The Rongai route six day ascent and descent of Kilimanjaro felt like a hit and run trip to me but overall very well run and conducted by skilled professional people. Rongai is frequently touted as being a quiter route, unfortunately simply due to the luck of the draw our group was roughly mirroring the progress of at least two other groups on the same route and we frequently came into contact with each other on the trail and obviously at the camp sites. Perceptions of how easy or hard something is will obviously depend upon the individual, I personally found the first three days of this route to be easy to moderate hiking, enjoyable and certainly not challenging. At the end of the third day, at Mawenzi Tarn camp I got my only significant symptoms of altitude sickness for the entire trip, a very obvious headache that would come and go. After a night's "sleep" it had gone and never came back. Poor quality sleep is a real issue for everyone, guides as well. The high altitude affects your ability to sleep properly, frequently waking in the night was common amongst nearly everyone in the group as was the feeling we hadn't really slept at all but we'd comment that about remembering our dreams so must have been asleep at some point. That third night at Mawenzi Tarn is likely to be the last sleep you get before attempting the summit on the night of the fourth day. Virtually no one sleeps at Kibo Camp at 4700M, it's just too high up and of course you're trying to rest and sleep while it's still daylight and the noise of numerous climbing parties goes on outside. Once the night comes and you prepare for the summit climb the air is electric with nervous excitement and you may see the light trails of groups already making their climb. Within minutes of setting off both myself and another member of our group had taken our gloves off. With all those layers on we were getting hot, very hot. At the first rest stop I ended up stripping off my second pair of thermal leggings and took my down body warmer off too. It's surprising how hard work that is approaching 5000metres up. We read how it can be up to -20C on the summit but the reality that night was -7C, still cold but a fair way from -20C. Incidentally you don't need a super high spec head torch that will turn night into day for the night climb, all it needs to do is light up the ground immediately in front of you as far as the heels of the person in front of you, that's all you need to see. I GPS tracked our summit attempt at 0.7 km/h, 700 metres per hour!!! That is how slow you go, painfully slow, in more ways than one but there are many times when even that felt too quick. Despite a number of rest stops they never seem to be enough and the feeling of really pushing your limits in the thin air are ever present. Eventually the ridge does start to get closer and you emerge onto Gillman's Point to immense relief and elation at finishing the main climb and knowing you made it to the summit crater. Sadly at this point we had to leave one of our group behind as we headed on for Uhuru peak via Stella point. We watched the sun rise from Stella Point which was beautiful and put a smile back on our faces despite being very tired now. A short time later we arrived at Uhuru Peak, miussion accomplished. All that was missing was football stadium style turnstiles, there was quite a crowd there but we got our photos and after only fifteen minutes or so were on a our way back down... no one complained. We did however complain about the speed of descent. We were very sore and tired but felt we were being relentlessly marched down with no regard for that and so started taking our own rest stops. For the only time on the trip there might have been a little tension between the conflicting wishes of the guides and the clients. Anyway the descent continued and we got over it. A short rest stop at Kibo Huts. The crew had made a big brunch for us but we barely touched it we were that exhausted... sorry guys, it was then a sustained descent for the next day and a half until we finally emerged at marangu gate. Fantastic!