whiskey route up, rained every day except the last day, and a snowstorm on the summit. fn-eh
Did the Summit with a group of Russians. Funny place. Lots of people trying the Mountain without any acclimatization.... I don't think it is healthy way. We acclimatized on Mount Kenya and had no altitude problems on Kili.
A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!!!! It was hard waking up at midnight and then being coherent, but apparently it works.
We had white-out conditions from even before Stella's point. We definitely earned our summit.
Ah, my first taste of thin-air. After completing Kenya ten years earlier, Kili became a niggling 'must do sometime' mountain. Like Kenya, it was great to be able to make this climb with Caroline. It was another great African experience.
Jan 2-7 2006 on the Machame Route. Great trip, although we were on the mountain during the tragic rock slide. All 3 in our group successfuly summited, although, starting our summit bid at 12am, we only took 5 hours to summit and reached the highest point in the dark at 5am! No views!
Recently climbed Kili, it was a wonderful trip. Besides the fact it rained everyday, I couldn't have asked for a better trip. Destination Africa Tours was a great tour company, on-time, professional, and not expensive. From the picked at the airport to the hotel on the first and last night, these guy are top shelf.
Thanks Steve Findlay and Jagged Globe, great summit. 2 to finish off the 7 summits!
Definitely feeling like a poseur for posting on the Marangu Route.
I may have been colder and more tired, but I don't remember when. Although steep and muddy and perhaps grueling in their own way, by far the assault on the summit was most difficult. Incredibly steep and biting cold until the sun finally came up. Several of us were so tired we fell asleep sitting on rocks waiting for members of our party to catch up.
By far the challenge was mostly mental. I have no doubt that those in our party who turned back could have made it if they supressed those inner demons.
Beautiful glaciers, summit resembles some sort of lunar surface.
It was a tough day !
Got mountain sickness at about 5200m : very tired and feeling like puking all the way up. However I sticked to it to reach the top.
A short break at Gillman Point (5600m) is good to recharge batteries.
Marvellous experience though !
All of us reached the summit accompanied by a beatiful sunrise that day !!!!
What an adventure. It's too much to sum up here.
Twendi pole pole is swahili for lets go slowly. Six hours in the pitch black above 15,000' one foot in front of the other. 0 deg F and a light breeze made for perfect conditions. Managed to get to the summit 30 min before sunrise and 15 min before the crowds. Still can't believe my guide lit up a cigarette for his summit celebration. Lemosho route has a lot of up and down but very little traffic. A great route with scenic views and no crowds. Had a great expierence with Good Earth Tours. A Video and PICS
In 1973 the National Park was still getting established, but the main route was pretty much the same - Marangu to Horombo Hut to Mandara Hut to Kibo Hut, summit and then one night in Horombo on the descent. We climbed in February, and had about 2 feet of snow on the crater rim.
Summited at 08:30. Descended via the very busy Marangu route. Great experience. Never again.
Climbed with Mountain Madness. We had a great time, despite feeling like dirt while trying to sleep above 16,000 ft
We had rain all the way to the last camp, which turned to snow. WE started in snow, but it cleared and the summmit was very nice, and strangely anough - no wind at all.
Great route - very quiet. Weather excellent until summit day when there was a snow blizzard. Awesome experience nonetheless.
My 16 year old daughter and I did the Machame Route 28 Dec 2005 - 3 Jan 2006. I have a few comments about the climb that I'd like to share.
To start with, I'd like to establish my bone fides. I've done a fair amount of climbing in CA to include Whitney(mountaineers route) and Shasta. I also do a bit of trad climbing. I have many triathlons including 2 half-ironmans and a marathon under my belt. I'm a 22 year career Army officer to include 4 yrs in special operations units...hardship is not unknown to me.
I must say that the climb was one of the toughest physical challenges I have undertaken. To me, it was the steady, slow, one foot plopped down in front of the other 7 day slog that required significant mental as well as physical stamina.
I mention the above with the idea of disabusing anyone reading this web-site of the notion that this is just an easy hike. There are a few postings that leave the reader with the mistaken impression that this climb is no big deal. Anyone who is considering the climb and getting ready to plop down $5k+ needs to keep this in mind.
The trail conditions were excellent. It is very well maintained and does not have the rutting that folks had previously complained about. The trail, however, was extremely crowded. For 2 1/2 days, it was one long conga line going up the trail. All the groups seemed to break camp at the same time. If you want to avoid this, leave really early or hang back a bit and let the craziness get out in front of you. We chose the hang back approach which seemed to work for us.
Weather. The tempratures ranged from 80 degrees on the first day to maybe the low 20s on the the summit. I would say the average temp after the machame huts was around 45 degrees. The first day started out sunny but in mid-afternoon, it started to rain and cooled off to the low 70s. Temp at the m-huts dropped quickly when the sun started to set. For the remainder of the climb, the weather pattern seemed to be a nice sunny start(felt really nice) but at around 1030 a chilling mist would develop significantly dropping the temp. At Barafu huts, it felt pretty cold maybe low-40s, upper 30s exacerbated by extremely high winds. Everyone at the camp hunkered down trying to stay warm. Summit day (started at midnight) was not too bad at the beginning. It was a crisp, clear cold evening/early morning low 30s - upper 20s. Around maybe 5am, an icy mist developed with the temp around the low-20s with wind. On the rim, everything was iced over and the mist was very thick. Didn't get to see the glorious sun-rise you are supposed to see due to the mist.
Equipment. We brought all our gear with us. For a backpack I used the Osprey Ceres 70. It might seem like overkill, but I carried a little more in it to lessen the burden on my daughter. I used a MH phantom 15 down sleeping bag. I ended up sweating most of the nights. Was concerned about it being down and there being the threat of rain on a few days but was not a factor. My sleeping pad was a thermarest guidelight 3/4. In retrospect, I would have arranged with the guide service to rent/buy a cheapie full length closed cell pad in addition to the pad we brought. You have the luxury of porters carrying your gear so why not the extra luxury. We did bring sit pads I had cut out from a larger ridge rest pad. This was handy when we made rest/lunch stops along the way. It also extended our 3/4 pads to full length at night. I highly recommend this.
As far as clothing goes, I'll describe what I had and in the end what might have worked best. I mostly wore nylon pants (TNF) with patagonia silk weight long underwear underneath. On summit day I added another mid weight underwear layer and MH windstopper pants. This worked very well. For a top I wore a TNF El Cap long sleeve zip top shirt for the first half of the climb and a Patagonia R.5 shirt for the second half. This also worked well. Now, for jackets, I think I am guilty of overkill. I brought a TNF windshirt, a TNF softshell, a Patagonia stretch element shell, and a MH sub-zero SL down hooded parka. What I really ended up using was the stretch element jacket(very nice, lots of venting options) over my long underwear shirt when I started the day (okay I was a little chilled, but I warmed up quickly); added the windshirt for extra insulation when stopped for breaks; and upon arriving to camp, donned the parka. I word about my parka. It was probably the best clothing decision. A lot of folks say all you need are a couple of fleeces and a shell. Okay, you can do this but, again, given that porters are shouldering most of your burden, why not bring a little extra 2lbs 4 oz of luxury. I witnessed a lot of suffering from people who used the couple of fleece with shell philosophy. Even people who had down jackets were somewhat uncomfortable. You do spend a fair amount of time chillin' (pun intended?) at the camps so when you arrive, why not just don a sleeping bag of a parka and be comfortable. On summit day I wore the r.5 shirt, windshirt, and parka. This worked well, as I just kept the parka unzipped for venting. I was comfortable the whole way(especially when you get out of your tent at midnight to celebrate new years with all the singing guides). My daughter used a go-lite six months night parka which worked well for her. Turned out I didn't really use/need my TNF softshell at all.
For gaiters, we used OR expedition crocs. Probably could have gotten away with wearing something like OR's stretchy low-cut gaiters, it would have kept the scree out and the mud was manageable on the trail. Most of the time I wore REI One gloves - nice; and for the summit wore OR mittens. For a hat I had a light weight OR balaclava topped with a TNF logo beanie. For boots I wore, don't laugh, LL Bean's mountain tread mid-cuts. These are very comfortable boots and ended up working well for the climb. I will say that the tread pattern on them are kind of strange. The tread pattern appears to try to mimic some type of animal paw and is not exactly the grippiest of patterns. My daughter wore a pair of Raichle trekking boots.
Physical health. We both used dox and did not suffer too much from the altitude. Most of the effects of altitude we experienced were gastro-intestinal, nausea and the occaisional headache.
Food. I suppose this is dependent on the guide service. By and large the food we had was pretty good. By the end of the climb meat was definitely lacking and the food wasn't very fresh (you only eat what the porters are able to carry and by the 5th day pickens tend to be slim). We brought with us gel, snickers and packets of gookinaid. We also brought a water purifier and tablets but did not use either for the water. The boiling of the water seemed to do the trick. On summit day we were just given tea and biscuits at midnight and our service did not plan for another meal until arrival at Mweka late in the afternoon. I would recommend bringing/having the guides make peanut butter sandwich to eat when you return from the summit to Barafu and before you descend to Mweka.
Well, I hope this posting helps anyone considering this climb. It is an amazing experience especially if you are sharing this with someone close and special to you. Getting to the summit with my 16 year old daughter was a surprisingly emotional experience and one of the proudest moments in my life.
Climbed with Tusker Trail and a group who was climbing for the Make-A-Wish foundation. Perfect weather, fun trek.
Did the quite busy Marangu Route (with an extra day for acclimatization). Pretty easy, but fun!