Fellow explorers,

Hope you are following along Ava and Clara – I keep thinking of how neat it would be if I could stream this entire trip live for you to feel the ground and smell the changes in the air. It’s really unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.

Yesterday, we worked harder and trekked 10 km, crossing what are called scree slopes and a river valley. It was nothing like the ancient riverbed I walked through last year in Baffin Island. We made it as far as the Barranco Camp as planned, which took us up another 4,000 m.

But today is a really big day as we walk through another new landscape zone called Alpine Desert. I’m a little nervous about having to climb over the Barranco Wall. It’s a little daunting to think we’ll be using our arms and having to hoist ourselves over this rocky and giant 800 foot wall. As you can see from this photo that I found online (Photo credit: Pittsburg Post Gazette), it will be a mental and physical challenge.

That might be me today – hugging the wall and trying not to look up or down at the Barranco Valley below. My plan is to stay focused on just moving forward! I love how the porter is smiling and looks like he’s having a great time without a worry in the world.

Today’s plan:

Destination – Karanga Camp with an elevation 4035m/13,238 ft.

  • Walking distance – about 6 km
  • Walking time – about 3-5 hours, depending on how we feel
  • Altitude gain – about 845 m/2772 ft up


The entire area we’re walking through is really dry and filled with rock crannies so I’ll be watching my steps so I don’t twist an ankle. We’ll see insects and maybe the odd bird of prey like the white necked raven or if we’re lucky, one of these bearded vultures. The Alpine temperatures can swing by as much as 40 degrees from summer to winter temperatures so it’s hard to know what to expect. The guides will be a huge help in telling us what clothing layers to wear.

Lammergeyers, sometimes called Bearded Vultures

Messages from Rose:

10:11 pm 2/26/2020:

So sore, it’s a big day – Barranco Wall. I’m scared but anxious to get it done.

Photo Credit: africasafari.co.uk/

4:24 am 2/27/2020

We scaled a wall essentially. This was a hard day doing the Barranco wall – this trip is more physically exhausting than the Arctic.

We are changing plans and doing double duty Going to Summit tomorrow and hoping we don’t have issues with extra altitude. My pulse ox is good- 92%.

Rose McInerney

Author Rose McInerney

Rose combines her love of all things artfully-designed to connect women to a shared community of learning and a richer, more fulfilled self. As a passionate storyteller, published writer, and international traveler, Rose believes women can build a better world through powerful storytelling.

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