DAY FOUR: Thursday December 9, 2010

Crossing the Saddle to Horombo (Altitude: 3,700m)

Enjoying the view from 4.500 metres above sea level

Enjoying the view from 4.500 metres above sea level

Hi All,

Today we have headed south towards Horombo, crossing the dramatic and windswept Saddle, a barren plain of alpine desert between Mawenzi and Kibo, Kilimanjaro’s two peaks.

The weather is a little better, but the going is getting tougher and tougher. It seems to be constantly steep and as we started to approach the highest point yet, 4,500 metres above sea level, sheer exhaustion sets in for much of the group, and with heavy legs and chests pounding due to a lack of oxygen, every step becomes an effort.

It is also a team effort to climb the Kilimanjaro

We followed a path stretching out ahead of us where we were supposed to enjoy breathtaking views of the mountain, but the swirling cloud is limiting that.

After reaching 4,500 metres, we were thankful to start heading down towards the Horombo campsite, at 3,700 metres, providing the opportunity for much needed rest and a chance to acclimatise.

The brave group celebrates

The brave group celebrates

We have two days to go before we reach the summit and the group’s mood is fluctuating between exhaustion and exhilaration. It has been tougher than I imagined, but that is when everyone has come together to support each other.

Martina

The team need all the help they can get to reach their fundraising target, so show your support and sponsor them at www.laureus.com/get-involved/kili

The camp for the night

14 Comments Add your own

  1. Glyn on 09.12.2010 19:12

    Well done – it hasn’t been plain sailing but I am sure it will all be worth it once you get to the summit. You will feel on top of the world in more ways than one!

  2. Joyce Higginson on 09.12.2010 19:12

    Well done to you the going certainly looks tough but you look like you are enjoying it. Especial good luck to my daughter x

  3. Mary Ellen Washienko on 09.12.2010 22:12

    Great leader and great team spirit on the challenge of getting to the summit of Kilimanjaro amidst tough weather conditions. I know it’s the Dream of a Lifetime of preparation for my twin sister Linda Burtis and husband Dave in the group. We all love following your footsteps on Martina’s daily blog! Go for the summit!
    Love to all. Mary Ellen Washienko-Boston

  4. wil on 09.12.2010 23:12

    The team went back from 4330 meters yesterday to 3700 meter today.
    I know they have to acclimatise but are they still on schedule after all the bad weather.
    Looks like the team has to do a lot the last 2 days to the summit. I am glad Martina says it is becoming quite a team effort in these difficult circumstances.

  5. Martina’s Kilimanjaro Updates « Adirondack Tennis on 10.12.2010 00:12

    [...] Martina’s Kilimanjaro climb faces the toughest going yet, but team spirit is getting the Laureus t… [...]

  6. Andrea Ramsteck on 10.12.2010 01:12

    Keep on going as far as possible. Your amazing challenge will be successfull anyway! People all over the world stay by your side with hearts and thoughts. Come back healthy. Best regards from Berlin.

  7. Cheryl Avants on 10.12.2010 03:12

    My husband and I went up Rongai route in October, but in good weather…our group of 5 all made it up…I don’t know any of you, but will be thinking about all of you for your last 2 days to the summit. It is truly is pole’, pole’! My last hour and 1/2 was 5 steps stop and take 2 breaths. That pace works. Much success!

  8. wil on 10.12.2010 11:12

    Very sorry to hear that Martina had to abandon her climb, you could read on thursday that she found it though maybe she was ill already. She was asked in january to do this climb before she got cancer probably next year would have been better to do this. Martina you are
    still a champion to me, see it as a lost Wimbledon final

  9. Glyn on 10.12.2010 11:12

    Get well soon, Champ. God Bless.

  10. Carmel Bishop on 10.12.2010 12:12

    Well done everyone, keep going strong!
    I will be thinking of you all…well done Dougie I am very proud of you, and missing you loads x

  11. ANNA VEROULI on 10.12.2010 13:12

    we will be thinking of you all!!!! Nikola Michalopoulos we are very proud of you! We missing you!!!! Anna ,Maria,Rena, Paris, Oliver,Alexandra,Violleta and the parents!!!!!!!

  12. Suzanne on 10.12.2010 17:12

    Martina: congrats on your climb, it may not have been to the top, but it’s grand anyway. You’ve accomplished enough in your life heretofore, so this feat is enough in itself. I’ve been a tennis fan of yours since day one. Happy Holidays! Suzanne

  13. Navratilova hospitalized after giving up on Kilimanjaro climb | Tennis.fm – Tennis News, Blog, Players and Videos on 11.12.2010 09:12

    [...] the fourth day: The weather is a little better, but the going is getting tougher and tougher. It seems to be [...]

  14. RHEA FARRELL on 13.12.2010 01:12

    MARTINA, JUST THE SELFLESSNESS OF YOU IN GETTING THIS FAR TO HELP KIDS IS A GREAT ACCOMPLISHMENT. TRUST YOUR RECOVERY WILL BE A SPEEDY ONE.

    ON BEHALF OF THE FIGHT BACK JUJITSU PROJECT IN THE BRONX NY.

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