Ascent of Kilimanjaro on 2010-02-06

Climber: Peter Stone

Others in Party:Jill Stone
David Pickford (leader)
Greg A
Matt A
Phil B
Philippa B
Ben B
Jane H
Giles J
Willam J
Anne L
Stephen L
Date:Saturday, February 6, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
    Elevation:19341 ft / 5895 m

Ascent Trip Report

A Jagged Globe / Key's Hotel Moshi trek via the Lemosho Glades Route. Ably led by David Pickford and local guides. Superb acclimatisation on a lovely route and 100% of the group summited. Excellent organisation throughout although the time-table was pretty tight and we nearly didn't get there at all because of KLM, but that's another story.

We did this trip to celebrate our joint 50th birthdays and to mark my wife's recovery from the extensive surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy associated with cancer treatment. What an emotionally bonding and life-enhancing trip!

Our Lemosho Route itinerary (some treks merge days but that negates its excellent acclimatisation profile which gives it the highest success rate of any route):

1. Drive from Hotel in Moshi to Londorossi Park Gate (2,250 m, 2 hours) where all bureaucracy associated with the climb is dealt with; form filling, document checking, luggage weighing, etc, etc. From here a forest track requiring a 4WD vehicle leads to Lemosho Glades trailhead (2,100 m, 11 km, 45 minutes). Walk steadily uphill along forest trails to Mti Mkubwa (Big Tree) campsite (2,650 m, 3 hours).

2. The trail gradually steepens and enters the giant heather moorland zone. Several streams are crossed then it gains the Shira Ridge at about 3,600 m and drops gently down to Shira 1 Camp located by a stream on the Shira Plateau (3,480 m, 5 hours).

3. A gentle walk across the plateau leads to Shira 2 Camp on moorland meadows by a stream (3,840 m, 1.5 hours). A variety of walks are available on the Plateau making this an excellent acclimatization day.

4. Continue east towards Kibo passing the Machame Route junction to join the Southern Circuit, then east towards the Lava Tower (4,682 m). Shortly after this, you descend to Barranco Camp (3,985 m, 4 hours).

5. A short scramble to the top of the Barranco Wall and then a long traverse over scree and ridges to the campsite in the Karanga Valley (4,040 m, 3 hours), beneath the icefalls of the Heim, Kersten and Decken Glaciers.

6. After climbing out of the Karanga Valley the trail ascends a ridge to the Barafu Hut campsite, a bleak location with little vegetation at 4,680 m (3 hours walking).

7. An early start at 01:00 for the ascent with the tail end of an electrical storm blowing through. Zig-zagging up the volcanic scree to Stella Point (5,685 m) on the rim of the Kibo Crater between the Rebmann and Ratzel Glaciers (4 hours). From here a further hour leads to Uhuru Peak with its famous summit sign boards (5,895 m), and from where there are fine views of Meru to the west, the jagged peak of Mawenzi to the east and the icefields in the Reusch crater and around the rim. Descend to the Barafu Hut for a rest and lunch before continuing on down to camp at Mweka Camp (3,090 m) in the giant heather zone on the forest edge.

8. A 3-4 hour descent through beautiful forest brings you to the Mweki Park Gate (1,641 m). This is where you partake in the usual tipping ceremony and bid farewell to your porters then board your waiting transport back to Moshi.
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
Kilimanjaro from the Mweka Trail (2010-02-07). Photo by Peter Stone.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:12451 ft / 3795 m
    Total Elevation Loss:13957 ft / 4254 m
    Quality:10 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Snow on Ground, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles, Guide, Porters, Tent Camp
    Nights Spent:7 nights away from roads
    Weather:Cold, Calm, Overcast
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:12451 ft / 3795 m
    Route:Lemosho Glades
    Start Trailhead:Lemosho Glades  6890 ft / 2100 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:13957 ft / 4254 m
    End Trailhead:Mweka Gate  5384 ft / 1641 m

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