hour we were leaving the rain forest and were able to see the summit for the first day: Uhuru Peak at 5,895m – at that time more than almost 3.000 height meters still to go!
The vegetation was now reduced to small bushes that can cope with the more and more extreme conditions at that altitude. Today the first of us got the first altitude sickness symptoms like headaches, presumably because of insufficient fluid intake. At altitude the body responds to the reduced oxygen level with increased respiration, which, in combination with a low air humidity, leads to a high demand for water. Where as most of us don’t drink more than 1.5 liters of liquid per day at see level we had to triple that on the mountain. Up to 5 liters can be seen as adequate.
As most of us where using a drinking system, which is mainly a water bubble in your backpack, we were unable to see how much we had already drunk. In every single case we’ve had more water left than we thought to have. I had prepared myself to this in a special way: I wanted to know, how much and how often I can or need to drink in a certain period of time. So what I did at home was to fill up the drinking system, put it on a kitchen scale and measured the amount of water which was “missing” after drinking once. This way I knew that I could drink twice in ten minutes for the duration of a six hour stage. Might be a bit freaky, but worked for me… 😉
Fact sheet day 2:
- starting altitude: 2,720m
- final altitude: 3,720m
- altitude gain: 1,000m
- distance: 12.5km
Altitude – distance chart:
Follow me to Day 3: Acclimatization day: to the Zebra Rocks