We got up around 6, although we hadn't slept all through the night, so while we'd gotten a lot of sleep, it wasn't quite 10 hours. There was a nice sunrise illuminating Shira and Mt Meru (back left in this photo). After eating breakfast, we headed out around 8:30. We had a short walk northwards, to Moir Hut. Moir Hut isn't on many itineraries, as it is mostly used for the circuit track. We were using it to acclimatize, adding an extra day to the "standard" Lemosho route. Our wake up call (not that we ever needed it), breakfast, and departure time were all an hour later since the walk was shorter.

The whole morning wake-up process was something that they had down to a science. Zachio would come by and make sure we were awake. He would have with him a mug of coffee for Crystal and a mug of hot chocolate for Justin, to help us wake up and - more importantly - warm our hands. About five minutes later he'd come by with two bowls of hot water and say "Warm water for wash. Wash your hands, wash your face." We used one of them more as the wash bowl, and the other one more as the rinse bowl. 30 minutes after the initial wake-up call, breakfast would be ready, and it almost always consisted of porridge (which came first), toast, eggs, some sort of meat, and then fruit, which was usually papaya. We would warm up our hands with the porridge (and/or our coffee or hot chocolate), and when our fingers were sufficiently warm Joseph would put a sensor on our index finger that would measure our oxygen level and our pulse. Joseph would also ask whether we had headache, nausea, good appetitte, and also how well we slept and how much water we drank since the last time he asked us the same questions (i.e., at dinner the night before). While we were eating breakfast, the porters would be taking down our tent and getting everything ready. The two of us and Joseph would head out just after breakfast, and the porters would follow us as they finished taking everything down.

The hike was a slow, steady uphill, during which the plant life slowly disappeared. Moir Hut Camp (4155 meters, 13,631 feet) is in a former glacial valley. It took right around 2 hours to get there, so much shorter than the previous couple days. There were big rock formation just above, to the north, of camp. There were also good views to the East (Kibo) and the South (Shira). It was a very nice spot, but it was fairly windy. We couldn't tell if that was common or just like that today.

We took showers after getting to camp, and did our best to not catch hypothermia in the process. As with the morning routine, there was a routine when we would arrive at camp as well. When we arrived, Zachio and the guides would all tell us good job and either high-five or shake our hands. Then Zachio would show us where the hot water bucket was, and give the same "Warm water for wash. Wash your hands, wash your face." instruction. There would be two closed buckets, one for some elevation and one with the hot water, above a metal bowl. On top of the upper bucket would be a bar of soap and some pump soap. Zachio would then show us to our tent, and then tell us that the shower tent was either ready or roughly how long it would be until it was ready. He'd also get a sense of whether we were going to use it, so he could tell Elo not to get water if we weren't going to use it. We arrived so early it wasn't lunch yet - even after finishing our showers - so we read for a bit until lunch. It was noticeably colder, with clouds and wind. After lunch, we went back to reading. Crystal took another afternoon nap, while Justin walked around the periphery of the campsite, including checking out Moir Hut itself. It used to be used for shelter, but long since stopped being useful for that, and now sadly is badly vandalized.

At 4:30, we grabbed some snacks. then we had a short acclimatization hike at 5, going up the rock formation to the north of camp. There were great views from the top. We practiced using trekking poles on the way down. On our practice hikes, we never used any trekking poles, as we didn't want to practice anything that steep heading down because of the fear we might stumble and hurt ourselves before leaving for Africa. But for Kilimanjaro, we had rented two poles each, but didn't really need (or want) to use them on the way up, but we knew we'd need them on the way down. They were somewhat helpful, but also meant we didn't have a free hand if we needed to grab something. Crystal used two poles, Justin decided to use just one.


We went back to the room shortly after dinner, as it was already quite cold, with frost already on the tents. The stars were spectacular, but it was way too cold to stay outside to enjoy them. For the first time, we made sure to put the cameras and the batteries in the sleeping bags, so that we wouldn't have to worry about them freezing - especially since we had no means of re-charging them.