Ascent of Kilimanjaro on 1995-06-21
|Others in Party:||Simon Schosser|
|Date:||Wednesday, June 21, 1995|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Motorized Transport to Trailhead:||Car|
| Elevation:||5895 m / 19341 ft|
Ascent Trip ReportSummit day. The actual route on the main mountain mass begins as an easy-angled scree and sand track. We move very, very slowly. Ahead of us we see numerous headlights wavering ever upwards and then the odd light or so heading back down. The path soon begins to switchback significantly (about 20m across with what feels like a 2-3m elevation gain) as the angle steepens. This process is fantastically exhausting--both mentally and physically. Between 5050 and 5100m the exersion becomes almost unbearable--this is the mental crux of the route. Our rest periods are about one every 15-20 minutes (but lasting only 2-3 minutes each due primarily to the cold). I must continually remind myself that although the slope of loose rock seems unending, it is not. At about 5550m I pass through a mental barrier and for the first time in hours agony yields as the sky brightens ever so slightly on the eastern horizon and Gilman’s Point (the first point reached on the crater rim) looms just above. We reach Gilman’s, 5685m, about two minutes before the sun gently lifts itself above the sea of clouds that lap against the mountain 3500m below our feet (0620)--it is perfect timing. We spend about 15 minutes here and then turning around see the true summit 150m higher and almost 1.5km away--it’s time to move once more. The route takes us around the crater rim past or over several pinnacles toward the large Rebmann and Wedge Glaciers. I have never before seen such odd ice formations and the view of Mawenzi at our backs can only be described as surreal--it looks like a medieval castle shrouded in morning fog. The altitude has slowed the pace still further. After nearly 2 hours of walking and, at times, considerable discomfort we arrive at our destination--Uhuru Peak.
Note: At the time, hiring a guide and porters was mandatory to ascend the mountain. We paid the porters off (simply paid them for their services in advance) so they would not accompany us, but with the guide there was no choice. Turned out that he was a friendly fellow and a good travel companion in any case.
|Summary Total Data|
| Elevation Gain:||4025 m / 13205 ft|
| Trailhead:||Marangu Gate 1870 m / 6136 ft|
| Quality:||7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)|
| Route Conditions:||Road Hike, Maintained Trail|
| Gear Used:||Guide, Hut Camp|
| Weather:||Cool, Breezy, Clear|
| Time Up:||4 Days |
| Time Down:||36 Hours |
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