The Most Immediate Issues You Need to Address to Climb Kilimanjaro
Kilimanjaro is the highest peak in Africa, with 5,895 meters of maximum altitude in Uhuru Peak. The volcano, still active and formed by three volcanoes, was climbed for the first time by the German Hans Meyer and the Austrian Ludwig Purtscheller in 1889 and is considered one of the Seven Summits.
The existing glacier at the top provides perpetual snow, although in recent years it has decreased in thickness and surface area and the worst is feared.
When to go?
The best time to try the ascension is the driest months of September, October, January and February. From Europe there is a daily Northwest Airlines flight that departs from Amsterdam and leaves you at the Kilimanjaro airport. Do you need experience? Kilimanjaro is one of the few peaks whose ascent does not have the complications of other mythical mountains such as Everest or K2, although of course you have to be well prepared. The three simplest routes, Marangu, Rongai and Machame can be climbed by a person of good health without the need of knowledge or experience in mountaineering.
Can you climb only?
Of course, but the best thing is that once there you hire a good guide to take you to the summit and take care of food and protection, which can cost around 1,500 dollars for Climbing Kilimanjaro.
What is the best way of ascension? As we said, the simplest ones are Marangu, Rongai and Machame. Via Marangu is the fastest way to the top (4-5 days of ascension), but also the most crowded of tourists, so much so that they call it the Via Coca-Cola. In addition, it is so outstanding that you hardly have time to get used to the altitude, which results in few reaching the top following it. The fundamental thing is to take the ascent with tranquility.
Will there be shelters along the way?
Along the ascent there are shelters with cooking utensils, bathrooms (the typical hole in the ground, do not expect anything else), and in some until electricity, where to do night at the end of each day.
What dangers can be expected? The climb is not too technical but it would be. The dangers related to altitude are those that advise having a good guide someone who knows how to recognize “altitude sickness” and knows how to treat it. The climatic conditions will be, surely extreme, having to bear temperatures of more than 15 degrees below zero. It’s a trip from the tropical jungle to the glaciers, so wearing proper clothes is very important.
What is the Risky part?
The end is what usually costs the most. The rush to the summit is made from Kibo, usually during the night, since it is easier to climb the icy slope, to reach Gilman’s Point at 5 or 6 o’clock in the morning. From here there is still an hour and a half to climb to the summit in Uhuru. Those who still have enough strength will get to Uhuru Peak at the same time the sun rises and enjoy one of the greatest shows that can be seen on Earth. And of course, do not forget to take the picture.