A great trip. Can you believe we did this for our honeymoon?
November is the "short" rainy season: we got soaked!! If I have one tip - it is to make sure that your bags, including day packs, are 100% waterproof. Once stuff is wet, it is impossible to get things dried out. Another problem with this time of year is that it is cloudy almost all the time - so you get only the occasional glimpse of the mountain on the way up and miss out on some spectacular views. On the positive side of this season - we had the mountain to ourselves - there was only one other person on the machame route with us (Hello Morat!) and he took an extra acclimatisation day, so we had the summit trek to ourselves and we only saw one person come up the Marangu route too....
I started feeling the altitude as early as Shira Hut - I lost appetite and had a headache - but felt mostly ok from then on. Otherwise, I didnt have too many problems.
I really enjoyed the scramble up from Barranco - its reputation as "breakfast" is exaggerated....!
The last day is truly a slog and the last couple of hundred meters up to Stella Point (once you can see it) seem to take forever. You realise how difficult it is when you see your guides struggling! My wife was a legend - she had so much determination to get up there - and despite being sick (dont eat too much at the final meal!) made it all the way to Uhuru.
The sunrise from Stella Point is sensational. My biggest regret is that I didnt have the energy to get he camera out to capture it.....!
The way down was horrible. I was too tired to descend quickly down the scree without worrying I was going to hurt myself. From Barafu to Rau camp is easy, but from Rau camp to the gate through the forest was almost unpassable because it had rained so much - it took us a whopping 6.5 hours to squelch our way through!
In summary: brilliant to have done it!!
Climbed with forty-odd others raising money for Downside Up, a Moscow-based charity for children with Down's Syndrome. Great success: all but a couple got to the summit ridge, 14 of us got to Uhuru. Raised over £40,000 for the Russian children. Beautiful climb.
We used the Rongai Route with Exodus and the African walking company. A beautiful and quiet trail from the north side. We were the only group on that side of the mountain. Take your time, it's not a race, success is to reach the top and come back alive. Very easy as long as you're determined, focused and walking slow. The summit day is exhausting, 11 hours from kibo and back, then another 3 hours to Horombo. Have heart...
Very cold, windy, snowing and sleeting....fantastic views......loved it.
This has nothing to do with climbing, but for some reason you've got to have been there
Day 1: Machame Gate to Machame Hut camp - heavy and thick mud, water puddles on trail, gaiters needed.
Day 2: Machame to Shira camp - warm and sunny, no mud.
Day 3: Shira to Barranco camp - warm and sunny all the way, cool at night.
Day 4: Barranco to Karranga camp - cool, windy and sunny on trail, cold at night.
Day 5: Karranga to Barafu camp - cool, windy and sunny on trail, cold at night.
Day 6: Barafu to Uhuru Peak - very cold from 12AM to sunrise, no clouds, no snow on trail.
Day 6: Uhuru Peak to Rau camp (Mweka alternate) - cool with light hail at Barafu.
Day 7: Rau to Kidea Village gate: light to medium mud until 4x4 trail, warm and sunny.
All six members of our group made the summit on our first attempt. The extra day at Karranga camp ensured no one got altitude sickness and it gave us extra rest on the days before summit. Highly recommend www.roysafaris.com. Thank you Julius, Elias and Remy.
Africa was magical. An amazing time all around.
My travel partner Dave and I took the less traveled route which offered beautiful vistas and the feeling of utter isolation from the rest of the world. Just us and the mountain!
The Londorossi Route : Lemosho - Shira 2 - Shira 1 - Moir Hut - Arrow Glacier - Western Breach - Uhuru Peak - Rau Camp - Kedia Gate (Mweka Alternate)
We did not come across a soul till we summited at 6:35 AM on 09-Sept-02, to the most spectacular sights! Breath taking (and not just due to the altitude!) The sun was just rising, the glaciers were aglow. Standing there, the highest point on the continent, high above the clouds ... difficult to explain all the surging emotions. We made it and I have now fallen in love with the mountains.
Our guides and porters were incredible, without whom Dave and I could never have made the trek. All arranged with the expert help of Desmond and Seamus of the Marangu Hotel in Moshi .
A trek I highly recommend to anybody with a sense of adventure and who enjoys the incredible beauty and splendor of Nature!
Extremely bad weather. Rain all along and a severe snowstorm on the topday. I strongly advise not to climb during the rainseason, Machame is considered the most scenic route but we didn't see a thing for we walked in thick clouds all the way up. Good thing though was that there was nobody else on the mountain at all.
Xtreme Support Foundation
My first experience with high altitude - started a love affair with the mountains. Should be an easily attainable summit provided you pace yourself and hydrate yourself. The Machame Route gives spectacular views of the mountain. Our version took us via Barranco Hut, above the Karranga Valley (normally this variant goes down into and across it) and on to Barafu Hut. After the summit we returned via Barafu and went to the new Rau campsite.
No technical climbing involved - but hard going all the same for a first timer!
My account of the climb can be found at http://www.tightropenet.com/Kilimanjaro/index2.htm
We had quite an unfortunate day, for a member of our party suffered from acute mountain sickness and was falling asleep between Kibo Hut and Hans Meyer's Cave. Moreover, it was extremely cold and windy. When our sick friend started vomiting it became clear that the right thing was to take her down. Nevertheless, the two remaining members of the group did reach Uhuru Peak. That makes 50% of us in the summit, I suppose it's not such a bad figure.
My SP Trip Report is up and has all the nitty gritty ;-). It also includes our GPS Waypoints for Machame / Mweka Alternative Routes.
NOTE #1: I'm not one to argue but according to Alpine Ascents (who offer the Machame / Barafu route), "Kilimanjaro at 19,340ft, is an extreme, high altitude climb." ;-) My take? It's all semantics. After all, there's nothing really incorrect about calling the Machame route, or the normal route on Aconcagua, a walk either - okay, maybe a "stiff walk."
NOTE #2: It's probably not too hard to find a tour operator that will let you carry up all your own gear. See the last paragraph of the Tour Operator section in my trip report. My tentmate, Yehuda, was also trading loads with porters on our trek up.
NOTE #3: It seems like most people who list "Machame" as the route climbed used Machame followed by Barafu. Just as a note, the Machame approach trail is also used with the Western Breach (aka Arrow Glacier) summit route.
Started on Kili just after climbing to Point Lenana (trekker's summit) on Mt. Kenya, so we had a head start on acclimatization. Machame route was great! It had plenty of variety in climbing conditions and scenic views.
The summit day was epic as you slog through the dust at night in order to find yourself surrounded by ice and snow at the summit at dawn. The summit push was the only really tough day as the altitude really started affecting everyone (12 of 17 in our group made the summit). Keep slow (pole pole) and anyone can make it. The views of Mawenzi and Meru from the top are more than worth the effort!
Travelled with KE Adventure and had a remarkable experience.
If you are even remotely thinking of taking this trip, DO IT! Just plunk down the money and go by yourself or with a group -- you will never ever forget it.
I was supposed to go with a friend, but one week before, we made an overnight stay at l'Aiguille du Midi (french alps), at refuge Simmond, and my friend got sick.
So I went alone.
One guide, four porters, and a 2 person tent for me alone !!!
This is something surprising about Kili: porters. You carry almost nothing, when you arrive at camp tents are set, dinner is ready... I can not say I really like that, I mean I am used to carry all I need myself (this ain't golf), but it is a very good and funny memory to enjoy a full course dinner (chicken with french fries and vegetables !!!) at camp at more than a 4.000m elevation !!
The route took 6 days. If you go slowly, it is not even tiring. (still, it tend sto get boring on the 4th day, you long for a true summint day).
I had an unusual weather: hail storm every afternoon, including one thunder storm in a complete whiteout on a plateau with bolts striking less than 200 m from you. Brrrr... spooky.
But this weather allowed me to have a summit day in a totally snowy Kibo. That is magical. Nothing but white. you feel like you are entering Paradise.
The sunrise above Mawenzi is an undescribable memory.
You can check my home page with pictures and 2 short MPGs at: http://geocities.com/jpdoumeyrou/
I wished I had more time to discover Tanzania (Meru, Ngorongoro...). People there are really cool and friendly.
Summitted with my son Alessandro. Very nice route with virtually no people and nice acclimatization. The summit day (from the Arrow Glacier) is nice and easy, with some fun scrambling in the final part of the approach to the crater. From the crater, there is only one more hour to the top.
White X-mas in Africa ;-} great mountain, take your time and don't rush up the coca cola route, just spend a few bucks and stay at least 7 days on the mountain, it is really worth it!
Check out the pictures and info on the 7 summits pages.