Mount Kilimanjaro.

19,336 feet - the tallest free standing mountain in the world.

It is a world unto itself, with five different ecological zones: bushland, rain forest, heath, alpine desert, and arctic. We live on the edge of the bushland, our daily runs taking us up into the coffee fields. Though  there are painfully steep bits, jogging about for a couple hours is not the preparation one might hope for the true trek.

The climb begins within the rain forest, where the air is thick with moisture, with animal cries, with oxygen.  Each zone falls back with a surprising suddenness, stripping the world away till it is just you, and the ice, and the rock, and 50% less breathable air.

There are many routes to the top, including ours. And while the experienced rock climber could choose a direct path with picks and rope, with others all you need is your own two feet and luck. Yet, Kili is proportionately one of the dangerous climbs in the world. The official death rate of 10-12 victims a year is openly acknowledged by locals as completely inaccurate. The number instead hovers somewhere around 50, though even that is nearly impossible to verify as deaths, especially of porters often go unreported.

1 comment:

sojournsafaris said...

Boy, You are very funny in how you narrate your climb/ordeal on kili. thank the gods you escaped with an intact brain.

To choose the right Kilimanjaro Climb route for you, there are plenty of variables to be mindful of.
Who: Who is climbing? The whole group's abilities must be factored into choosing a route. The rest of the party is relying on your decision. Pick a route that best fits everyone.
What: What limitations surround your climb? Are you bound by a budget? Or the number of days on your trip? There are cheap/expensive routes, and short/long itineraries.
How: How do you see your trek? Do you want the most challenging route or a less strenuous one? These answers will affect which route is for you.
Where: Where do you want to begin your climb? The routes start from all sides of the mountain. Where you begin affects cost, scenery and scenic variety.
Why: Why are you climbing? Is it very important to summit? Then choose a route with a high success rate. Do you want to take the best photos? Then pick the most scenic route.
When: If you are climbing during the dry season, great. But if you are climbing during the rainy season or the shoulder seasons, then the route you select can play into the climb's difficulty.
So Which is the best route to use to climb up kilimanjaro? Lemosho Route and Rongai Route are the most scenic routes up kilimanjaro. Mt Kilimanjaro Machame route is also a scenic and very popular route with many climbers.
The Marangu Route Climb is however the most used route since it has the advantage of sleeping in huts with bunker beds, hot showers, beverages and beers in the evenings are also available. Marangu is also the shorter route and can be done in 5 days although an extra day for acclimatisation is recommended.