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Kilimanjaro's Best Alpine Style Route?

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Expand view Topic review: Kilimanjaro's Best Alpine Style Route?

Re: Kilimanjaro's Best Alpine Style Route?

Post by Cloud Ocean » Sat Nov 03, 2012 2:53 am

I hiked up Kilimanjaro over 6 days this August via Rongai, without using any support (no porters or cooks). You have to hire a certified guide to obtain a permit, but it is possible to hike self-sufficiently. At the beginning of the hike, my pack for the 6 days (with a day's extra food, and an extra day on the permit) only weighed around 22kg without water. The hardest day by far was the move to my high camp, as I had to carry up my water supply. At the end of the hike, I weighed in at 17kg, and had a good amount of leftover food. Sourcing good personal fuel and a compatible stove was also quite difficult in Tanzania (the bulk of hikers use large support crews, who carry huge kerosine fuel tanks up).

Because I used a guide, is my hike really 'unsupported'? Does it qualify as 'Alpine style'? To be blunt, the mountain was absolutely covered with inexperienced tourists carrying 3kg day packs, having camp hauled and pitched for them, being served at dining tables the entire way up, and being literally dragged down by their support staff after overexerting themselves pushing to the summit (I would presume with inadequate acclimatization). In hindsight don't think either question really matters much.

Re: Kilimanjaro's Best Alpine Style Route?

Post by pygmalion » Mon Apr 09, 2012 11:58 pm

whitetail wrote:I recall that Messner did some first ascents of different technical routes on the mountain - you would have to google it to find out for sure. The breach route starts at the Arrow Glacier and takes you into the crater. From there you can explore the Ash Pit and glaciers.

Messner climbed the 'Breach Wall'. Apart from being extremely dangerous (he named it himself as one of the most daring climbs of his life), it's practically undoable today, as ice falls constantly due to melting ice.
If I recall right, a couple of Russian climbers tried it at the end of the '90s, but gave up right at the start.

Re: Kilimanjaro's Best Alpine Style Route?

Post by IvanBraunDK » Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:55 pm

sorry - i forgot to mention Heim Glacier route - its supposed to be the most challenging "open" route up Kilimanjaro.

Re: Kilimanjaro's Best Alpine Style Route?

Post by IvanBraunDK » Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:40 pm

Mooner wrote:.......Meaning I will carry everything I need and will be self sufficient. I dont want anything to do with this porter/ Kitchen tent/ Bathroom tent/ camp chef stuff. It is just a pure way to climb.


If you are looking for a pure climb look elsewhere is my advise.
Kili is a long trail of trash and poo, every campsite smells like the surrounding of the toilet facilities at large music festivals.

Its required to have a local staff along for the trip, and you will have a full party along until top camp, from where the summit ascent is launched. On this part will you be accompanied only by the guide, and link up with the rest of the team (porters and cook)
This style is also used on Western Breach route.

But no one forces you to stay along with your team, or ask them to carry your stuff.

I saw several porters laughing over their, seen through local eyes, "silly" clients carrying their own gear, while the porters carried the group gear (tent for them self, food, cooking gear, etc)

My question is "why bother"?
If you want a pure climb in solitude, look elsewhere - you can reach the same altitude in the Andes without all the hassle.

If your remove the fact that Kilimanjaro is one of the seven summits, is Kilimanjaro nothing but a boring hike in the company with hundreds of hikers from all over the world, in any age and shape, and all of you, are walking up the same trails of trash and smell.

Mt Kenya is in my mind far more interesting, and you will have all the options to tackle it as difficult as you want/can
- still accompanied with a local guide though.

Re: Kilimanjaro's Best Alpine Style Route?

Post by moutainpaw » Mon Jan 30, 2012 2:00 pm

Meaning I will carry everything I need and will be self sufficient. I dont want anything to do with this porter/ Kitchen tent/ Bathroom tent/ camp chef stuff. It is just a pure way to climb.

I did a 6 day Kilimanjaro climb. We started with the Kilimanjaro climb on the Marangu route. We had a team of 6 porters, a cook and a guide for just the 2 of us.What you pack depends on your route, number of days on the mountain and your outfitter.

Take a 0 degree mummy to begin with. Nothing worse than being cold at night.

Your outfitter should provide several of the items, either as standard or for rent. Sleeping pad for example. Your outfitter does not provide it? You cannot rent poles?
If you can pack less, take more as hand luggage and rent more or have your outfitter provide more, you will lose less if your bags get delayed on the airlines.
Your boots are crucial (wear them on the plane so they won't get lost!). Liner socks help against blisters.

Re: Kilimanjaro's Best Alpine Style Route?

Post by Mooner » Tue Jan 24, 2012 8:36 pm

ExcitableBoy wrote:The best alpine route on Kili is on Mt Kenya, the Ice Window. Vitaly is correct, I'm about 99.9% certain you must hire local guides and outfitters.

Yes I know you have to have a guide but, you dont have to have the whole crew to with the meals and kitchen tents and porters and what not.

Re: Kilimanjaro's Best Alpine Style Route?

Post by ExcitableBoy » Fri Jan 20, 2012 4:24 pm

The best alpine route on Kili is on Mt Kenya, the Ice Window. Vitaly is correct, I'm about 99.9% certain you must hire local guides and outfitters.

Re: Kilimanjaro's Best Alpine Style Route?

Post by Vitaliy M. » Fri Jan 20, 2012 6:35 am

Meaning I will carry everything I need and will be self sufficient. I dont want anything to do with this porter/ Kitchen tent/ Bathroom tent/ camp chef stuff. It is just a pure way to climb.


From what I heard one is REQUIRED to hire guide/porters. Kili is not the most interesting peak for an apline style ascent...isn't it pretty much a hike via all routes?

Re: Kilimanjaro's Best Alpine Style Route?

Post by Sarah Simon » Fri Jan 20, 2012 3:20 am

Henry Stedman, in his book Kilimanjaro: The trekking guide to Africa's highest mountain, describes the Umbwe Route as non-technical, yet says: "...your calves and thighs will curse the day God paired them with somebody who would want to undertake such a climb."

Alexander Steward, in his book Kilimanjaro: A Complete Trekker's Guide, describes the route thusly: "Tree roots and ruts make the going uneven, but do ensure there are handholds available to haul yourself up the steeper sections of the path."

Still, this approach route funnels into the Barafu summit approach (i.e. beers, t-shirts, Coca-Cola, etc.)

Good luck finding a route that's a good fit for you!

Re: Kilimanjaro's Best Alpine Style Route?

Post by kevin trieu » Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:26 am

i might be there at that time and might be interested. i think a local guide is useful for shooing away the buffaloes.

Re: Kilimanjaro's Best Alpine Style Route?

Post by Sarah Simon » Fri Jan 20, 2012 12:36 am

Mooner wrote:Meaning I will carry everything I need and will be self sufficient. I dont want anything to do with this porter/ Kitchen tent/ Bathroom tent/ camp chef stuff. It is just a pure way to climb.


As you wish! I personally enjoyed kicking back in the cook tent in the evening for a snort of Scotch at over 13k feet and not having to worry about cooking dinner, all while supporting the local economy, but I understand your desires, here. At any rate, even at Barafu, you can still buy a can of Kili lager from the rangers.

I went up the Lemosho and down the ... whatever, the standard, litter-and-poop-covered highway route. Until Shira, the Lemosho Route is delightfully quiet, fantastically scenic and has more of a wild feel to it.

There are surely books that may contain information on routes that can spare you the "beer, Cokes and T-shirts" at the ranger cabins type atmosphere. Let me check my shelf and get back to you.

Have fun!

Re: Kilimanjaro's Best Alpine Style Route?

Post by Mooner » Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:49 pm

Vitaliy M. wrote:
I will be doing Kilimanjaro first week in May alpine style


What do you mean by alpine style on Kilimanjaro? Like in a day from the TH?


Meaning I will carry everything I need and will be self sufficient. I dont want anything to do with this porter/ Kitchen tent/ Bathroom tent/ camp chef stuff. It is just a pure way to climb.

Re: Kilimanjaro's Best Alpine Style Route?

Post by Vitaliy M. » Thu Jan 19, 2012 10:40 pm

I will be doing Kilimanjaro first week in May alpine style


What do you mean by alpine style on Kilimanjaro? Like in a day from the TH?

Re: Kilimanjaro's Best Alpine Style Route?

Post by Enkidu » Thu Jan 19, 2012 10:14 pm

My Wife and I climbed Kili in March last year via the Western Breach. The breach is a class 3 scramble and is the hardest non-technical route on the mountain. There are harder technical climbs on the mountain but I think you will have a hard time finding a local guide able to guide you on anything harder. Unfortunately (fortunately for the local economy) the park authority requires all climbers be accompanied by a local guide.

I recall that Messner did some first ascents of different technical routes on the mountain - you would have to google it to find out for sure. The breach route starts at the Arrow Glacier and takes you into the crater. From there you can explore the Ash Pit and glaciers.

Access to the Arrow glacier is via the Lava Tower or from Barranco. The most common way to do this is via Machame but other routes such as Lemosho or Umbwe can be used instead. Umbwe would be the fastest and most direct. Most people recommend an acclimation climb of Meru fist if attempting the Umbwe route due to the rapid altitude gain.

Hope this helps

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