Kilimanjaro

Posted by martin.parnell |

Next Events:

Kilimanjaro Quest 95.2 (Quest #7)

  • Sunday March 3rd to March 6th 2013

  • Run the marathon then 3 days later climb the mountain in 24 hours.

  • Location: Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

In  less than two weeks I leave for Tanzania and Kilimanjaro. I've been doing my research on the mountain and decided to go to the source: Wikipedia. Here are my findings.

"Kilimanjaro, with its three volcanic cones, Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira, is a dormant volcanic mountain in Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania. It is the highest mountain in Tanzania, the highest mountain in Africa, and the highest free-standing mountain in the world at 5,895 metres or 19,341 feet above sea-level, (Uhuru Peak/Kibo Peak). Kilimanjaro is composed of three distinct volcanic cones: Kibo 5,895 m (19,341 ft); Mawenzi 5,149 m (16,893 ft); and Shira 3,962 m (13,000 ft). Uhuru Peak is the highest summit on Kibo's crater rim.

Kilimanjaro is a large stratovolcano. Two of its three peaks, Mawenzi and Shira, are extinct while Kibo (the highest peak) is dormant and could erupt again. The last major eruption has been dated to between 150,000 and 200,000 years ago. Although it is dormant, Kibo has fumaroles that emit gas in the crater. Several collapses and landslides have occurred on Kibo in the past, one creating the area known as the Western Breach.

The origin of the name "Kilimanjaro" is not precisely known, but a number of theories exist. European explorers had adopted the name by 1860 and reported that "Kilimanjaro" was the mountain's "Kiswahili" name. But according to the 1907 edition of The Nuttall Encyclopædia, the name of the mountain was "Kilima-Njaro".

A German geology professor, Hans Mayer made two attempts (1887and 1888) to climb the mountain and in 1889 he returned with the celebrated Austrian mountaineer Ludwig Purtscheeler for a third attempt. Their climbing team included two local headmen, nine porters, a cook, and a guide. The success of this attempt, which started on foot from Mombasa, was based on the establishment of many campsites with food supplies so that multiple attempts at the top could be made without having to descend too far. After Meyer and Purtscheller pushed to near the crater rim on October 3, exhausted from hacking footsteps in the icy slope, they reached the highest summit on the southern rim of the crater on Purtscheller's 40th birthday, October 6, 1889.

There are six official trekking routes by which to climb Mt Kilimanjaro, namely: Marangu, Rongai, Lemosho, Shira, Umbwe and Machame. Of all the routes, Machame is by far the most scenic albeit steeper route up the mountain, which can be done in six or seven days. The Rongai is the easiest and least scenic of all camping routes with the most difficult summit night and the Marangu is also relatively easy, but accommodation is in shared huts with all other climbers. As a result, this route tends to be very busy, and ascent and descent routes are the same.

People who wish to trek to the summit of Kilimanjaro are advised to undertake appropriate research and ensure that they are both properly equipped and physically capable. Though the climb is technically not as challenging as when climbing the high peaks of the Himalayas or Andes, the high elevation, low temperature, and occasional high winds make this a difficult and dangerous trek. Acclimatisation is essential, and even the most experienced trekkers suffer some degree of altitude sickness. Kilimanjaro summit is well above the altitude at which high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE), or high altitude cerebral edema (HACE) can occur. All trekkers will suffer considerable discomfort, typically shortage of breath, hypothermia and headaches."

So there you have it. Climbers beware!

Quote of the Day

"What would you do if you weren't afraid?"

Spencer Johnson

The mighty Kilimanjaro, 19,341 feet.

Kilimanjaro

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