Here are some lessons learned climbing Kilimanjaro 40 times. I have been climbing on Kilimanjaro for over a decade and have seen one thing change and continue to get worse. More and more people are cutting corners and trying to get up and down in less time. People are also showing up with less physical preparation. Taking serious risks with their safety and the safety of the local people.
I have to say some local guides are causing some of these problems by pushing and pulling people up the mountain when they are in seriously dangerous situations. More acclimatization means more safety!! READ MORE.
As you may know March through May is rainy season on Mount Kilimanjaro. This years rainy season has left a serious amount of ice high on the mountain. This is great for Kilimanjaro and added some interesting ice features along the route to the summit. It certainly has been colder than normal on the mountain which was actually a nice change from recent years. Out of my 30 Kilimanjaro climbs, I would have to say the temperatures have been on average about -7 Celsius on the summit at 6/7am in the morning. Read some REVIEWS.
Bring the Right Clothing
In a lot of cases people were climbing with poor gloves, down jackets and layers. One important thing you really need to understand this which down jacket you need to have. You will see 600, 700, 800 fill down jackets. This is not important the fill of down is the quality of the down, not the warmth. This is a big mistake people are making. The important thing to consider is the loft or the amount of down in the jacket. The more down there is, the warmer it will be. We recommend the Fitzroy parka by Patagonia or something similar for your Kilimanjaro climb. If you have questions about which down jacket is correct just CONTACT US and we can help you with making the right purchase. In our 45 page dossier we have an itemized kit list so you do not have to guess.
Lessons Learned Climbing Kilimanjaro 40 Times
As everyone reacts differently to cold temperatures and if you pick an itinerary with less acclimatization you will feel the cold more. If you join our highly recommended 8 day Lemosho route you will not be as cold as someone who picks a 5 or 6 day Marangu or Machame route climb. Each person should access previous experience with cold weather conditions and make sure you pick the right gloves so that you can make sure your hands remain in good working order high on Kilimanjaro. If you sign up to an Ian Taylor Trekking climb you will receive our 45 page document including an itemized kit list. Watch our PACKING VIDEO.
Be ready for Kilimanjaro
I have learned that you need to enjoy your once in a lifetime experience on Kilimanjaro so why rush it. Taking your time, being more relaxed about the whole experience truly helps you get the most of your Kilimanjaro experience. I highly recommend our 8 day Lemosho route climb as it gives you the safest and best chance at a safe and successful climb. You also give the staff an easier ride carrying all your gear.
More days on Kilimanjaro, means better safety
I also watched more and more people pushing the summit under serious stress. On my first climb I witnessed several people being dragged up the mountain. There was a girl in a seriously poor condition being dragged up the mountain. I went over to talk some sense into the couple. I see this happen on every summit night I have ever been on. I tried to speak to the boyfriend of the girl being carried up the mountain and told him they needed to turn her around. The local guide said don’t listen to me and kept walking. I told him he was risking her life. He really didn’t care. They kept moving forward. They never made the summit and had to be helicoptered out hours later.
Be informed about the risks on Kilimanjaro
On my second climb up the mountain the same thing was happening people were being dragged up the mountain risking everything for the top. It happens every night on Kilimanjaro so no-one should be surprised by this. Lack of physical preparation and poor acclimatization is leading to irresponsible guiding on Kilimanjaro.
Do not underestimate what it takes to climb Kilimanjaro
I have to say there are so many people underestimating the amount of training needed to be safe high on Mount Kilimanjaro. You will be running heart rates of 110 to 140 on the summit night for 7 hours up hill at high and extreme altitude and then walking back down the mountain which in my opinion is more draining as you will have had minimal sleep, you have been walking for 6 days and you have a 12 to 14 hour summit night. COME PREPARED!!
Help us bring clean water to east Africa
I am on the journey to climb Mount Kilimanjaro 50 times. Hitting 30 is great but if you would like to help support the charity work I am doing CONTACT US today. My goal is to raise $2,000,000 for water projects in East Africa for Fields of Life USA.