Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is on any critical climber’s bucket list, and rightly so. The world’s highest free-standing mountain, and the very best mountain in Africa, Kilimanjaro is a uncommon beast. It doesn’t require any technical climbing, so a nominally skilled hiker could make it up. (I did.) However ascending Kilimanjaro’s 19,341-foot summit calls for strong legs, a tolerance for top altitude, and gritty psychological toughness. (To not point out all of the vaccinations and prescriptions that include journeys to sub-equatorial Africa).
And simply because Kilimanjaro’s base camp is accessible doesn’t imply it’s a simple climb. Kilimanjaro treks normally final for six to eight days, and comprise 4 distinct local weather zones. The cloud forests at its base are eerily misty, with muddy trails and low visibility. From there, climbers ascend to the rocky moorlands, that are alternately sun-drenched or bathed in clouds. Increased nonetheless are the mountain’s deserts, the place dusty winds and obvious solar can sap a climber’s vitality.
Then, as climbers close to the summit, you hit the polar area. Dwelling to Africa’s solely indigenous ice—to not point out slicing winds and year-round snow—Kilimanjaro’s summit is a notoriously frigid problem. And since hikers historically climb from Barafu Camp to Stella Level and Uhuru Peak at night time, temperatures close to the summit can simply plunge beneath freezing with wind chill.
So when you’re critical about climbing Kilimanjaro, you have to be critical about getting the perfect gear. Listed here are my suggestions, based mostly on my expertise and the recommendation of my guides at Adventures Within Reach and Tanzania Journeys.