Ahhhh the memories. wrapped up in lots of thick clothing, standing on a glacier and watching the sun rise up over the Serengeti.
In my opinion Kilimanjaro is the perfect climb to start with if you plan any high altitude ascents. With a good backup team and good planning this can be one of the best ‘short’ high altitude ascents done in 6 or 7 days.
Unlike most mountains this one stands alone, rising out of the plains of Tanzania and into the sky. An epic sight that has to be seen to be believed. It is the highest free-standing mountain in the world.
How High Is Kilimanjaro
The mountain of Kilimanjaro stands at 5,893 metres (19,334 ft) at its highest point. It is the highest mountain in Africa and is situated in Tanzania.
It actually has 3 volcanic cones and craters that have come with volcanic eruption activity dating back over 2 and a half million years ago. The highest crater is called Kibo and the highest point of this crater rim is Uhuru Paek, the highest point.
Of course it is now a dormant volcano and the last volcanic activity was only around 200 years ago. In fact the last ‘major’ eruption was around 360,000 years ago!
I was lucky enough to be up on Kilimanjaro when some of the glaciers are still there. Epic surroundings as you slowly march to the summit around the crater rim. If I thought that I had seen great craters then just think that over 80% of the icy glaciers have melted away since a survey in 1912! If you want to see any then unfortunately you need to think ahead for soon as unfortunately, global warming is taking its toll.
As any traveller knows, photographs never make up for the feeling of ‘being there’ but the video slideshow, (below) of my trip is one that I can look at with fond smiles and thought.
As you saw in the video, due to its prominence and being near the equator you have almost every level of environment as you climb. The bottom is cultivated by local villagers. Then you have lush rain forest to start your trek up. As the trees disappear in the altitude levels the grasslands and alpine desert conditions appear like a Martian landscape. At the top, you could be an arctic conditions.
This makes for an amazing 6 or 7 day slow climb. Truly memorable and scenes you will never forget for your life. Reasons it is a week long climb rather than a long expedition as other mountains of similar heights around the world are. Eg my Aconcagua expedition. The terrain is walkable, you start high. Yes the African plains seem very flat but the curvature of the earth etc means this is already nearly 2000m.
Plus also due to the curvature of the earth, and being almost at the equator you have slightly more oxygen levels at 5000m than you would at 5000m at say, the Himalayas.
Teamwork, great attitudes, great sights and an amazing country (Tanzania) with it’s wonderful people help to make it an experience of a lifetime
This is one Mountain that gave me the ‘bug’ to go on and do more. Altitude is not everything, the beauty and experience of the place is, for me. A small hill, a huge Summit, doesn’t matter, give me a path, a top and great views with lovely people and I’m there.
Thank you for joining me here and I look forward to sharing many more of my memories plus exciting new adventures here in future