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Kilimanjaro with kids?

Discussion area for peaks outside of the USA.
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Re: Kilimanjaro with kids?

Postby Chaos Penumbra » Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:51 am

I recently returned from Kilimanjaro (January trip) and it was an amazing experience. You will really enjoy it!

IMHO, it will come down to how patient your kid is, as people have said, and his ability to acclimatize. Actually, that applies to everyone! My group took the Lemosho route, which was supposed to be 8 days but due to a flight issue we were stranded in Amsterdam (oh darn) overnight and had to compress the route to 7 days. Despite this I thought they were dragging out the trip to make it more of an "experience" and also because people from sea level really will need that extra time. So, if your family has not done many high-altitude trips you'll appreciate the slow pace and won't be bored but if you have experience...you might be asking "Why are we stopping so early?" There's nothing to do at camp but wait.

Similar story with the difficulty. The only hard day for me was the summit day, which consists of waking up at midnight and basically doing a 14er whose base is already at 15000. No one can predict how their body will perform at altitude. I didn't notice anything until about 16k, and my performance dropped rapidly after that. However, another in our group is a marathon runner and she shrugged it all off. Yet another member had symptoms at HAPE at 14k and was forced to descend on day 4. The big takeaway is to monitor yourself and especially a child closely for altitude sickness. You do not want to get into trouble up there because there is no awesome SAR team waiting to airlift you out like there is in Colorado. Be realistic...not summitting is a real possibility.

Lastly, and this isn't my business but I will bring it up since you mentioned 20 grand...I don't know how many people are in your group but if it is just you, your spouse and one kid you are paying too much. There are outfitters that will charge up to 10 grand a head. I witnessed some of these "elite" outfitters on the trail and I will attest that you are not getting anything more for that price. My outfitter was 2 grand a head and they were outstanding.

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Re: Kilimanjaro with kids?

Postby MtHurd » Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:29 am

One other piece of advice, don't take Larium for malaria prevention (once a week pill). Take the daily pill, I can't remember the name of that one. Just look up Larium side effects on Google and you will see what I mean.

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Re: Kilimanjaro with kids?

Postby fleetmack » Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:49 pm

Barry Raven wrote:One other piece of advice, don't take Larium for malaria prevention (once a week pill). Take the daily pill, I can't remember the name of that one. Just look up Larium side effects on Google and you will see what I mean.


Malarone - that's what I took
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Re: Kilimanjaro with kids?

Postby MtHurd » Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:06 pm

fleetmack wrote:
Barry Raven wrote:One other piece of advice, don't take Larium for malaria prevention (once a week pill). Take the daily pill, I can't remember the name of that one. Just look up Larium side effects on Google and you will see what I mean.


Malarone - that's what I took


Yea, that's it. I took one Larium and had the hiccups for 2 straight days non-stop. That's when I went to the internet and saw all kinds of horror stories. I switched to Malarone.

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Re: Kilimanjaro with kids?

Postby tarasmu » Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:25 pm

You all are great! and some funny posts. :) Thanks everyone I am going to wait untill he is at least 10 and he can do it. That will give us 2 summers hiking 14ers in Colorado. One of you thought 20grand was alot and your right but thats everything for 3 weeks, the flight, safari and the climb for 4 of us.

So I am kinda bummed that you all told me what I did not want to hear but its better then finding out the hard way :shock:

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Re: Kilimanjaro with kids?

Postby kiliclimber7_17_02 » Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:51 pm

I think you are making a good decision. I did like 9 14ers in the two months before the trip and was glad I did. There are lots of factors including learning to be absolutely sure the water is boiled and safe, eating enough at high altitude to keep up strength, camping in the cold and being able to hike several days in a row. Even getting the feet tough enough for all the miles is a challenge. This last day is a long one on Machame. Arrive at noon or even later at Barafu, try to sleep, climb over 4000 ft to the summit, come down, have lunch, break camp and go another 10 miles and 5000 ft down without rest. Tough on anyone and if the kids give up on that leg the options boil down to packing them out. Suggest some long 14ers like say Yale to test the endurance and commitment. Lots of difference between 8 and 10 year olds. Good luck.

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Re: Kilimanjaro with kids?

Postby MtHurd » Mon Apr 23, 2012 2:38 pm

Do the Barr Trail on Pikes. That's perfect training for Kili.

The Marangu route will be the easiest. Cokes, beer, and candy bars along the way. :D

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Re: Kilimanjaro with kids?

Postby MountainHiker » Mon Apr 23, 2012 4:32 pm

tarasmu wrote: One of you thought 20grand was alot and your right but thats everything for 3 weeks, the flight, safari and the climb for 4 of us.

For 2 of us it was between 10 & 11K by the time we considered everything including safari and spending money. People claim to do it for less. But reality is a lot of people pay more. The three big costs are airfare, mountain & safari / tours. Other costs include visas & misc. spending money. If you are able to use some air miles, great, but most people are going to be paying well over $1000, often closer to $2000 to get there. For mountain, safari & tips we were at about $2700 per person. We had a couple hotels on the way before we arrived in Tanzania.

It’s up to you if you want to skip the safari or other site seeing after going to Africa for probably the only time in your life. Most guides cost more, not less than the company we used. You could save some by doing the 4 day Coca Cola route. But that’s false economy for most. The success rate is less because of moving up in elevation too fast. We did the 7 day Machame. More days on the mountain cost more.

This discussion is about youngsters on the mountain. I don’t think skimping is the way to go. My wife and I know how to travel cheaply in the Americas and have done so. While there might be some ways to travel in a more native way in Tanzania, Kilimanjaro is guided only. So $20,000 sounds about right for 3 weeks, 4 people.
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