Some facts for anyone looking to trek up Kilimanjaro. Especially for anyone looking to climb Kilimanjaro. I will speak a little about this and then you can follow the links for quality advice on how to prepare for your climb up Kilimanjaro. The most important fact is only 42% of people are making it to the summit. Shocked? I have been shocked over the years at poor quality of tents, food, guides and other teams, and porters coming to our team looking for food because the teams they are with did not provide much food.
1). Kilimanjaro is the highest freestanding mountain in the world, sitting at 5,895m/ 19,341 feet above sea level. Kilimanjaro is unique and unrivaled in it’s size and beauty. No other mountain offers the scenery Kilimanjaro has to offer.
2). Out of the thousands of people who attempt to reach the summit of Kilimanjaro, less than 50% of people make it to the top each year. A quick 5 day dash up the mountain will not work. You need 8 days on Kilimanjaro for a safer and successful attempt.
3). In terms of altitude above 5,500m/ 18,000 feet is the start of the death zone. Nothing lives or can survive about this elevation. The summit zone on Kilimanjaro sits 409m/ 1,341 feet above this danger zone. So having the right acclimatization is critical to be safe above 5,500m/ 18,000 feet. When you are above 18,000 feet in elevation it is important to slowly up but get down below this dangerous height as quickly as possible.
4). What are the most important things to know about climbing Kilimanjaro. You can click this link and read more. The two most important things to know about climbing Kilimanjaro are 1). Pick the Lemosho route over 8 days and 2). come with the right physical preparation. If you do these two things you will give yourself the best chance at success.
5). Kilimanjaro has 3 Volcano’s, Shira, Mawenzi and Kibo which is where the top of the mountain is positioned. There was some activity on Kibo 200 years ago but the mountain has not erupted in the last 360,000 years. Kibo is dormant and Shira and Mawenzi volcano’s are both extinct.
6). Kilimanjaro has 5 climatic zones. Cultivation, forest, Moorland, High Desert and summit or glacial zone. Between 3,500m/ 11,500 feet and 5,500m/ 18,000 feet you are at high altitude and potentially dangers to the human body. Most of your acclimatization is done at this elevation. To safely move above 5,500m/18,000 feet you need more time acclimatizing around the 3,800m/ 12,500 feet to 4,500m/ 15,000 feet zone. So you will acclimatize more in the moorland and high desert zones.
7). The Ice on Kilimanjaro is melting fast. 80% of the ice has melted in the last 100 years. I estimate it will have disappeared by 2035 and new systems to gather water will be needed to climb Kilimanjaro. Rain water harvesting on Kilimanjaro needs to start soon. If the government want to keep attracting people to pay large national park fees, they will need to provide water on the mountain.
8). The two main reasons people are not successful climbing Kilimanjaro are lack of acclimatization and lack of strength and physical preparation. TOO MANY people underestimate these two things. I have climbed 23 times so I see this all the time on the mountain.
9).Climbing Kilimanjaro comes down to a wide range of factors. You need to know these things before stepping onto the mountain. Here are just a few, hydration, pacing, heart rates, food, quality of the guide, days on the mountain and physical preparation.
10). The oldest women to Climb Kilimanjaro is 86 years old. The oldest man to climb Kilimanjaro is 88 years old. I hope to bet this one day. Mt current goal is to get 50 summits under my belt and not sure I will make it to 90 but I will have to wait and see.
Here are some facts for anyone looking to trek up Kilimanjaro. If you would like to read more. Check out our blog on all you need to know. You can also sift through all our BLOG posts on climbing Kilimanjaro and what we learned from a decade on the mountain.