I was originally going on the Western Breach route, but because of the unfortunate rock slide at Arrow Glacier Camp we had to change routes and use Machame. The Western Breach is currently closed. I will never forget the winds and cold during the midnight hike. Luckily, I had packed a headlamp for camp usage as I was supposed to make the summit in daylight. This was my second attempt and first success. I will never do this again. Too exhausting! But it was a great experience and one I will never forget.
All seven of us from New Mexico, USA, reached the summit on Sept. 11, 2004 in time to watch the sunrise--it was fantastic! Three of us had the opportunity to explore the summit crater and ash pit as well. The only snow we encountered on the whole 6 day climb was in the summit crater!
Made it to the top on the last day of 2005. It was absolutely fantastic. The glaciers, the crater and the ash pit totally blew me away.
Like Dirk said, an extremely demanding trip, especially because sickness, poor weather, and short time-frame come together. The western breach route should be a lot of fun if we had good weather conditions and better acclimatization. Too bad we couldn't see anything from the summit, and had to get down quickly. The hiking was very steep each day but the real kicker was altitude. On the summit day I made it to the top with frequent hollers from our guide and after being relieved of my day pack half way up the Breach.
After hearing about the rock fall accident on the Western Breach route that killed three American climbers and injured 5 others a few days after we had been there, I feel very lucky to have made it to the top safely.
Completed with G-mack despite many trials and tribulations...
After G contracted illness night before proposed departure date, we spoke w/ Joel (our guide) the next morning, who said he didn't mind if we started a day late & just shortened the overall trip length to just 5 days (something I would NOT recommend to anyone- give yourself at least 6 days!! Kili's a BIG mountain, & if you're coming from the US, at least, you'll have jet lag, way different weather, & food to adjust to as well!!), we started the next day. Of course, I got the bug that Gordon had 2 days up the mountain! Fever, chills, congestion, coughing & sneezing @ 2,900 m (w/ 2 successive days afterwards of 1,000m gains- ouch!!)
Anyway, 1st camp at cave. Second camp @ Barranco Hut, 3rd @ Arrow Glacier Hut. Started @ 5.32 for summit. Fresh snow on Western Breach. Would have been an enjoyable route, but as I felt like utter dog shit the whole while, I could not enjoy it... Summited @ 11.20 (after it had started snowing (it either rained or snowed each day of our trip except for our final descent day)), left summit @ 11.35. Descended to Millennium Camp that day.
Millenium Camp to base next day. Great adventure!
So far one of the best experiences in my life. I started from the Machame gate and went up to the summit via Machame, Shira and Arrow Glacier Camps in 5 days. Just to test myself I carried my own gear (13kg) all the way to Arrow Glacier Camp and with the minimum acclimatization it was pretty exhausting.
I reached the summit just after sunrise with only a couple of people there at the time and the views are absolutely spectacular. I truly recommend the Machame route (instead of Marangu) as you can see the Shira plateau, Lava Tower and Arrow Glacier from Western Breach which are the highlights of the ascent.
Yes! I made it to the top. The whole team has written up their stories on our website.
Enjoy! Hope it helps those of you who come after!
Great Climb, mostly a long hike up and down
Three days up and two down. Awsome climb and experience. One down and 6 to go!!!
Went with Duma Explorers and highly recommend them - excellent value for the cost. This was the toughest thing I have ever done, mainly because I was sick the entire time (and not altitude sickness). We had cold frosty weather at the top with no view, but I didn't care - I made it to the top of Africa! :-) The descent was actually the toughest part for me - 15,000ft in a day and a half on rock (snow is much easier on the joints).
Sue and I summited just before 6 in the morning and 3 minutes before sunrise.... Very cold but what a beautiful view of the light hitting the Serengeti with Mount Meru keeping watch in the distance... A very rewarding climb!
First big one and a beauty. We spent 7 days on the mountain, had time to acclimatize properly on the Machame route. Climbed the Lava Tower, reach Uhuru Peak and skied down the scree slope, a lot of fun!
Had good luck with weather on top -- wasn't very cold, never had to fully zip my outer layer. Made it to the top with my friend Greg Fletchall and his son, Matt (age 12). Coming down was long and difficult. Many thanks to our guides Freddie and Charlie and the Marangu hotel, which arranged the climb.
I reccomend the Umbwe route, we had only one other group on the route for the first two days. The Western Breach is a nice challenge too. Good climb, good time.
Climbed with Kiliwarriors!!! They were awesome ... big thanks to Justin, Gideon and the others for guiding us to the top. All in our team of 5 made it to the Summit. Just be prepared as the descent was very challenging for several in our group. Can't say enough good things about the Kiliwarriors.
Typical september days. All seven of us reached Uhuru Peak !!
Great trip with Kiliwarriors and Faraja as our guide, Hosea our assistant, Kanini our camp manager. I was here in April 2004 with a different, well-known company, but this was fatastic! Great company, guides and porters. It isn't always about the summit, even though I made it twice, but about the experience on the mountain and the men that take you there. None better than Kiliwarriors.
Many people on the summit slogging in from Marangu at this time of year. Saw evacuated people. Scarey. Even though people of marginal fitness, like myself, can make it to the summit, you need to know it is a serious altitude and things can happen suddenly. Be prepared for that!
Wonderfull hike - will do it once again .............
I climbed this route when I was 18 with two friends. We chose the Machame Route because we wanted a challenge (we couldn't see ourselves sleeping in cabins). EWP helped us organize our trip (http://www.ewpnet.com/Machame.htm), and we arrived in Kilimanjaro International Airport in late may of 2000.
We ended up having a guide, and assistant guide, a cook, and 5 porters to help us with our hike (for details see the shortcut listed above):
EWP was fantastic, and our trip was a dream! I recommend it to anyone in good shape. Avoid the Marangu route (too touristy in my opinion), and go with one of the more remote routes if you can.