Tomorrow morning, I'm off to hike Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. It is 19,334 ft above sea level at the summit, the tallest peak in Africa.
If we're doing well, we'll even sleep one night inside the Crater, at roughly 18,000 ft. That should be amazing and painful at the same time. We'll be hitting the summit around new moon. Most people go for full moon as you have to do some night hiking, but we'll be hiking during the Perseids meteor shower, so the lack of moonlight, the lack of human-made light, and the high altitude should really make for quite a show.
I was hoping to be able to use MyTracks on the journey and post the route when I return. On some test trips, I tried a few solar chargers to keep my phone going, but none of them were able to collect as many photons as my Nexus One wanted to eat. I'll still be bringing the phone along for identifying stars (see my previous post), but I'll leave it off most of the way. I'll also bring back lots of photos to share on the blog.
If you want to get more involved, Jeremy, one of the other hikers, will be carrying a Spot messaging device that will track our route. You can see the map at http://jeremyshapiro.com/kili/. Another way to participate it to "sponsor" our climb in a sense. Matt Cutts set up a page at charity:water in honor of our trip, and he blogged a little bit about his choice of charities. Lastly, check back in about 2 weeks for a final update.