Mt. Kilimanjaro Climb via Shira Plateau and Western Breach
I decided to do this trip for two reasons: 1) I wanted to travel somewhere exotic and 2) I wanted to climb/sleep at a really high altitude to test myself but in a relatively safe environment. Mt. Kilimanjaro fit the bill on both accounts. I tried to talk someone from the my local hiking club into coming along with me and finally convinced Ed that it was a good idea. I settled on the Shira Plateau route because I wanted to get away from the crowds and enjoy the scenery more. Also because the success rate is higher and the route is considered more difficult than the more popular routes up the mountain. With the desired route in hand, I researched several different guide companies and finally settled on Mountain Madness. I was extremely impressed with Mountain Madness during the trip. They exceeded all of my expectations and I would highly recommend them to anyone wanting to climb Kilimanjaro.
Ultimately the trip was amazing. It was everything I was hoping it would be and more. My personal summit success became more of a test of mental and emotional will to succeed than a physical test. Although I guess AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) symptoms and parts of the climb are a physical test, for me it was all about the will power to endure the high altitude and the cold to achieve my goal. It was one of the proudest days of my life to stand at the summit and know I did it.
The group of climbers we went with was great. The guides were fantastic and I can't say enough about how hard all of the porters worked to make us comfortable during the climb. Below you will find links to my day by day trip journal and the pictures from each day. Pictures are located beneath the journal.
Daily Trip Journal and Pictures in Order from Start to Finish
Individual Days - If you just want to cut to the chase
|Private Camp in Arusha National Park - 6,000 ft||Climbing to Crater Camp - 18,500 ft|
|Climbing to Forest Camp - 9,000 ft||Summit Day and Descend to Mweka Camp - 19,340 ft|
|Climbing to Shira Camp 1 - 11,500 ft||Descend to Mweka Trailhead - 6,000 ft|
|Climbing to Fischer Camp - 12,300 ft||Hanging Around and Ed's Walking Tour of Tanzania - 4,000 ft|
|Climbing to Lava Tower Camp - 14,500 ft||Final Thoughts|
|Climbing to Arrow Glacier Camp - 15,800 ft|
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