How to Climb the Kilimanjaro… with Mama
Its been said many times: “Anyone can climb the Kilimanjaro”. But what is it really like to climb the Kilimanjaro?
In thruth the highest mountain of Africa, and the highest single standing volcano in the world, doesn’t require technical climbing. It may even be qualified as an “easy climb” if one goes on the Marangu (“Coca-Cola”) route. However routes starting in Machame Lemosho does include parts as the “Baranko Wall”, which if not technically challenging, are certainly exciting to hike. Notably the two latter routes have higher succesrates than the Marangu route due to a better altitude profile (“walk high, sleep low”).
That being said, I am in no doubt that this is the most difficult climp I have ever done. Comparing with the very steep single standing active volcano Oldoinyo Lengai it was technically easier but more challenging both physically and psychologically. And comparing with crossing the Thorung-La pass in the Himalayas of 5416 meters it was not as cold and extreme, however the fast ascent to high altitude at the Kilimanjaro made the last parts even more chanllenging that crossing the Thorung-La: you needed will power, disciplin and help from your team to reach Uhuru Peak.
On the following pages I describe our journey to climb the Kilimanjaro. We climbed the Lemosho route in seven days:
- Day 1: Lemosho (2100 m) – Mti Mkubwa (2600 m)
- Day 2: Mti Mkubwa – Shira 1 (3600 m)
- Day 3: Shira 1 – Shira Peak (3950 m) – Shira 2 (3850 m)
- Day 4: Shira 2 – Lava Tower (4600 m) – Baranko (3900 m)
- Day 5: Baranko – Karanga (4046 m) – Barafu (4600 m)
- Day 6: Barafu – Uhuru (5895 m) – Mweka (3110 m)
- Day 7: Mweka – Home (1200 m)
One thing that really made the Lemosho route special was the possibility to include the Shira Peak (see day 3) which was astonishingly beatiful – and easy to fully enjoy as most don’t have much altitude sickness at 3950 meters.
The Kilimanjaro was tough. You may be strong, but its really difficult to predict who will and who will not get acute mountain sickness. We couldn’t have done it without team and they can’t be thanked enough for making our stay unforgettable. Specifically this thankyou goes out to: