Ascent of Hanang on 2022-01-06

Climber: Jonathan Newman

Date:Thursday, January 6, 2022
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Elevation:11211 ft / 3417 m

Ascent Trip Report

After getting back from Meru, I took an early bus to Katesh, where I spent two nights. The reason for the visit to an obscure small town was to climb Hanang - Tanzania's 4th highest ultra prominence mountain (after Kilimanjaro, Meru and Loolmalasin).

Driving into Katesh - when I first saw the mountain, I was struck with how large it was. Don't get me wrong - I was expecting a big mountain, but when seen from the Babati side, it is incredibly impressive.
I walked from the bus stop to the Summit Hotel - the nicest accommodation in town, so nice it even had hot water and and a mosquito net! Electricity was off for a lot of the day, and the food at the restaurant at the hotel wasn't great - but I was in a small town rarely visited by tourists, and the price of accommodation and travel had been very low.
In the afternoon, Thomas Safari (my mountain guide - guides are compulsory on Hanang, you can contact him via Facebook) met me at Summit Hotel to make plans for the next day. He was guiding another group at the same time, so he had just run down the mountain to meet with me.
We walked into town together to buy some food from the local market. Bananas and cucumbers in Tanzania are insanely cheap and really good - so I bought a few.

At 4:30am I left my room, and at 5am we were walking. The trail is very clear the entire way up, so navigation in the dark was easy.

I have watched over a hundred mountain sunrises - they never get old! Admittedly this was a particularly good one.
The trail starts with a sustained climb to just above 3000m. It then hits the summit ridge and undulates between there and the top.

After some summit photos, Thomas made me some coffee on top.

We got down in good time. Thomas went to the local bus stop for me and bought my ticket for my return trip. Thomas was amazing at sorting out logistics - when one is in a small town far from home and doesn't speak the language, having someone who will help with all admin is amazing! If anyone is looking for a guide on Hanang - I would definitely recommend Thomas.

I was back at the bus stop early on Friday morning. Watching the bus being push started was a bit unnerving, but otherwise the return trip went fine. I arrived back in Arusha and went straight for my covid test.
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