Kili Route - Rescue?

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by cabouckaert1 » Mon Nov 12, 2007 11:07 am

Presumably the Marangu route is the safest and the one where you have the best chance of a quick rescue. This is the shortest, easiest, and most touristic route. I think it is also the route that is located closest to the nearest city. I'm not an expert though, never been, but I'm planning on climbing it this summer.


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by divnamite » Mon Nov 12, 2007 2:13 pm

Doesn't that route give you the shortest time for acclimatization? If that's the case, it probably causes more problems than the rescue factor. As far as I know, most problems on kili is the AMS, so this route increases possibility of AMS by lack of acclimatization time. Why not just go for a longer route that diminishes your chance of AMS?

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by pyerger » Mon Nov 12, 2007 5:43 pm

About two years ago, me and five others climbed Kili. We all reached the summit, I think mainly because we took the machame route. We took an extra day, 7 days instead of 6,. that really helped with the acclimation. I think acclimation would be the biggest factor, in summiting. There are so many people on the mountain (Guides with radios) That it didn't seem,rescue would be an issue, on any route.

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by Alpinist » Mon Nov 12, 2007 7:19 pm

There is supposedly a rescue team at the park entrance and at each of the huts. I didn't see them as we didn't stay at the huts.

I climbed Kili via the Machame Route earlier this year. It is very scenic. Most people take an an extra day to climb it that way which helps with acclimatization. We actually planned for an 8-day trip because 1 member of the team had never been at high altitude before. However, everyone felt strong and so we ended up summiting on the 6th day and hiking out on day 7 as is the norm.

The map below gives a nice overview of the routes. Notice there are 2 routes that connect with the Machame Route; the Umbwe and the Mweka. If your dad got into trouble, I think they would take him down one of those 2 trails. As you can see, the Machame Route is no more isolated than the Marangu Route.


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by Renardo » Tue Nov 13, 2007 6:30 am

If going the Machame route, it is possible to drive to old Shira Camp (the one east of Shira 2), so rescue is possible off the Shira Plateau via that route (although it would probably have to be a pretty serious injury to call a 4x4). Anything higher on the Machame route would require walking down to a lower camp or a helicopter. Our guide said that sometimes they would send a helicopter to Barranco Camp if there was a serious problem. Any helicopter service would be from Kenya and would be quite expensive.

As other people have said, take sufficient time to acclimate, watch for symptoms of AMS, and you shouldn't have any problems.

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by divnamite » Thu Nov 15, 2007 2:15 pm

BTW, d91sgw, which company are you going with?

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by divnamite » Thu Nov 15, 2007 9:42 pm

Sorry, no. I'm looking at as well. I figure I might one day decide to do this, never too early to collect information.

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by JanG » Thu Nov 15, 2007 11:49 pm

Acclimatization and individual susceptibility to AMS are the key words when considering the risk of AMS. Has your dad been above 14,000 ft? If he had no problems then the risk is less but AMS can happen to anyone. I was 56 y/o when I climbed Kili (via the Umbwe route) and had no problems but our LOCAL assistant guide (who had been on the summit before without problems) was affected, so it is really unpredictable!

My suggestion: go slowly & retreat at the first onset of symptoms of pulmonary edema (primarily persistent severe cough and shortness of breath).

My choice of route is the UMBWE UP (spectacular trek) and the Marangu down (long hike without the views of the cascading ice fields).

Lots of luck


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by Dan Ralston » Wed Dec 19, 2007 8:28 pm

Don't know if you've made a decision on the tour company or route but I'll throw in my 2 cents worth. I just did the Rongai route in September 2007 with a local tour company that has a US office, called Good Earth. On the Rongai route we only saw one other group of trekkers until we got to Kibo. But on the way down the other side we passed all the herded groups, some as many as 50 (not counting the porters and guides); one tour group after the other. Also Good Earth goes even if you are the only trekker. My group consisted of only 3. So if you want to enjoy the trek think about having to share every trail and camp with hundreds of other folks. You will not be sorry finding a tour company to go the Rongai route.

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by waXology » Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:39 am

Hi mate,

I'm new too. Nice bump :)

Just on this thread, I know it's 3 years old but my 2 cents. i just got back and on the Machame route we passed 2 helipads over the 7 days. i would say the highest was at Barranco camp. 3900m

We were also told landrovers can drive up to about 3700 near the Lemosho route where there is also another helipad. All in all id say it's a safe mountain for rescues and the shear amount of porters on there if you ever got into serious trouble they would get you down quick smart.

not to mention on the highway down to Mweka after you summit you pass many wheeled stretchers ready for use in case of emergency.

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