Mount Kilimanjaro Trip Report (#3962)
- Signed By: Steven F. Anderson
- Date submitted: June 12, 2004
What a wonderful high altitude peak to climb for a middle-aged, unatheletic, armchair mountaineer. All it takes is endurance, attitude, and a supportive team. Our group of 8 took the Machame/Mweka route, more challenging than the Maranga, but definitely more rewarding. However,it is no longer less travelled than the Marangu route. We were always near many other groups. We went through Capricorn Hotel in Marangu who provided very good service for a reasonable price. Our guide, Modestus Anthony was topnotch. He also operates independently and can be contacted at; email@example.com . He treated us and his porters very well. The weather was unusually wet for January due to a typhoon off the coast which made the lower elevations very muddy. The last day to Mweka gate was primarily a 4000 ft mudslide. We did, however, have sun every morning and evening. On summit day from Barafu Hut, the evening snowstorm had passed and we climbed through the night with suprisingly good footing. The snow was good motivation to keep climbing as you did not want to go down until the morning sun had melted things off. Also, it was too cold to stop and wait for sunrise so we kept climbing. We summitted around 7am with clear views of the crater and to the horizon, 10 degrees F. with a moderate wind, similar to Minnesota weather. I tend to be a pessimist and would never had summitted without the support and enthusiasm of our team, particularly Geri who remained upbeat throughout. No one had much trouble with the altitude, probably due to Diamox and ginko biloba. As for gear, I would highly recommend good trekking poles, waterproof boots, gaiters, "gu" type energy snacks, insulated water bottle holders, and a poncho for heavy rain. We took 2 days to hike from Barranco Hut to Barafu Hut camping in Karanga Valley. Other groups that covered it in one day complained about not having anything left for summit day. We were well rested. You do need to train for this. I ran 30 miles a week for a year. I found this site very useful in preparing for my trip. Good luck to future Kili climbers and remember to tip your guides/porters well.