DAY THREE: Wednesday December 8, 2010
Mawenzi Tarn (4,330 metres)

Mount Kilimanjaro behind clouds

Mount Kilimanjaro behind clouds

Hi All,

Well, no one prepared me for this. As we headed for Mawenzi Tarn, we have had to fight our way through blizzards and cope with unexpected bitter cold.  The snow is not settling on the ground, thank goodness, but still the conditions are very difficult and unpleasant.

Martina and the brave Laureus fundraisers are climbing at over 4000m

The guides tell me this is most unusual, but that is not much consolation. I brought my sun-block with me, but clearly that’s not going to be needed. We have sent a message down to out base camp to bring up thicker gloves, hand warmers and more heavy clothing.

I was expecting it to be cold and snowy, but not so soon. One thing is clear – it’s going to add to the difficulty of the climb, but we are all in good spirits and the difficult conditions have brought us even more together as a group.

Martina's still having fun

We should have been walking above the cloudline at increasingly high altitude, but we really have no idea what is around us. There are no views, we are walking through thick mist unable to see more than a couple of metres ahead.

After four hours of trekking, we reached Mawenzi Tarn campsite, situated right underneath the dramatic and jagged spires of Mawenzi, in a protected hollow and next to a tiny lake. There were supposed to be superb views across the saddle to Kibo, but sadly we have not been able to enjoy that.

After our lunch we were supposed to be going on an acclimatization walk where we went up and down the mountain to get a taste of an even higher altitutde, but we have had to cancel that. It would just be too difficult and too dangerous.

Lunch in the tent

Lunch in the tent

Climbing high and then returning lower to sleep is an important part of allowing our bodies to get used to the altitude, but we are not going to be able to do that now. We have been playing charades to keep our spirits up. It’s not what I expected, but you have to get on and cope with whatever you find.

Dont forget to sponsor the team and help us reach our fundraising target, at


Martina Navratilova on Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania

9 Comments Add your own

  1. Glyn on 08.12.2010 19:12

    Hope the weather improves for you. Today must have been difficult – glad you are all safe & keeping your spirits up. Good luck & better weather for the climb to the top.

  2. iwona on 08.12.2010 21:12

    Hi Marti! we are following your climb..thinking about you..Love, I.

  3. Cheryl (Tigre') Moseley on 08.12.2010 22:12

    Looking at the picture of your troupe trekking single file, I’m reminded of the “Little Train That Could.” Keep chugging up that mountain! W00T!

  4. Nancy Nichols on 09.12.2010 05:12

    Great reports. Hope the weather improved. I would have turned back and hired a helicopter. Kick ass! XxooNick

  5. Lindy on 09.12.2010 07:12

    Sincerely hope you enjoy better visibility and conditions today. I will be climbing the Machame route next week – I just hope the snow remains on the summit for me.

  6. carole commeinhes on 09.12.2010 12:12

    i’m following your climb and it’s not a piece of cake !Hope you’ll have a better weather and enjoy the landscape .Good luck for all the team.

  7. Pavla on 09.12.2010 14:12

    Hi Marti, go slow and try to use the yoga long breth, your trip is a part of meditation, therapy. You will see, how light and clear will be your head after that. Enjoy it, pavla.

  8. Angie on 09.12.2010 16:12

    Hi, Martina, so glad you are doing fine. Take it one step at a time, and know that we are cheering you on to reach the top. Be careful!!!

  9. Navratilova hospitalized after giving up on Kilimanjaro climb on 11.12.2010 04:12

    [...] the third day, she wrote: Well, no one prepared me for this. As we headed for Mawenzi Tarn, we have had to fight our way [...]

Add your comment