Itinerary

Climbers are scheduled to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro in seven days. Their trip begins July 29 with ascent starting August 1.

  • July 29, 2018
    Depart country of origin for Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), Tanzania.
  • July 30, 2018
    Arrive in Tanzania. Airport pickup and transfer to New Arusha Hotel in Arusha, Tanzania.
  • July 31, 2018
    Rest Day. Orientation and gear check. We meet over breakfast at the hotel and join a detailed group orientation covering all aspects of the climb. After Lunch we have a through equipment check and those interested can join a walking tour (offsite) of Arusha before diner. O/N New Arusha hotel.
  • August 1, 2018
    Machame Route, start to finish. Data is approximate.
    Distance: 64km / 39 miles in seven days.
    Elevation Gain: 4,891m / 16,044 ft
    Elevation Loss: 5,020m / 16,444 ft

    We travel by Land Cruiser to the Machame trailhead, winding through coffee fields and small forests of ferns and flowers. After registering with the park service, we meet our porters from the Chagga Tribe, indigenous to the slopes of Kilimanjaro. They are an integral part of our African journey, becoming friends and providing insight into their culture and society.

    DAY 1 – CLIMB
    Start: Machame Gate 1830m / 6,000 ft
    End: Machame Hut 3000m / 9,900 ft
    Elevation gain: 1200m / 3900 ft
    Time: 6 hours on average
    Distance: About 10km / 6 miles

    Our climb begins on the edge of a rain forest (app. elevation 6,000 ft). Below the watchful eyes of the monkeys, we trek seven hours to the Machame Camp (10,000 ft) and set camp for the night.

  • Aug. 2, 2018
     
    DAY 2 – CLIMB
    Start: Machame Hut 3000m / 9,900 ft
    End: Shira Hut 3800m / 12,500 ft
    Elev gain: 800m / 2,600 ft
    Time: 4 –6 hours
    Average Distance: About 8km / 5 miles

    Leave the Machame Hut, cross a small valley, and begin our ascent. The environment changes from heath forest to moor lands. These moor lands are littered with two species of giant groundsel, Senecios and Lobelia. Halfway up the trail we meet a river gorge and ascend across the Shira Plateau (12,300 ft). We sleep at Shira Camp.

  • August 3, 2018
     
    DAY 3* – CLIMB
    Start: Shira Hut 3800m / 12,500 ft
    End: Barranco Hut 3900m / 12,900 ft
    Elev gain: 2100 ft
    Elev loss: 520m / 1700 ft
    Lava Tower option: additional 600 ft of gain/loss
    Time: 7- 9 hours average
    Distance: About 10km / 6 miles
    * Day includes critical acclimatization gain and loss

    Today we climb to 14,800 ft while crossing a ridge and viewing the plains far below. Here we eat lunch and admire the ancient glacier ice of the Breach Wall before dropping to our 12,800 ft campsite at Great Barranco.

  • August 4, 2018
     
    DAY 4 – CLIMB
    Start: Barranco Hut 3900m
    End: Karanga Valley 4,055m / 13,300 ft
    Elev gain: 400m / 1,300 ft
    Elev loss: 300m / 1,000 ft
    Time: 4 – 5 hours average
    Distance: About 5km / 3 miles

    We climb up and over the Great Barranco, topping out at about 13,900 ft before dropping to our camp at the Karanga River at about 13,300 ft. This completes another day of acclimatization as we pass below the famous Breach Wall, the largest ice and rock face in Africa. The Breach Wall climbing route, known as “The Icicle”, was first climbed in the early 1970s by Reinhold Messner. Daytime temperatures can reach 80°F, while evening temperatures often drop below freezing. This is a shorter day with lots of rest in the afternoon to provide recovery time for moving up to high camp the next day.

  • Aug. 5, 2018
     
    DAY 5 – CLIMB
    Start: Karanga Valley 4055m / 13,300 ft
    End: Kosovo Camp 4,760m / 15,700 ft
    Elev gain: 700m / 2,300 ft
    Time: 5 hours
    Distance: About 5km / 3 miles

    From the Karanga River we climb about 5-6 hours to our high camp at Kosovo (15,700 ft). As we wind through beautiful and rarely-traveled regions, we enter a high desert plateau, littered with volcanic boulders. Looking south we view the desert plains as the pinnacles of Mowenzi Peak tower before us. At Kosovo we have a summit briefing covering all aspects of the climb, and we spend time preparing and resting. We enjoy an early bed time in preparation for the early morning, 12:00 a.m. departure.

  • Aug. 6, 2018
     
    DAY 6 – HIGH CAMP SUMMIT
    Start: Kosovo camp 4,760m / 15,700 ft
    Summit: Uhuru Peak 5896m / 19,344 ft
    Elev gain: 1136m / 3726 ft
    Time: 8 – 10 hours
    Distance: About 7km / 4 mil

    Summit day! Awake at 11:00 p.m. and prepare gear for the ascent. We climb wearing headlamps until the predawn light is reflected off the African plains. Following a distinct ridge we approach the crater’s rim, then traverse northwest along the rim to the main summit, Uhuru Peak (19,340 ft). From here we view the Bismarck Towers, rock pinnacles along the rim and the hanging Rebman Glaciers. As the sun rises over Africa, we are privy to a panorama of incredible views. To the north stands the second highest mountain on the continent, Mt. Kenya (5199m / 17,056 ft), with its unique twin summits. The southern exposure reveals the sprawling plains of Tanzania and East Africa and Mowenzi Peak.

    DAY 6 – DESCENT
    Start: Uhuru Peak 5896m / 19,344 ft
    End: Millenium Camp 4000m / 13,000 ft
    Mweka Camp 3100m / 10,200 ft
    Elev loss: 1869 – 2,796m / 6,133 – 9,170 ft
    Time: 6-9 hours
    Distance: About 13km / 8 miles

    After enjoying the view from the top, we descend to Barafu, pack camp, enjoy a hot lunch and begin our traverse down the Mweka route on the southern side of the mountain to Mellenium or Mweka Camps for our final rest on Kilimanjaro.

  • Aug. 7, 2018
     
    DAY 7 – DESCENT
    Start: Mweka Camp 3100m / 10,200 ft
    End: Mweka Gate 1800m / 5,580 ft
    Elev loss: 1300m, 5,900ft.
    Time: 4- 5 hours
    Distance: About 7km, 4 miles

    The sunrises are exquisite as we awaken below the towering mountain. We descend through the lush green landscape of the Mweka route into the thickest jungle we have yet encountered. The environment becomes primordial, with 20 foot-tall fern trees creating a prehistoric atmosphere.

    After reaching the Mweka Gate we drive to Arusha, check back into the Arusha Hotel, and take time to shower and clean up. Those going on safari will have a 30-40 minute safari briefing, and then we will all enjoy a celebratory dinner together courtesy of Alpine Ascents. O/N New Arusha.