Tag: Kilimanjaro

Kilimanjaro: Essential Items for Your Hike

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Before climbing Kilimanjaro, your outfitter will provide you with a packing list of all the necessary items you’ll need to bring with you on the mountain. In Tanzania, you will have a pre-trip briefing where your guide will go over the most important items with you again to make sure that you have not forgotten anything. But, if you are like us, you will want to ensure that you have everything you need before you arrive in Africa, so we have compiled a list of some of the gear that we found to be most useful and essential during our time on the mountain. (more…)

Notes from the Trail: Kilimanjaro, Day Five

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Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp
• Elevation: 13,044-13,106 ft (3976-3995 m)
• Distance: 5 km
Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert

Because of our camp’s position beneath the Barranco Wall, the sun crested the mountain later than usual, and we woke to a very chilly morning, eager to get moving to build some heat. Today’s hike began in dramatic fashion with a steep ascent of the Barranco Wall. This was a 300 meter vertical scramble during which we had to pack away the trekking poles we typically use and rely on our hands to pull us up and around the rocks. It was slow-going and nerve-rattling at times, and we were humbled every time the porters would pass us with their heavy loads perched atop their shoulders and heads. How they manage to make these tough climbs with such apparent ease continues to baffle us. It wouldn’t be surprising to learn that they were part mountain goat. We eventually made it to the top in about an hour, sweaty and ready for a break but exhilarated by the accomplishment.  (more…)

Notes from the Trail: Kilimanjaro, Day Four

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Shira 2 Camp to Lava Tower to Barranco Camp
Elevation: 12,500-13,044 ft. (3810-3976 m)
Maximum Elevation: Lava Tower, 15,190 ft. (4630 m)
Distance: 11 km
Hiking Time: 4-6 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert

After another chilly night (Matt’s wrist watch indicated 35° F inside the tent in the morning!) we awoke to another beautifully sunny day. Mt. Meru was in full view with cotton ball-like clouds spread like a blanket below and all around the peak. The first half of our day was spent gradually ascending toward Kili.

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Notes from the Trail: Kilimanjaro, Day Two

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Big Tree Camp to Shira Camp 1
• Elevation: 9,498-11,500 ft (2895-3810 m)
• Distance: 8 km
• Hiking Time: 5-6 hours
• Habitat: Heather Moorland

After leaving Big Tree Camp, today’s trail meandered its way up and down and through a montane rainforest similar to what we had experienced on Day One’s hike. The morning temperatures were crisp, but we warmed up nicely once we got moving. Even so, we were surprised to discover a layer of frost on the leaves in the lower valleys. (more…)