Mt Kilimanjaro and Colorado

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Re: Mt Kilimanjaro and Colorado

Postby rptraveller » Sat Jan 15, 2011 2:00 pm

doc1911 - Definitely looking into LP's book. I tried finding a good book that would help me select an operator, no luck so far :(

Steve - I read your other posts as well , about Hotel Marangu. Will check them out

Everyone - Thanks for your input
After reading above siggestions and researching some more, I am leaning towards doing the Western Breach with an overnight in Crater camp, on a trek with at least 8 days on the mountain. I do realize that there is a limited number of operators who do this route. Also that this is a much more expensive route, which makes me hesitate a bit... I am aslo leaning towards a December trip , summiting on New Years... . My reasons -
1 - shorter summit hike - I am not to keen on a 6-7 hour scramble in the dark..
2 - operators who have the crater camp option HAVE TO HAVE all the medical and other provisions necessary, like the portable chamber , oxygen etc. - it makes me feel a little bit better(?)
3 - as for why December, just thought Summiting on NY's would be cool :)

Although these are my initial thoughts I am open to other choices, discussions on why the above might be a very BAD idea!
Thoughts?? and anyone interested in a December option for WB w/i Crater camp?


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Re: Mt Kilimanjaro and Colorado

Postby MountainHiker » Sat Jan 15, 2011 4:42 pm

Not sure of the elevation of the Carter camp, but everything is a trade off. If you are shortening summit day by being higher, it is because you are higher. There comes a point where you won’t sleep, unless you hang around even longer (which isn’t going to happen) It is one thing to go up to an elevation and down the same day. It is quite another to go up and stay. That higher camp is far more likely to see use for the Gamow bag and oxygen. Also those bags can only drop you a few thousand feet in elevation.

If you are concerned about elevation I wouldn’t plan on staying at the Crater. Also the Western Breech route isn’t known as an easy route.
Altitude issues + hard route = bad combination

The following pages have info on Western Breach. The first link indicates you do a night climb the day before summit day. The second link indicates it is the hardest route on the mountain. Also to be acclimated for the Crater Camp requires extra days on the mountain which is why people will combine Western Breach with Shira and Lemosho Routes

With a moderate higher elevation mountain you want to get acclimated up to the elevation you can still sleep at, and then minimize your time above that.

This following link has the seasons to climb.

Do not under-estimate the importance of season. If you are cowering from the weather you won’t be doing the right things to help yourself acclimate. Your chances of a summit or having fun go way down. The recent climb where Martina Navratilova had to evacuate because of altitude sickness had bad weather.

Don’t fret climbing in the middle of the night. You’ll be following the person in front of you. If you plan your climb for just after the full moon you’ll see just fine anyway. If will be cold, but that’s what down is for.
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Re: Mt Kilimanjaro and Colorado

Postby Chary » Sat Jan 15, 2011 10:06 pm

I went to Kili around New Year's Day in 2001 via the Western Breach route and then down by whatever coke cola route. IMHO, a traverse like this is the best route option, though you do need an extra day. The hardest day was the one getting to the Crater camp (maybe around almost 19,000ft). It took us 9 hours in bad weather to get there. But we were rewarded with a leisure hike to the summit the next day, a gorgeous view of the mountain, glacier and clouds below. If you want some solitude, this is the one. There were 10 people on my team, including 1 60-year old, 2 middle-aged ladies, with only the local guides. Our success rate was 100%. If you want to have some idea beforehand about the route, go see the IMAX movie Kilimanjaro, which was produced by David Breashears and shot on that route (to avoid crowd, the summit scene was at Gilman's Point, I believe).

Good luck!

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Re: Mt Kilimanjaro and Colorado

Postby highcomm » Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:52 pm

My wife and I hiked Kili this past October. As for training we hiked every other weekend for 9 months and ran in the off weekends. As for guide service we went with Tusker Trails. Can't reccomend them enough. My wife got altitude sickness on the summit and almost died. Spent two days in a Moshi hospital. Our guides saved her life. They were a profssional, highly-trained class act.
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Re: Mt Kilimanjaro and Colorado

Postby Rastaman566 » Sun Jan 16, 2011 6:08 pm

As far as long distance day hikes go, I think doing the 26 mile Pikes Peak Day trip via Barr Trail would challenge you sufficiently. If you want to hit it up in May and go with someone who's been up there, contact me. I love doing the Barr Trail day-trip with people. -James

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Re: Mt Kilimanjaro and Colorado

Postby cheeseburglar » Mon Jan 17, 2011 1:29 pm

Castle Peak is a nice training area often used by groups heading overseas.
You can get some camping practice in as well. You might want to have the camping dialed in if you are going to sleep in a tent on the side of a mountain in Africa.
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Re: Mt Kilimanjaro and Colorado

Postby RobE » Mon Jan 17, 2011 5:27 pm

The Western Breach route suffered a fatal rockfall in January 2006 (one month before I did Machame with Zara). Afterwards, it was rerouted to minimize time in the most dangerous zones (see but Team Kilimanjaro recommends not using the route (see and Zara doesn't offer the route any more (see

Note that camping in the crater by this or any other route requires the porters to carry everything up and over the crater rim (twice); normally the porters stay below 5000 m. Many people don't sleep well at that altitude. For Western Breach trips, Team Kilimanjaro advises summitting before going down to the crater anyway.

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Re: Mt Kilimanjaro and Colorado

Postby lovetohike » Mon Jan 17, 2011 8:27 pm

My husband and I climbed Kili 3 years ago. We went with Tusker Trail and thought they were great company. Since we went in early March, there were not too many 14ers we could climb just before we went. We spent as much time as we could in the high country in January and February, skiing, snow-shoeing, etc. Neither of us had any trouble getting to the top of Kili. We took the Lemosho Glades route--7 days up and 2 days down. Good luck--it's a great hike and you'll be on a high for a few weeks after you return.

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Re: Mt Kilimanjaro and Colorado

Postby rptraveller » Sat Jan 22, 2011 7:04 pm

mountainhiker and RobE - thank you for the links and your sound advice on the potential dangers of western breach and crater camp . I am still reading up on the routes so the links definitely helped.

Chary- Glad you guys made it OK and thanks for sharing your experience re the crater camp.

highcomm - sorry your wife had to be taken to the hospital and glad you had a good team. I have heard good things abt Tusker and they are on my shortlist of tour ops.. Am curious about the insurance, esp since your wife was hospitalized - who was your insurer and how did that go for you guys?

James (Rastaman566) and cheeseburglar - Thank you for the hiking and camping suggestions. James - I was thinking I would more likely stay at Bar camp on the way up...will keep you in the loop if interested.

lovetohike - Thank you for your recommendation of Tusker. I'll read up on the route you took as well


Thanks so much for the great links and detailed information in your posts. In addition to the blogs and the links you all gave here and elsewhere on the forum, I am also reading Stedman's book . I have to say, it is VERY comprehensive and makes for excellent reading. I will be starting training (slowly) next week as I injured my ankle slightly last week and was resting it. Will keep you posted on who I choose to go with, when and what route...Meanwhile, any additional helpful comments are always welcome!

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Re: Mt Kilimanjaro and Colorado

Postby OBC13 » Sun Jan 23, 2011 7:53 am

You might want to look at a post from yesterday on 14erWorld:–-Mt-Kilimanjaro-(19-340ft)-Rongai-Route

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Re: Mt Kilimanjaro and Colorado

Postby rptraveller » Sun Jan 23, 2011 2:43 pm

OBC13 wrote:You might want to look at a post from yesterday on 14erWorld:–-Mt-Kilimanjaro-(19-340ft)-Rongai-Route

Hi OBC13

I tried the link and it asked me to register / login . I tried my 14ers login but could not get thru and it would not let me 'sign up / register'...suggestions?


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Re: Mt Kilimanjaro and Colorado

Postby OBC13 » Sun Jan 23, 2011 3:23 pm

Yes, I should have taken that into consideration before I posted that link. Sorry about that. 14erWorld does require a sign-up and a $20 per year fee; $7 if you are a CMC member.


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