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Mt. Meru only

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Mt. Meru only

Postby hikerbrian » Tue Jun 11, 2013 2:58 pm

Hi all,

I'm leaving for Tanzania in a few weeks, and I think I'll try and get a climb of Mt. Meru in. I'm not interested in a guide service, and I have plenty of backpacking experience in the US, elevation up to 14.5k'. We're a group of 3 fit 30-somethings. Some questions:
1. Can we rent sleeping bags and a tent, or would we be better off bringing our own (which would be a hassle to cart around for the rest of our trip)?
2. Can we plan on getting a spot in the huts, or do they need to be reserved way in advance?
3. Water. I'm planning to bring a steri-pen or a filter, but are there water sources available?
4. Toileting. In my backpacking experience, I've always just found a protected spot a little ways off the trail and dug a hole. Is this possible, or are the huts the place that one should "take care of business"?
5. Does a decent map of the mountain exist? Online, all I can find is cartoony schematics.
6. We're planning to just pack our own food as if it's a regular 4-day backpacking trip anywhere else. Any reason not to do this?
7. Related question: Planning to take a Whisperlite International backpacking stove. Will I be able to find white gas/Coleman fuel?
8. Transportation. We fly in to Kili airport - is it difficult to hire a ride to the park gate?

Thanks for any and all advice. I'm sure Kili is an amazing climb, but we have neither the money nor the inclination to rub shoulders with so many people. So Meru seems like a good choice. Cheers!
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Re: Mt. Meru only

Postby davebobk47 » Tue Jun 11, 2013 5:55 pm

I'm pretty sure a guide is a requirement to climb Meru, just like Kili. In addition to a guide on Meru you will get a ranger as there are animals at lower elevations that can be a problem. I used Zara for Kili and stayed at the springsland hotel. Gear was available for rent at the hotel. The rest of your questions would be taken care of if you use a guide. Since Meru is a shorter trip is should be much cheaper (Zara is currently $760 for 2 days and nights and includes 2 nights in the hotel). If you can do it without a guide I'd be interested in reading a TR.

Good luck and happy climbing.
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Re: Mt. Meru only

Postby hikerbrian » Tue Jun 11, 2013 7:31 pm

Thanks for the reply - from many sources (including here on SP), I've gathered that an armed ranger IS required, however a guide is not. Zara is about the best option I have seen, although we'd want 3 nights, which bumps it up to ~$1000 per person, i.e. $2 large for my wife and I for a hike that is substantially less technically challenging than many I've done by myself. Seems like a lot of dough... but I'm keeping an open mind.
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Re: Mt. Meru only

Postby Tonka » Tue Jun 11, 2013 7:37 pm

Can ask why you are going to Tazania without a plan to climb Kili or Meru? Outside of the big peaks or the Sarengeti it's not a place to hang out and Safari is much better from Kenya.
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Re: Mt. Meru only

Postby hikerbrian » Tue Jun 11, 2013 7:55 pm

A close friend of mine spent 3 years in Tanzania as part of the Peace Corp. He has maintained very close ties in the village where he lived. My friend and his Tanzanian friends have graciously offered to show us around, but (as far as I can gather) they have little experience with Meru. We will be spending some time in his village, some time on safari, some time in Zanzibar, and (hopefully) some time on Meru.
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Re: Mt. Meru only

Postby Tonka » Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:02 pm

That's cool and clears things up. Zanzibar was one place we wish we would have went.
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Re: Mt. Meru only

Postby Roger » Wed Jun 12, 2013 7:39 am

Comments below

hikerbrian wrote:Hi all,

I'm leaving for Tanzania in a few weeks, and I think I'll try and get a climb of Mt. Meru in. I'm not interested in a guide service, and I have plenty of backpacking experience in the US, elevation up to 14.5k'. We're a group of 3 fit 30-somethings. Some questions:
1. Can we rent sleeping bags and a tent, or would we be better off bringing our own (which would be a hassle to cart around for the rest of our trip)?
Renting a sleeping bag will not be a problem, just bring your own liner. No tent required. All accommodation is in Huts.
2. Can we plan on getting a spot in the huts, or do they need to be reserved way in advance?
If booked with an operator there will not be a problem
3. Water. I'm planning to bring a steri-pen or a filter, but are there water sources available?
Water is available at each camp, steri pen is a good back up
4. Toileting. In my backpacking experience, I've always just found a protected spot a little ways off the trail and dug a hole. Is this possible, or are the huts the place that one should "take care of business"?
Please use the toilets at each hut.
5. Does a decent map of the mountain exist? Online, all I can find is cartoony schematics.
Just how detailed do you want? Everyone follows either of two paths from the Momela gate to Miriakamba Hut. Bottom route best. Mt Meru Map
6. We're planning to just pack our own food as if it's a regular 4-day backpacking trip anywhere else. Any reason not to do this?
Yes good idea.
7. Related question: Planning to take a Whisperlite International backpacking stove. Will I be able to find white gas/Coleman fuel?
Yes in Arusha town
8. Transportation. We fly in to Kili airport - is it difficult to hire a ride to the park gate?
No by yourself hire a taxi, with tour company transport provided.

Thanks for any and all advice. I'm sure Kili is an amazing climb, but we have neither the money nor the inclination to rub shoulders with so many people. So Meru seems like a good choice. Cheers!
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Re: Mt. Meru only

Postby hikerbrian » Thu Jun 13, 2013 7:46 pm

Hey Roger,

Thanks for your reply, that is useful.
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