Remember those crazy trekkers that I told you about a few weeks back who wanted to go up Kilimanjaro barefooted? Last weekend they actually accomplished their goal, standing on the summit of the 5895 meter (19,340 ft) peak, without any kind of protection on their feet. On the way to the top, they braved cold temperatures, plenty of snow, and lots of sharp, loose rocks, and yet they still managed to make it without shoes.
The team actually topped out on Saturday, although it wasn’t easy. When they set out from the Kibo Huts that morning, the temperature was below zero (presumably Celsius) and they still had to traverse plenty of loose scree. It took them about 4.5 hours to reach Gilman’s Point, and along the way they encountered several climbers who had turned back from the summit, and were clearly suffering from altitude sickness. That was a sobering experience for the entire crew, but they continued on to the top none the less.
As they approached the summit they faced plenty of snow as well. More than two feet has fallen just a few days earlier, and walking the final few hundred feet without shoes, in snow, was yet one more challenge to overcome. But in the end, they stood on top, which is pretty amazing to me. I can barely walk across smooth pavement without shoes on.
You can read more about their experience on their website – barefootimpi.org – which includes their reports from the field and photos from the climb. Remember, they undertook this journey to raise funds for the Red Cross Children’s Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa as well, so it was once again an adventure for a good cause.
Congrats to the whole team on a job well done.
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6 KEYS TO CHOOSING MT KILIMANJARO CLIMBING ROUTE
To choose the right Kilimanjaro Climb route for you, there are plenty of variables to be mindful of.
• Who: Who is climbing? The whole group's abilities must be factored into choosing a route. The rest of the party is relying on your decision. Pick a route that best fits everyone.
• What: What limitations surround your climb? Are you bound by a budget? Or the number of days on your trip? There are cheap/expensive routes, and short/long itineraries.
• How: How do you see your trek? Do you want the most challenging route or a less strenuous one? These answers will affect which route is for you.
• Where: Where do you want to begin your climb? The routes start from all sides of the mountain. Where you begin affects cost, scenery and scenic variety.
• Why: Why are you climbing? Is it very important to summit? Then choose a route with a high success rate. Do you want to take the best photos? Then pick the most scenic route.
• When: If you are climbing during the dry season, great. But if you are climbing during the rainy season or the shoulder seasons, then the route you select can play into the climb's difficulty.
So Which is the best route to use to climb up kilimanjaro? Lemosho Route and Rongai Route are the most scenic routes up kilimanjaro. Mt Kilimanjaro Machame route is also a scenic and very popular route with many climbers.
The Marangu Route Climb is however the most used route since it has the advantage of sleeping in huts with bunker beds, hot showers, beverages and beers in the evenings are also available. Marangu is also the shorter route and can be done in 5 days although an extra day for acclimatisation is recommended.
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