Shira Cathedral

Shira Cathedral

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 3.0667°S / 37.35000°E
Additional Information Route Type: Scramble
Additional Information Time Required: Expedition
Additional Information Difficulty: Walk-up
Sign the Climber's Log


If you climb on Kilimanjaro over Machame, Shira or Lemosho Route, I advice to have an acclimatation day at New Shira Camp (3830 m). During this day, you can explore the Shira Plateau and climb on the Shira Cathedral (3895 m).
From the three peaks Shira, Mawenzi and Kibo, Shira was the first volcano to extinct : it is the oldest and smallest peak. The Shira ridge on the western edge of the mountain is a heavily eroded ridge, 3962 m tall at its highest, Johnsell Point. This ridge is merely the western and southern rims of the original Shira crater. The northern and eastern sides are covered by later material from Kibo. Between Shira and Kibo, the Shira Plateau is a large (6200 ha), rocky collapsed crater (caldera). this intriguing feature has been formed by lava eruptions which solidified and turned to rock.
The principal summits of Shira are : Johnsell Point (3962 m) and Klute┬ĘPeak on Shira Ridge, the Cone (3840 m), Shira Needle, Shira Cathedral and East Shira Hill.

Route Description

From New Shira Camp, walk direction north, pass near the Shira Caves. Lock out here, for the shiny black distinctive obsidian rock. After 30 minutes, you arrive at (Old) Shira Huts. From take take the western direction to the endpoint of the rescue vehicles 4 X4 Shira trail. You cross the Shira Plateau, sown with rocks . Walk along the ridge, pass near the East Shira Hill. The path becomes steaped and an easy and short climb leads you to the summit of the Shira Cathedral. Interesting viewson the Shira Needle and on the Kikafu Barranco in the south, a wild an desolated valley. If you are lucky, you can see the impressive crowned eagle who lives here.
Walking time from New Shira Camp to the summit : 3 hours.

Essential Gear

It is easy rock climbing from the Hill to the Cathedral. No gear is necessary.

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

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k2link - Aug 3, 2004 9:11 pm - Hasn't voted

Route Comment

I agree with adding a acclimatization day at New Shira Camp. If I ever do this clmib again, I'd add that in for sure.

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