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Kilimanjaro - 1 member in 9 triplogs has rated this an average 5 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Oct 01 2019
Lucyan
avatar

 Routes 1
 Photos 11,257
 Triplogs 707

39 female
 Joined Jan 18 2011
 In the Wild
KilimanjaroAfrica, WW
Africa, WW
Backpack avatar Oct 01 2019
Lucyan
Backpack85.00 Miles 14,000 AEG
Backpack85.00 Miles9 Days         
14,000 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
9 DAY NORTHERN CIRCUIT ITINERARY

Day 1

Londorossi Gate to Mti Mkubwa
Elevation: 7,742 ft to 9,498 ft
Distance: 6 miles
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
Habitat: Rain Forest

We departed Moshi for Londorossi Gate, which takes about 4 hours, where we completed entry formalities. Then drive to the Lemosho trailhead. Upon arrival at trailhead, we began hiking through undisturbed forest which winds to the first camp site.

DAY 2

Mti Mkubwa to Shira 1 Camp
Elevation: 9,498 ft to 11,500 ft
Distance: 10 miles
Hiking Time 5-6 hours
Habitat: Heath

We continued on the trail leading out of the rain forest and into a savannah of tall grasses, heather and volcanic rock draped with lichen beards. As we ascended through the lush rolling hills and cross several streams, we reached the Shira Ridge before dropping gently down to Shira 1 Camp. Here we catch our first glimpse of Kibo across the plateau.

DAY 3

Shira 1 Camp to Shira 2 Camp
Elevation: 11,500 ft to 12,500 ft
Distance: 7 km/6 miles
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
Habitat: Heath

We explored the Shira Plateau. It is a gentle walk east on moorland meadows towards Shira 2 Camp. The heath zone displays abundant wildflowers and unique Senecio trees.

DAY 4

Shira 2 Camp to Lava Tower
Elevation: 12,500 ft to 15,190 ft
Distance: 6 miles
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert

Lava Tower to Moir Hut & Conditioning hike
Elevation: 15,190 ft to 13,580 ft
Distance: 7 km/6 miles
Hiking Time: 2-3 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert

We continued to the east up a ridge and then head southeast towards the Lava Tower – a 300 ft tall volcanic rock formation. Then we diverted from the main trail to Moir Hut, a little used site on the base of Lent Hills. A variety of walks are available on Lent Hills making this an excellent acclimatization opportunity. Shira Plateau is one of the highest plateaus on earth.

DAY 5

Moir Hut to Buffalo Camp
Elevation: 13,580 ft to 13,200 ft
Distance: 10 miles
Hiking Time: 5-7 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert

We trekked out of Moir Valley with a moderately steep climb, then hike to the summit of Lent Hills before returning to the main trail. The path crosses a rock field and gently undulates before reaching Buffalo Camp. This section of the trail offers great views across the plains that lie north of Kilimanjaro and stretch out to the Kenyan/Tanzanian border.

DAY 6

Buffalo Camp to Third Cave
Elevation: 13,200 ft to 12,700 ft
Distance: 10 miles
Hiking Time: 5-7 hours
Habitat: Heath

As we head up Buffalo Ridge, the terrain becomes increasingly sparse. This route is rarely travelled and we will enjoy its mountain wilderness feel. We trek through remote valleys on to the northern slopes of Kilimanjaro until we arrive at Third Cave.

DAY 7

Third Cave to Kibo Hut
Elevation: 12,700 ft to 15,600 ft
Distance: 10 miles
Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert

We climb steadily up and over the “Saddle,” which sits between Kibo and Mawenzi. We continue on to our camp, School Hut. Once here we rest, enjoy an early dinner to prepare for the summit day.

DAY 8

School Hut to Uhuru Peak
Elevation: 15,600 ft to 19,341 ft
Distance: 10 miles
Hiking Time: 6-8 hours

Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp
Elevation: 19,341 ft to 10,065
Distance: 8 miles
Hiking Time: 4-6 hours
Habitat: Artic

Very early in the morning (around midnight), we begin our push to the summit. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek. The wind and cold at this elevation and time of day can be extreme. We ascend in the darkness for several hours while taking frequent, but short, breaks. At Gilman’s point (18,600 ft), you will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see coming over Mawenzi Peak. Finally, we arrive at Uhuru Peak- the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa.

From the summit, we now make our descent continuing straight down to the Mweka Hut camp site, stopping at Barafu for lunch. The trail is very rocky and can be quite hard on the knees; trekking poles are helpful. Mweka Camp is situated in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected in the late afternoon. Later in the evening, we enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.

DAY 9

Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate
Elevation: 10,065 ft to 5,380 ft
Distance: 11 miles
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
Habitat: Rain Forest
_____________________
2 archives
Jul 16 2017
syoung
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 23
 Photos 1,125
 Triplogs 593

40 male
 Joined May 23 2012
 Mesa, AZ
KilimanjaroAfrica, WW
Africa, WW
Hiking avatar Jul 16 2017
syoung
Hiking45.02 Miles 14,670 AEG
Hiking45.02 Miles   23 Hrs   12 Mns   1.94 mph
14,670 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
JuanJaimeiii
(Note- I wasn't sure how to add the acclimatization hikes as they ran over the main track so I cut them out of the gpx and added the stats to the totals.)

Back in December ‘14 I had made the long journey to Tanzania in hopes of summiting Kilimanjaro. Through a combination of illness and bad food, my dreams were derailed even before I stepped foot on the mountain. On the morning the climb was to begin, I was in my hotel room throwing up - repeatedly. Needless to say, the guides would not let me go.

For the most part, I had moved on from it. I was annoyed that I had trained for so long to get ready and couldn’t even put myself to the test, but that is life sometimes; nothing is guaranteed. I went on my way to living life, putting this failure behind me, until JJ brought it up sometime last year. He asked if I wanted to go give it another whirl.

The journey over was long, 29 hours long. I had started shifting to Tanzanian time (10 hours ahead) about a week or so before we departed. We also planned a short safari for the 2nd day we were in country, so I was hoping that was enough to get the jet lag bugs out before the climb started on the 3rd day.

Driving to the Marangu Gate and registering I was amped ready to go. Only thing is that we still had a 2 hour drive to the Rongai Gate. After registering, and buying a Coke, we loaded back up into the bus and began the trek over to Rongai. Along the way we ate a packed lunch that consisted of chicken (kuku) and various other odds and ends. I am not a huge fan of kuku but this was quite tasty. So much so that I am going to have to dig some to find this recipe for it.

Arriving at the gate we disembarked from the bus and loaded ourselves up with water. Starting up the trail, even though the pace was incredibly slow, it felt so amazing to actually be on the mountain. We marched through potato fields and corn before arriving at our first campsite. Upon arrival at the campsite the porters all stopped what they were doing to greet us with a song. It was pretty amazing.

At dinner that evening we were encouraged to eat and eat and eat. I took it to heart and ate way too much. Soon after dinner, John and I retired to our tent. John froze that evening but it wasn’t THAT cold. Ok, it was pretty cold, but I am more accustomed to it. Plus, a warm bottle of water shoved into the bottom of your sleeping bag works wonders!

I woke up around 4:30 or so. I had to pee all night but you really don’t want to get out of your warm cocoon to go take care of business. I somehow managed to fall back asleep, without making my way out of the sleeping bag. I sprung up awake around 6:20 or so. We were due to be woken up at 6:30 by the porters. Instantly, I felt lightheaded and the world spinning. I managed to get my shoes on and stumble outside of the tent. The world was still spinning. tarzan swing. I sat down at a nearby picnic table while the porters fixed me a cup of tea. I took the tea and started walking around. I made it back over by the camp hut and sat on a bench and watched the most amazing sunrise take place before me. All I could keep thinking about, however, is how in the hell is this happening again!?

After several minutes of sitting there, I realized that I had to get my stuff packed up inside the tent. I made my way back to the tent, climbed inside and told John that I almost puked out there. Started shuffling around in the tent and oh boy, I ripped back open the tent door and started smiling at the ground, as the guides put it. I made my way to mess tent afterwards and could not make any headway into eating breakfast. I excused myself and headed for the toilets and spent some time there excavating my innards.

I am not sure what happened; nerves, meds, food, altitude, but by the time we started hiking for the day, I started to feel better and better. By the end of the day I felt pretty good.

The acclimatization hikes were my least favorite part of this excursion. They are a necessity, however, IMHO. We learned that not all outfits make them mandatory. It is not that the hikes were hard, it is just so incredibly boring; but then again, what else are we supposed to do with our time? Each acclimation hike was an extremely slow and easy crawl up the mountain for a little over an hour.

The day we made our way to Kibo Hut @ ~15,000 feet, was quite an accomplishment but also one of the most mentally demanding days I have ever had. First we started with a 3.5 mile hike from 3rd cave to Kibo, which took roughly 5 hours and gained almost 3,000 feet of elevation. We arrived at Kibo, ate lunch, and were instructed to rest for the remainder of the day until dinner time. John decided to go on an adventure with one of the guides. I had a slight twinge of pain in an ancient injury and decided to rest it. I also had a slight headache so I figured that was the best option.
I couldn’t sleep. I just stayed in the tent and wrote a bunch. When John got back we chatted about his hike and he was in better spirits, having been able to stretch his legs. Heading to dinner everyone was passively excited. Once dinner was finished, and the sun began to set, people hurried back to their tents and started throwing on their layers for the nights summit attempts. It was cold. The nerves were jumping, but thankfully, we both found a few hours of sleep.

We both awoke before the porters came to our tent to wake us. It was dark and cold in the tent and my head was pounding but I just started throwing on my last few layers. Even with the headache I was legitimately excited by the opportunity that was presented before us. We had made it this far and we were about to get a chance to test our mettle. Heading over to the mess tent it seemed like everyone was in a daze a bit. I mentioned that we should be excited for this chance, half trying to pull everyone together, half trying to build up my own nerve.

The start time of 11:10 came and we were on our way up the mountain. The pace was slow and deliberate. Pole pole as the saying goes. I have never been a fan of hiking when I should be sleeping and the nausea set in rather quickly for me. Within the first couple of minutes I had a gut check in that I had to make sure I didn’t upchuck. Thankfully, I was able to keep my stomach contents down. Thanks to the Sports Beans John had given me, I also started to get a bit of energy once the nausea settled. We walked for roughly an hour before stopping for a short break. Everyone still seemed good so we continued onwards.

During the next segment we had a particularly scary incident occur. A team member was led, hand in hand, from the rear of our line to near the front by a concerned guide. Apparently he had been struggling a bit. In a few short minutes it would become evident just how much he was struggling. The group pulled up and the guides huddled around the stricken teammate. They asked him a bunch of questions to which he had no reply. In the confusion the lead guide called John up front, thinking it was his friend. Turns out, the altitude had rendered him near the point of losing consciousness. He had no recollection of where he was, how many fingers were flashed before him, or who he was. It was scary. Thankfully, the guides made the quick determination to give him oxygen and then hightail it back down the mountain with him. As the guides got him taken care of and started down the path, Davis (the lead guide) summoned the rest of the team to continue forth into the darkness.
As we climbed higher and higher you fought the urge to look up. When you did, you caught a glimpse of a trail of head torches gleaming away, seemingly forever. I would stare off along what I thought was the horizon, and hence the end of this segment of our journey, and try to figure out if the speck of light I was focusing on was a star or torch. If it was a star, then hooray! We were much closer than I realized. Unfortunately, they were never stars as they invariably began to move.

The pace we maintained was slow; very, very slow. It made breathing easy enough, but maintaining body heat was tough for the team. People were starting to get cold and started questioning if they would be able to make it at this pace. These grumblings eventually made it up to the lead guide and we stopped moving to discuss breaking up into two groups. For myself at least, I was perfectly fine temperature wise. I was actually slightly too hot and had unzipped a few layers. I was happy with the pace as I was pretty sure I could keep it up all day long. The only concern that I did have was with how slow it was and thus how long we were spending at altitude. The group eventually decided to stick together. Team Simba was a team and we weren’t going to change that.

The rest of the climb to Gilman’s Point was uneventful. We had one teammate become ill and came up a few minutes after everyone, but the 8 of us remaining all made it. According to all the reading I had done, all the countless hours scouring people's blogs about the climb, once you reached the top of the crater, the real work was done. I was feeling downright jovial at this point. Holy hell, I had been redeemed from my previous failure!

We drank ginger tea, the guides drank some sort of non-alcoholic beer energy drink. Soon we were on our way. Our slow pace was still intact. We gawked at the views of the crater below us, we were downright jovial. It was only a little over a mile to Uhuru Peak and the Rooftop of Africa!

Upon pulling up to Stella Point, however, I felt a bit off. I started to develop a severe headache. It felt like someone had put a vice around my temples and began squeezing it, tighter and tighter. At Stella Point, I popped some pain meds to hopefully alleviate the pain. It did not work. Onward we went.

In all of that research I did, and the information I found about once you reach the crater rim the hard work is over, I never once stumbled across anything talking about the false summits. I lost count but there were several. And they sucked. I just kept my head down, Pole, Pole, and stopped when I had to stop. The team encouraged me to keep going. I had made it this far and was so very close. The pain was immense but there was no way I was going to stop.

When the famous sign came into view I became emotional. I couldn’t believe that it was right there in front of me. We had made it! Wow!

We spent several minutes up there taking pictures and congratulating one another. When it was finally time to descend I decided that I had enough of the elevation and started my way down like I was coming off of Flatiron. I knew that I had to get down lower to start feeling better. The guides called out but myself and a teammate were feeling it bad so we took off together. Eventually, a guide caught up to us around Stella Point.

Overall, my life will never be the same. This was a trip of lifetime. The culture, the pain, the friendships forged, the struggles, the triumphant; it was the most alive I have ever felt. I can not wait for the next adventure.
_____________________
Jul 16 2017
JuanJaimeiii
avatar

 Routes 562
 Photos 7,617
 Triplogs 1,599

52 male
 Joined Jan 30 2011
 Chandler, AZ
Mount Kilimanjaro Rongai Route, WW 
Mount Kilimanjaro Rongai Route, WW
 
Backpack avatar Jul 16 2017
JuanJaimeiii
Backpack40.51 Miles 12,417 AEG
Backpack40.51 Miles6 Days         
12,417 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners partners
syoung
Oh there is so much to say about this trip! It could be summed up by simply saying "Mind Blown"!

We went up the northern side on the Rongai route and came down on the southern Marangu route. The hike itself is one that anyone with enough determination could do. It's physically demanding but not difficult when done with guides at their pace. The temperatures ranged from fairly warm during the day to super freezing cold at night. This would be the case pretty much every day of our journey while on Kilimanjaro.

Sam and I booked this trip through Peak Planet which happens to be based here in Scottsdale. The guides were all fantastic and took great care of our group. The whole time we were fed and cared for like Kings and Queens. So much so that on the third day I told them I simply wasn't going to eat lunch. I couldn't take in anymore food.

There were 9 of us in all and 8 completed the journey to the summit. Altitude took the other one out at around 17000 feet. Of the 9 we had 2 from Australia, 1 from Scotland, 1 from London, 1 from Geneva, 2 from Vail Colorado, plus Sam and me.

The folks from Vail were a 22 year old girl named Ellen who had just finished some humanitarian work in Kenya and her 88 year old Grandfather. When she completed her duties in Kenya she called her Grandpa and asked if he would fly over and Summit Kili with her. So naturally he just hopped on a plane and did! He was a total character and was the life of the party. Our overall pace was a bit slower with him in the mix however he really added to the dynamic of the group. To see him summit was awe inspiring! The Guinness Book of World Records has the previous oldest person to summit Kilimanjaro as 85 years old in 2014. A new record has been set and it was fantastic to be a part of it. Even more incredible is that he is NOT a hiker. He skis 100 days a year on average and rides his bike up the mountain in Vail regularly. When asked what he thought afterwards he responded by saying "frankly I find it quite boring". He said walking and looking at the ground the whole time really isn't that exciting.

The views up top of the surrounding area, the crater of the volcano, and the slowly eroding glacier was something that will be etched in my memory forever. The neighboring mountain "Mawenze" often times looked mystical with its jagged top shrouded in the clouds.

The trip down was one of joy knowing that we had completed our mission. It was also great knowing that there would be a shower and a regular bed in the coming days. Sam and I both said over and over what a great group of people we had on this trip and how great the guides were. The trip up and the cultural experience before and after were nothing short of AMAZING!
Culture
Culture
Cag Shot
_____________________
Feb 06 2017
Lucyan
avatar

 Routes 1
 Photos 11,257
 Triplogs 707

39 female
 Joined Jan 18 2011
 In the Wild
KilimanjaroAfrica, WW
Africa, WW
Hiking avatar Feb 06 2017
Lucyan
Hiking47.00 Miles 20,530 AEG
Hiking47.00 Miles
20,530 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
8 Day Lemosho Route to the top of Uhuru Peak and back down

Day 1 - Londorossi Gate/Lemosho Gate to Big Tree Camp (Mti Mkubwa) 5 miles
Day 2 - Mti Mkubwa to Shira 1 Camp - 5 miles
Day 3 - Shira 1 Camp to Moir Hut Camp - 7 miles + acclimatization hike (2 miles)
Day 4 - Moir Hut Camp to Baranco Camp via Lava Tower - 6 miles
Day 5 - Baranco Camp to Karanga Camp via Baranco Wall - 3 miles
Day 6 - Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp - 2 miles
Day 7 - Barafu Camp to Uhuru Peak then to Mweka Camp - 10 miles
Day 8 - Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate - 6 miles

Total: 47 miles (although my FitBit counted total 99 miles between hiking, acclimatization and walking around the camp)
_____________________
2 archives
Jan 19 2013
BigFoo
avatar

 Photos 287
 Triplogs 12

34 male
 Joined Nov 27 2010
 Tucson, AZ
KilimanjaroAfrica, WW
Africa, WW
Hiking avatar Jan 19 2013
BigFoo
Hiking
Hiking
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Too cool not to share. Lemosho Trail 8-day route + 1 day safari in Arusha National Park. A once in a lifetime experience to say to least. We all summited and had a great time with the African Walking Company.
Meteorology
Meteorology
Glacier Sunrise
_____________________
Feb 20 2012
soowai
avatar

 Routes 1
 Photos 218
 Triplogs 47

50 female
 Joined Jan 15 2012
 Scottsdale, AZ
KilimanjaroAfrica, WW
Africa, WW
Hiking avatar Feb 20 2012
soowai
Hiking47.40 Miles 26,792 AEG
Hiking47.40 Miles   9 Hrs      5.27 mph
26,792 ft AEG15 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
My husband and I just successful reached the Uhuru Peak (19340 ft) of Mt. Kilimanjaro. We took the Lemonsho Route, 8 days 7 nights. We had no luck with weather, it was rainy and muddy the first two days, weather got a bit better the next few days but snow on the day we were going to do final ascend to the peak. We started our final ascend at mid night of day 6, the part between Stella Point and Uhuru Peak was the toughest section for me. It was cloudy when we got to the peak, got some pictures of the glaciers on top of Mt. Kilimanjaro.
I know this is not a hike in US or AZ, but this is a grueling climb/hike that I want to add to my triplog. Will post pictures sometime soon.
_____________________
1 archive
Dec 18 2011
GrottoGirl
avatar

 Guides 3
 Routes 304
 Photos 10,998
 Triplogs 1,254

44 female
 Joined Sep 18 2009
 Tucson, AZ
KilimanjaroAfrica, WW
Africa, WW
Hiking avatar Dec 18 2011
GrottoGirl
Hiking37.00 Miles 13,435 AEG
Hiking37.00 Miles
13,435 ft AEG25 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
RedwallNHops
Machame Route

We made it! Truly any amazing adventure at high, high alitudes. I'll up date this later with details for whomever is interested when we get home. Safari next!
_____________________
Dec 18 2011
RedwallNHops
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 7
 Photos 237
 Triplogs 947

44 male
 Joined Dec 22 2003
 Tucson, AZ
KilimanjaroAfrica, WW
Africa, WW
Hiking avatar Dec 18 2011
RedwallNHops
Hiking37.00 Miles 13,435 AEG
Hiking37.00 Miles
13,435 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
GrottoGirl
Machame Route

Pretty amazing trip.
_____________________
Dec 20 2004
desertgirl
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 Guides 20
 Routes 1
 Photos 3,098
 Triplogs 430

female
 Joined Mar 31 2002
 Chandler, AZ
KilimanjaroAfrica, WW
Africa, WW
Hiking avatar Dec 20 2004
desertgirl
Hiking65.00 Miles
Hiking65.00 Miles
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Great hike or should I be saying expedidtion ? Entire group summited at 19340ft....Took Western Breach Route...Incredible sites along the way as you make your way through 5 different zones. Side hikes for acclamatization- Lava Tower and Great Barranco Wall.

It was awesome to see the ash pit atop Kilimanjaro. Western breach climb was tough....Arrow Glacier camp- my favourite camp for sunset.

Saw some incredible looking plants in the Barranco valley where we had camped for 2 days.

Descent of 9000+ ft after summiting was the hardest thing to do.

This totally rocked ....Maybe I'll go back and explore more ?
_____________________
average hiking speed 1.94 mph

WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

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