My first experience with high altitude, was lucky not have any problems (didn't bother with Diamox or anything like that, but had an extra acclimatisation day in Karanga Valley).
Summit day was tough, a long steep slog made harder by the cold and noticeably thinner air, but well worth it. Once Stella Point was reached (at sunrise - beautiful, but unfortunately didn't get a photo), the last hour to Uhuru was no problem at all. Going down on the loose scree was fun - pretty knackering, but the satisfaction saw me through the rest of the day.
After all that, those beers at Mweka Camp were much appreciated!
For the record, out of our group of 21, 19 got to Stella Point and 14 made the summit.
Summited in five days. Monsoon arrived a little early this year, so we encountered cold, rain and snow most days. Summit morning brought perfect weather. Reached the summit at 5:30 am from Barrafu Hut.
A nice trip. The Arrow Glacier is more or less gone. The route was steep, but not really difficult or dangerous. A few scrambling sections near the crater rim were nice but not very exposed. The lokal guys did a good job carrying gear, talking friendly and making better food than I usually eat at home.
I did not camp in the crater but instead walked directly from Shira Plateau to the summit with a few hours of rest at Arrow Glacier camp. This saves the porters a lot of gear-carrying.
Regards Bjørn Revil
Had great weather all 6 days on the mountain. First of my Seven Summits...
Great hike, good weather, good company. Did it in seven days (extra night in Karanga Valley in between Baranco and Barafu). I'd never been over 14,500 feet, so didn't know what to expect. Never had any altitude symptoms; didn't take diamox. Hike is a slow dance until summit night, which really wasn't all that grueling either, just cold and windy. Climbed Lava Tower, which offered a few technical but not at all exposed moves. Monsoon has apparently arrived early this year, but we had good weather with just a bit of rain.
A beautiful climb because every day the terrain is different. The last day to the summit was hard in my experience and the scree is quite steep. See for the route description the 'Arrow Glacier Route' under 'Routes'. More information at: www.climbingtours.net
Muddy and rainy all the way, except for summit day. No one we consulted there would confirm that we had just been unlucky. Avoid December/Christmas if you are thinking of climbing this mountain.
Nevertheless, an experience that can only be mitigated, not spoiled, by inclement weather.
Fantastic nature and nice trip. My first high altitude experience. It wasn't so bad, although we didn't do much aclimatisation. Very nice weather all five days we spent in Kilimanjaro park.
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.