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Gumbo's Pic of the Day, November 4, 2013: Sunset and Sunrise, Western Icefields, Mt. Kilimanjaro


I enjoy watching sunsets and sunrises whenever I can, mostly because of their beautiful light.  This particular sunset (above) was partially blocked by a thick convoluted mass of clouds below us, but the diffused and changing light were really magical, especially when reflected by the snow and a glacier.  

We had trekked up Mt. Kilimanjaro via the Shira route, which you can read about here if you're interested.  Our final camp was less than 300 m (1000 feet) altitude below the summit, ready for an early start to be on the "Roof of Africa" to enjoy the early morning light there.  We were camped beside the Furtwangler Glacier on the Summit Plateau of the Western Icefields.  The day had been cool and pleasant, but temperatures really plummeted after this sunset and I spent my coldest night ever in a tent on this very plateau.  Evening temperature dipped to -20 F (-30 C).   I was extremely grateful for the down sleeping bag I’d brought along; between that and my Thermarest pad I was quite comfortable in my tent.  But after a few hours sleep, we were up to complete our climb to through a layer of fresh powdery snow and watched a glorious sunrise (see photo below).  You can read about the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro here.

Mt. Kilimanjaro 3-1999 109 Western Icefields camp Sunrise


Images (2)
  • Sunset viewed from Summit Plateau, Mt. Kilimanjaro.: One tongue of the Furtwangler Glacier is to the right.  The clouds are mostly below us.
  • Sunrise viewed from near the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro

Twitter: @DrFumblefinger

"We do not take a trip, a trip takes us".  John Steinbeck, from Travels with Charlie

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