Arusha Arrival… Final Preps

After a very long, nearly direct flight to Tanzania from the U.S., our group of seven intrepid adventurers is ready to embark on our ascent to the “Roof of Africa.” Our two flights plus a 3-hour layover in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, totaled nearly 19 hours of travel, so we spent our first full day in Tanzania recovering from the flights, adjusting to the +8 hour time zone difference, exploring the town of Arusha, and prepping our gear for the 8-day trek that will culminate on the 19,341 ft summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Over the course of these eight days, we will traverse across the face of the highest free-standing mountain in the world, through 5 different ecological zones, and over 48 miles. There are several routes to the summit, but we will be taking the Lemosho route which is one of the longest, but gives us the best chance for success due to the built-in acclimatization days that allow for more time to adapt to elevations where there is only 50% of the oxygen compared to sea level. We’ll take 6 1/2 days to ascend the nearly 12,000 ft from the Londrossi Gate starting point to the summit, followed by a very short and likely uncomfortable 13,800 ft descent over 1 1/2 days to the Mweka Gate.

The Lemosho Route
Elevation Profile of the Route

Our full itinerary is listed below:

  • 6 Feb: Londrossi Gate (7,546′) to Mti Mkubwa (Big Tree) Camp (9,186′); 3.6 mi.
  • 7 Feb: Big Tree Camp to Shira 1 Camp (11,482′); 4.9 mi.
  • 8 Feb: Shria 1 Camp to Shira 2 Camp (12,795′); 6.2 mi.
  • 9 Feb (Acclimatization Day 1); Shira 2 Camp to Lava Tower (15’223′) to Barranco Camp (12,992′); 6.7 mi.
  • 10 Feb (Acclimatization Day 2): Barranco Camp to Heim Glacier (13’779′) to Karanga Camp (13,156′); 3.5 mi.
  • 11 Feb: Karanga Camp to Kosovo Base Camp (16,010′); 2.2 mi.
  • 12 Feb (Summit Day): Kosovo Base Camp to Stella Point (18,885′) to Uhuru Peak (19,341′), then descend to Mweka Camp (10,171′); 11.2 mi.
  • 13 Feb: Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate (5’577′); 11.2 mi.

I am hoping to share some posts from the mountain, but that will be entirely dependent on the availability of cell coverage. Looking forward to sharing the experience with you!…

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