Team Ellen ascended the Barranco Wall then celebrated with singing and dancing together at Karanga Camp


Welcome to Skin Cancer Take a Hike’s fourth cybercast for Team Ellen. This is our longest cybercast! Day 4, Aloha from Karanga Camp at 13,200 feet, which this camp means Peanut Camp, named after the food hikers carried here before they attempted the summit.

Team Ellen, all eleven skin cancer prevention champions are feeling great! Today we left Barranco Camp and ascended the formidable Barranco Wall. At the top of the Barranco Wall, at 13,800 feet we traversed the southern ice fields gleaming in the sun glistening above us. Tom our Leader and Jonas our Tanzanian Leader said the glaciers are disappearing. The mountain was covered eighteen years ago, a hundred percent covered, and are expected to have a hundred percent glacial loss by 2020. Today was our shortest, most technical day requiring skills, scrambling the Barranco Wall, and then using poles on up and down ascents and wet, slippery descents over scree, which is very small glacial rock. Yes, half of us fell but only our egos were bruised.

Most of the day was through the cool mists of clouds, but sun protection was critical. Tori loved the Previse Super Chill Sunsheer because it cools and protects. Ellen shared the amazing Skinceuticals Eye Sunscreen which will be even more essential at the summit. We even shout out to other teams that they had sunburns on their necks and other forgotten places.

At the top of our last exhausting slow, dusty, rocky ascent at high sun, our amazing Team of sixty porters and crew sang incredible “congratulations” with infectious smiles that made us dance with them for hours. We are all an amazing Team now, and Team Ellen feels very protected, very safe, and super excited as we approach summit day tomorrow night. We are truly at the base of the crown of Mount Kilimanjaro, known as Stella Point.

Today’s highlights:

#1. The value of the Kilimanjaro chant, pole pole (slow and steady) hit home. We have achieved greater success by slow systematic climbing compared to the failure of the infamous “dash and crash”.

#2. Our guides remarked that Team Ellen is incredibly cohesive. No one races ahead, no one falls behind. This makes us stronger and makes their job easier. Hakuna matata together, all will be okay together, super duper.

#3. At this point, halfway through the trip, we’ve learned to care for ourselves in harsh, high altitudes, at varied terrains, harsh sun intensity, high stress, long, uncomfortable days, and with each other. Our Team is only getting closer and integrating with the greater Team of seventy-two people. We couldn’t do this without our reliable, excellent gear by Outdoor Products, like our packs, and poles, and water bottles, and water bladders. Our hard-shelled jackets from Marmot are warm and bright orange which is the color of the SPOT Skin Cancer’s Campaign for the American Academy of Dermatology.

Tonight’s Team Ellen shout outs are from Amanda and Linda:

Amanda Jacklin says: “To Mom, Dad, and Aunt Shay. I’m having a wonderful, meaningful climb. Team Ellen and I are doing great. Special shout out to Rachel, who has been super supportive of this trek. To Jared, I am thinking of you every day and I know you are watching over me.”

Linda Pack: “To Steven and Daniel, I’ve got the music in me on Kili, thank you! And to my entire wonderful family, friends, and loved ones who have supported me on this climb, I’m truly having the adventure of a lifetime. And I’ve got you on my wrist and in my heart.”

Lastly, tonight we will use the star chart from Marcelo at Marmur Medical because these stars this high are brilliant. And today we will finish linking hundreds of orange ribbons from our skin cancer survivors for our skin cancer prevention and healing energy ceremony at the summit on July 24th. Thanks again everyone and skin cancer: Take a Hike! Bye bye.


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