Climbing Mt. KIlimanjaro

 

Mount Kenya is Africa’s second highest mountain at 5,199m (17,058 feet) and the highest of all Kenya Mountains. Mount Kenya is roughly circular, about 60km across at the 200mm contour, where the steep font hills rise out of the gentler slopes of the centered highlands. At the centre of the massif, the main peaks rise sharply from around 4,500m to the main summit of Batian 5,199m, Nelion 5,188m and point Lenana 4,985m.

Other major summits on the mountain include Point Piggott 4,957m, Point Dutton 4,885 and Point John 4,883m. Of the three main peaks (Batian, Lenana and Nelion), only point Lenana can be reached by trekkers and the other two being only for technical climbers.

7 Days: Mt. Kilimanjaro climbing Adventure: The gentle Marangu Route

Trip Narration

The Marangu route is the most popular Kilimanjaro climb and is nicknamed the Coca-cola route followed by ninety percent of all climbers. The path is well defined and climber friendly to make your adventure a little easier. The popular Kilimanjaro climb offers accommodation at Mandara, Horombo, and Kibo en route and accommodation on this route consists of built mountain huts providing adequate shelter, bottled water, beer and soft drinks.  This route can be extended with extra acclimatization day at Horombo.

Itinerary:

Arrive Kilimanjaro airport.  At the airport, you will go through the Immigration process – US$ 50.00 PP Visa Fee - there after proceed to Springland Hotel or similar bed & breakfast.

Day 1:

Marangu Gate (1980m) - Mandara hut (2700m)

Hiking time: 5 hours

Distance: About 12 km's

Habitat: Montane forest Moorland

On arrival allow 1-2 hours at the Park Headquarters at Marangu Gate for registration and payment of fees. It is recommended that you start this route in the morning, because this allows a leisurely walk to Mandara, avoiding the rain showers that sometimes fall in the afternoon. From the gate, you ascend a cleared ridge trail, formerly a vehicle track to Mandara Hut. The cleared trail is the fastest way to Mandara, but opportunities to see wildlife or enjoy the forest are limited due to the heavy foot traffic. An alternative is to ascend along the parallel forest trail and descend on the main trail. The forest trail branches off to the left, a few minutes after the gate, and follows the edge of a stream through the undergrowth. About halfway (1 1/2 hrs from the gate) you can choose to cross the stream and rejoin the main trail, or continue on the forest trail. Both trails continue on opposite sides of the stream, merging about one hour before Mandara Hut. (B,L,D)

Day 2:

Mandara hut (2700m) - Horombo hut (3720m)

Hiking time: 6 hours

Distance: About 15 km's

Habitat: Moorland

From Mandara Hut the trail passes through a short stretch of forest and skirts the base of Maundi Crater, crosses a meadow and a wooded stream, then emerges into grassland. It is well worth the short detour to scramble up to the rim of Maundi Crater for a superb view of the mountain and its surroundings. The trail crosses numerous moorland ravines before ending at Horombo Hut, which is set in a rocky valley with a fine stand of giant senecios or groundsels. (B,L,D)

Day 3:

Kilimanjaro Climb – Aclimatization -  Horombo Hut.
Acclimatization day beyond 12,000ft and return to the hut. Dinner and an overnight stay at Horombo hut (BLD)

Day 4:

Horombo hut (3720m) - Kibo hut (4700m)

Hiking time: 6 hours

Distance: About 15 km's

Habitat: Alpine desert

From Horombo Hut there are two trails to the Saddle. The right fork is very stony and eroded and is the most direct route to the Saddle and Mawenzi. From the Saddle (about 2 hrs from Horombo), there are trails to Mawenzi Hut (1/2hr) or Mawenzi Tarn Hut (2 1/2 hrs) and across the length of the Saddle to Kibo Hut (3 hrs). The left fork from Horombo Hut is an easier trail and emerges on the Saddle much closer to Kibo and about one kilometer from Kibo Hut. (B,L,D)

Day 5: SUMMIT ATTEMPT!!

Kibo hut (4700m) - Uhuru Peak (5895m) - Horombo hut (3720m)

Hiking time: 8 hours to Uhuru

6 hours to descend to Horombo Distance:

6 km's ascent - 21 km's descent

Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit

The trail to the summit lies directly behind Kibo Hut, to the west. It is normal to start this day's climb at 2 am or earlier. (You can see the sun rise over Mawenzi from the top of Kibo, the loose stone scree is frozen —making it easier to climb, and you can get back in good time). The first part is an uneven trail which leads to the Hans Meyer Cave , a good rest point. After that, the trail makes more regular switchbacks most of the way to the top, with a last scramble over rocks to Johannes Notch and Giliman's Point. From there, the trail continues along the rim past Stella Point to Uhuru Peak . As you descend the scree from the rim back to Kibo Hut, it is tempting to run fast, but this can result in clouds of irritating dust and even unpleasant falls. The return to Horombo Hut will seem surprisingly fast compared to the ascent. (B,L,D)

Day 6:

Horombo hut (3720m) - Marangu Gate (1980m)

Hiking time: 6 hours

Distance: About 27 km's

Descend from Horombo Hut. You can easily make Mandara Hut by lunchtime, and continue to the Park gate and Marangu in the afternoon. (B,L,). Note:Accommodation after climb to be arranged on request.

 

8 Days: Mt.  Kilimanjaro: Lemosho glades via Barafu Route

Trip Narration

Lemosho is the longest of the outfield routes, and sometimes regarded as the second timers Kilimanjaro route, although it is also for anyone with an appetite for a quieter trail and a more remote atmosphere. Some would say that the beauty of the trail is a little less accessible than Machame, and certainly the rolling Shira Plateau that is one of the principal features of the trail adds an interesting texture quite as it allows for a more moderate process of acclimatization.

The climb itself can take either 7 or 8 days, with 8 days being recommended in order that climbers have more opportunity to acclimate before the brutal summit day. This route is not nearly as popular as Machame or Marangu, but it’s a good one to consider because the longer climbing time equals a greater chance of reaching the summit with fewer problems.

The Lemosho trailhead is situated well west of the other routes, but from day 4 onwards it merges with Machame and follows the same course from then on. And quite as most Machame groups descend on the separate Mweka Route, Lemosho groups typically do as well.

It takes about 3 hours to drive from Moshi to the official trailhead. Below is the normal 8-day itinerary, with a note about the 7-day version below:

Day 1:

Londorossi Gate to Mti Mkumbwa (2,650 m/8,692 ft)
Hike time: 3hrs
Elevation Change: + 650 M/+2,132
Estimation distance: 10 km
Final Elevation: 2,650 m/8,694 ft

After the morning drive to the trailhead you’ll spend the first day with an armed ranger due to the animal population in this forest area, stopping at the Mti Mkumbwa Camp after only about 3 hours of climbing.

Day 2:

Mti Mkubwa (2,650 m/8,692 ft) to Shira One Camp (3,609 m/11,841 ft.)
Hike time: 5 – 6 hrs
Elevation change: + 950 M/+3116
Estimation distance: 12 km
Final Elevation: 3609 m/11,841 ft

This day starts in the forest and gets considerably steeper as you go through the heather and moorland areas before camping at the Shira Plateau in a large, open, and scenic area at the Shira One Camp.

Day 3:

Shira One Camp (3,609 m/11,841 ft.) to Shira Two Camp (3,849 m/12,628 ft.)
Hike time: 5 - 6 hrs
Elevation change: + 240 M/+787 ft
Elevation distance: 5 km
Final elevation: 3849 m/12,628 ft.

This day takes you on a gentle walk across the plateau for some excellent scenery while your body continues to acclimatize.

NOTE: From Shira Two Camp on, this route is identical to Machame Route, including the descent on the separate Mweke Route. If you’ve taken Lemosho you’ve done another day at this point, so Day 4 of Lemosho is identical to Day 3 of Machame and so on.

Day 4:

Shira Two Camp (3,849 m/12,628 ft.) to Barranco Hut (3,948 m/12,956 ft.)
Hike time: 5 hrs
Elevation change: +100 M/+328 ft
Estimated distance: 6 km
Final elevation: 3948 m/12,956 ft.

The morning climb is somewhat steep on this day as you ascend to Lava Tower at 4,600 meters at midday before descending again on the scenic route to Barranco Camp. This is a great example of the climb high/sleep low rule that helps people acclimatize safely.

Day 5:

Barranco Hut (3,900 m/12,800 ft) to Karanga Valley (3,963 m/13,000 ft)
Hike time: 3.5 hrs
Elevation change: +100 m/+328 ft
Estimated distance: 4km/2.5 miles
Final elevation: 3,963 m/13,000 ft

You climb the Great Barranco Wall, which looks more intimidating than it really is, and down into the Karanga Valley. This day has many ups and downs and crosses many small streams before crossing the Karanga River just before camp.

Day 6:

Karanga Valley (3,963 m/13,000 ft) to Barafu Hut (4,600 m/15,091 ft)
Hike time: 3.5 hrs
Elevation change: +600 m/+1,968 ft
Estimated distance: 4km/2.5 miles
Final elevation: 4,600 m/15,091 ft

You climb through rocky and otherwise barren terrain on your way to Barafu Camp. The camp is in another cold and windy area, but you’ll only be sleeping from around 7 p.m. until 11: 30 p.m. or so because you’ll be starting the summit climb at midnight.

Day 7:

Barafu Camp (4,600m/15,091 ft) to The Summit (5,896 m/19,343 ft) and then to Mweka Camp (3,100 m/10,170 ft)
Summit time: 7 hrs
Elevation change: +1,300 m/+4,265 ft
Estimated distance: 5km/3.2 miles
Final elevation: 5,896 m/19,343 ft
Descent time: 5 hrs
Elevation change: -2,800 m/-9,186 ft
Estimated distance: 12km/7.5 miles
Final elevation: 3,100 m, 10,170 ft

You’ll start at midnight with by far the most challenging 6-hour section of entire climb as you reach Stella Point around sunrise. After a short rest you’ll probably be walking in snow for the next two hours until you reach Uhuru Peak, AKA the summit! After enjoying the moment briefly you’ll begin your descent to the Mweka Camp back in the rain forest, which takes about 8 hours including a quick rest in the middle.

Day 8:

Mweka Camp (3,100 m/10,170 ft) to Mweka Gate (1,828 m/6,000 ft)
Descent time: 4 hrs
Elevation change: -1,250 m/-4,101 ft
Estimated distance: 10km/6.21
Final elevation: 1,828 m/6,000 ft

After the previous day you’ll deserve this short and very scenic descent of about 4 hours down to the Mweka Gate, where you’ll sign the register to make your climb official.

The 7-day itinerary of Lemosho

You can do the Lemosho in 7 days instead of 8, and the only difference is days 2 and 3 on the 8-day climb are combined into one 8 to 9 hour climb from Mti Mkubwa to the Shira Two Camp. This extra day is obviously more challenging and it also cuts way down on the climbers’ acclimatization time, which can hurt the chances of reaching the summit with fewer problems.

Includes:

  • Transport: Two ways transfers from your hotel in Arusha or Moshi to Machame gate on the starting day up and from Mweka gate on the last day coming down back to Arusha.
  • Accommodation: 7nights: staying in tents while on Mountain i.e. 1night at Mti mkubwa camp, 1night Shira1 camp,1night shira 2 camp, 1night Baranco camp, 1night Karanga Valley camp, 1night Barafu camp, and 1night Mweka camp
  • Meals: Meals will be as per itinerary above breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • Guide: Professional English speaking Mountain guides/Driver guide (number of guides depends on number of clients as for two clients will need 1chief guide and assistance guide and  4 clients will need 1chief guides and two assistant guide).
  • Porters: 2clients to be saved with a minimum number of 6crews; 1guide and 5porters (2porters to carry clients’ stuffs and 3 to carry food and cooking equipments for clients), but number of porters might increase according to the weight of clients luggage, camping equipments and food that will need more porter to carry. Note that each porter is required to carry not more than 20Kgs including his stuffs.
  • Park Fee: all clients and crew park entry fees, Hut fees, and rescue fees.
  • Allowances: Guide and porters allowances (except for extra porter that will exceed the given number if clients will have extra stuffs they have to arrange for themselves).
  • Water:  Treated/boiled water on the trek (but client are requested to bring water tablets to treat or use boiled water).

Excluded:

  • Tips, laundry, sleeping bags, drinks and climbing gears
  • International flights and taxes
  • Visas
  • Items of a personal nature and any other extras not detailed in the above itinerary.
  • Clients to bring their own Oxygen: 100LT oxygen bottle, regulator & masks 
  • Client also has to bring Hyperbaric Chamber