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Kilimanjaro Questions

Discussion area for peaks outside of the USA.
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Re: Kilimanjaro Questions

Postby MountainHiker » Fri Mar 23, 2012 3:06 pm

Char7311 wrote: "Sleeping in the crater is dangerous. You ascend from 15,500 ft to 19,000 and sleep there. That is too much of a large elevation gain for most people to acclimatize to. Of course, if you were able to acclimatize here, then the summit is very easy, about 1 hour away. But being able to acclimatize to 19,000 while asleep is far more difficult than climbing from Barafu to the summit and descending.
Thoughts on whether "climb hike camp low" applies or if it's better to sleep in the crater for summit day in this instance?

I would agree with this. If you can acclimate to 19,000‘, then you don’t need to worry about needing a short summit day. The groups that spend the night at 19,000’ tend to do so after a longer time on the mountain than most tours.

My reasoning is if the summit is only another hour away, then why not just do it and get down to an elevation where most people won’t get in trouble. Extra days on the mountain above 10-12,000’ but below the final 15,000’ camp can help with summit day. But 19,000’ isn’t where most people will be able to sleep on arrival.

The mistake a lot of people make is booking a tour that moves up too fast. You want to be both acclimated and rested for summit day.
My brother and his girlfriend will be physically prepared but will be coming from sea level.
You’ll have to acclimate based on their needs. If it’s a breeze for you, then enjoy the walk in the park!
Red, Rugged, and Rotten: The Elk Range - Borneman & Lampert

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Re: Kilimanjaro Questions

Postby WarDamnPanic » Sat Mar 24, 2012 9:02 am

Will my 20 degree down bag be suitable for Kili? Just signed up for a trip in September.

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Re: Kilimanjaro Questions

Postby bking14ers » Sat Mar 24, 2012 10:14 am

Not meaning to be too terribly nosey, but what does a trip like that cost?

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Re: Kilimanjaro Questions

Postby MountainHiker » Sat Mar 24, 2012 5:35 pm

bking14ers wrote:Not meaning to be too terribly nosey, but what does a trip like that cost?

We spent about $5500 per person for everything - airfare, mountain, safari, tips, spending money, visa, a couple hotels along the way before arriving in Tanzania - not counting gear. You’ll see amounts all over the place. Some will say they can do it for less. Many pay a lot more. I show a break down in my trip report. Link on the first page of this thread.
Red, Rugged, and Rotten: The Elk Range - Borneman & Lampert

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Re: Kilimanjaro Questions

Postby matt pierce » Thu Apr 19, 2012 3:09 pm

Char7311 wrote:I'm planning to hike Kili in early September with my brother and his girlfriend. We're deciding on companies and routes. I haven't read the rest of the thread yet but I browsed and saw there wasn't mention about sleeping in the crater on the Shira route. One company sleeps in the crater, which they say adds to their success rate and ability to enjoy summit day since the summit is only about an hour away from the crater. Another company doesn't for this reason:

"Sleeping in the crater is dangerous. You ascend from 15,500 ft to 19,000 and sleep there. That is too much of a large elevation gain for most people to acclimatize to. Of course, if you were able to acclimatize here, then the summit is very easy, about 1 hour away. But being able to acclimatize to 19,000 while asleep is far more difficult than climbing from Barafu to the summit and descending. Does that make sense? The standard schedule is 6-8 hours to the summit, then 6-8 hours down to Mweka."

I'll be hiking 14ers all summer which I hope will help at least a tiny bit with acclimatizing. My brother and his girlfriend will be physically prepared but will be coming from sea level.
Thoughts on whether "climb hike camp low" applies or if it's better to sleep in the crater for summit day in this instance?


Unfortunately Altitude Sickness isnt exactly an exact science...
Ive been to Kili twice - the first trip I was the second youngest of 20 people and stopped 400 feet short of Stella Point because of altitude sickness. The youngest guy on our group got HAPE...
My second trip I took more time and acclimatized properly at Mawenzi Tarn and did way better...

Ive known people that made the summit and THEN camped in the crater but not the other way around...

If it were me (and remember I'm prone to altitude sickness) - I would avoid the crater because you gain that crater so quickly. If I REALLY wanted to do it I would make sure and spend an acclimatization day at or near 15,000ft (maybe Kibo Hut) - I cant imagine anyone going to Barafu Camp or the like straight to the crater to sleep...

And yes there is a HUGE difference between 18,000ft and a 14er...

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Re: Kilimanjaro Questions

Postby matt pierce » Thu Apr 19, 2012 3:10 pm

My second trip was about $6000 but that included a short stop in Zanzibar and $2600 in total airfare...

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Re: Kilimanjaro Questions

Postby RockyMountainMustang » Thu Apr 19, 2012 5:41 pm

1. I wouldn't have left anything behind. I wish I had warmer shoes and some cliff bar (the crunchy ones that don't freeze), and some more handwarmers to keep my water bottles from freezing and my feet warm at night. Bring bengay maybe - good for camp massages. I never had acid reflux before, but did at 16,000ft, so maybe a couple pepto tablets too, and excedrin (great if you are a coffee drinker and need a caffeine fix to keep the withdrawal effects at bay)

2. Not enough money. I had to skimp on the tip and left Africa with $2 in my pocket and no functioning plastic money. Take whatever you think you need and x by 2. I converted 1/2 into shilingi initially and then the other half later.

3. No glacier glasses, I was fine with just good sunglasses. Altho my contacts blew out in the wind, and it was too cold and windy to put new ones in on the final summit approach, so I was sort of stumbling around half blind for hours in the dark.

4) Used all my snacks up before I made it to the mtn. Again recommend some kind of trail bar that is high in protein and fiber and doesn't freeze (crunchy cliff bars new fav. white choc macademia is the best.). whatever you bring, just make sure it agrees with your stomach beforehand. One of the people I went with brought fiber bars that caused bloating/diarrhea and all kinds of unpleasantness.

5) The day before the summit was +11hr, we were moving REALLY slow. Then we got 2hrs of sleep (but I couldn't sleep), and had to hike to the summit +9hrs, then +8 hrs down half the mtn. it was kind of brutal. At this point counting steps kept me going, mostly because my brain was so far gone, that if I didn't take a step fast enough, I was afraid I would lose count...
"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either daring adventure, or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable." - Helen Keller

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