8 Day TK Lemosho Advantage Series Climb
27th August 2021: Arrive to Kilimanjaro International Airport. Met by Team Kilimanjaro driver and transferred to the Outpost Lodge in Arusha.
Your mountain guide will come to your hotel at approximately 1800 to introduce himself, complete your pre-climb briefing and answer any questions you may have.
28th August 2021 - Arusha to Forest Camp (2821m)
Breakfast at your hotel is served from 0700. Please ensure that you have packed your bags before breakfast, have signed over your extra luggage that will not be required on the mountain to reception, and have deposited your valuables into the hotel’s safe.
Transfer and registration.
You will normally be collected at 0730 from your hotel. In the event that we have to collect climbers from other hotels before collecting you, we may need to amend this to around 0800.
Your driver will transfer you 111 km and some 2 hours 10 minutes to Londorossi Gate where we complete registration formalities. Following registration we continue a further 12km by vehicle to the route’s start point. This final drive can take anywhere between 45 minutes and 1 hour 30, depending on road conditions.
Beginning the trek
From Lemosho Start Point (2424m) to Forest Camp (2821m) the distance is 5.4km, over 400m of elevation gain. You are advised to stop regularly today and to move quietly in the hope of sighting wildlife near to the trail. Sightings of small antelope are virtually unique to the Lemosho route.
29th August 2021 - Forest Camp to Shira 1 Camp (3508m)
Trek from Forest Camp (2821m) to Shira 1 Camp (3508m) on western edge of Shira Plateau. It is normal to experience mild headaches on this day which should be alleviated with paracetamol. Those choosing to take Diamox should begin their course this morning with half a tablet (125mg) in the morning and the other half with supper in the evening. The distance to Shira 1 is 7.7km.
Optional afternoon acclimatisation ascent of Shira Ridge 3959m (Kilimanjaro’s 3rd volcanic summit) for arguably the best views of Kibo (clear weather permitting).
Descend to sleep lower at Shira One 3508m for overnight. Excursion distance is 7.6km.
30th August 2021 - Shira 1 Camp to Moir Hut (4166m)
Trek from Shira 1 Camp (3508m) to Moir Hut (4166m) across Shira Plateau before rising along the flank of a re-entrant. Height gain 658m. Distance is 9.4km.
Sunset acclimatisation into the Lent Group of outcrops above Moir Hut before dinner. Ordinarily we aim to reach 4305m on the ridge, however, if you are feeling strong and experiencing no symptoms of headache or nausea, please express your wish to your guide to proceed higher. Altitude gained on this acclimatisation excursion is critical to making comfortable and safe progress over the next two days, and is one of the peculiar advantages of this route. Typical excursion distance is 1.9km.
31st August 2021 - Moir Hut to Pofu Camp (3998m)
Trek from Moir Hut (4166m) to Pofu Camp (3998m). Otherwise a very gradual day, with views to the North-West. Distance is 10.3km.
1st September 2021 - Pofu Camp to 3rd Caves Camp (3971m)
Continue clockwise trek around the northern flanks of Kilimanjaro from Pofu Camp (3998m) to 3rd Caves Camp (3971m). Distance is 6.7km. In the afternoon you have the option of taking in an excursion to the Saddle, at the discretion of the guide.
2nd September 2021 - 3rd Caves Camp to School Hut (4722m)
After gently traversing the northern slopes of Kilimanjaro yesterday, today we trek upwards from 3rd Caves Camp (3971m) to School Hut (4722m) - a shorter distance than the previous 2 days, but a very respectable 751m of height gain. Note however, that on your evening acclimatisation excursion on Day 3, you came within some 400 metres of School Hut’s altitude, so your body will be very well prepared to install you into position to assault the summit tonight. Distance is 4.9km.
Aim to get to sleep as soon as possible as you will be woken at around 2300-0000 to begin your assault. Don’t worry about waking yourself for meals - your staff will wake you for these. You probably won’t feel like eating but please endeavour to do so as you’ll need the energy reserves.
Please relax your breathing and have a calm mind. The previous 4 days have prepared you extremely well for tonight’s challenge, so there is nothing to worry about. Being relaxed and having packed your gear ahead of time, not needing to be in a rush or worry about whether you may be forgetting anything, will aid appetite - essential to fuel this long day’s activities.
You are advised to get all your gear ready for the summit bid before you go to sleep as you may feel disoriented when woken for the assault.
3rd September 2021 - School Hut to Uhuru Peak (5895m)
Avoiding the energy-sapping loose scree slopes above Kibo Hut, we ascend from School Hut (4722m) via Hans Meyer Cave (5243m) and Gilman’s Point (5708m), to Uhuru Peak (5895m).
For the quietest summit assault on Kilimanjaro we recommend the summit bid to begin at 0400 - 0500, however for a greater likelihood of clear summit views or for a dawn summit, we quit camp at around 2330 – 0100. The guide will determine the start time according to his perception of the group’s pace.
Around midnight of Day 5 - quit camp for the assault via Gilman’s Point (5708m) to the summit. Tonight is very difficult - particularly the final 550m - and you’ll need to commit to fight for the summit.
You will inevitably feel like giving up and going to sleep. This is normal and can be overcome with perseverance. When resting please ensure you only stand or sit and do not lie down or close your eyes. Please trust your guide; he is very adept at judging whether your condition will allow safe progress or whether you have succumbed to a potentially dangerous condition and to proceed will not be safe.
Nausea and headaches are normal and around a quarter of climbers will vomit at or near Gilman’s Point. While very uncomfortable, these are not symptoms that are indicative of being at risk, per se. The onset of cerebral and pulmonary oedema are marked by distinctive early warning symptoms that your guide is capable of identifying. Please maintain regular dialogue with your guide and frequently update him on how you are feeling.
When you reach Gilman’s Point you will sit and rest. At this point the body and mind often think you have finished your uphill fight and will be trying to coerce you into giving up and turning around. While you may genuinely believe that you have already exhausted your reserves in reaching this point, this is actually very unlikely to be so. Remember that you are only 187 vertical metres short of the summit (via Stella Point), the journey from here is much less steep, and you have plenty of time for further pauses.
If you do feel the need to give up at Gilman’s Point please proceed towards the summit for just two minutes before making your final decision. In most cases this act of re-establishing momentum is enough to persuade the mind and body to cooperate with your intentions and you will ordinarily find hidden reserves for a final push, reserves that you were not aware you still had.
On the summit your guide will advise how much time you can spend there in consideration of your condition, your timings, and the weather. The brain does not function very intelligently at this altitude so please remember to take many photographs in all directions or you will probably regret not having done so at a later stage. Also, please consider in advance asking a companion to be ready to shoot a video of you, and likewise you of them, at the summit, to record your impressions of getting to the highest point of Africa and for achieving what for many will have been the most difficult feat of endurance in their lives.
The descent - Uhuru Peak to Millennium Camp (3820m) or Mweka Camp (3090m)
From the summit you will turn around and descend to Stella Point. When you reach Stella Point your guide may opt to switch left onto the loose scree, a departure from the ridge up which climbers assaulting from Barafu ascend. On arrival at Barafu you would usually have time to rest an hour or so before continuing the descent after some refreshments.
From Barafu you will usually descend to Mweka Camp (3090m) for overnight. If your guide judges that a shorter day will benefit you and preserve sore knees and ankles, he may decide to stop short at Millennium Camp (3820m) instead.
Distances on summit day
- School Hut to Summit via Gillman’s Point: 5.4km
- Summit to Barafu: 4.5km
- Barafu to Mweka Camp: 6.3km
- Total = 16.2km
4th September 2021 - Millennium Camp or Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate (1641m)
This morning we descend from Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate (1641m) where we sign the summit register.
After signing we descend a further 15 minutes on foot to Mweka Village to meet our transport, as the park authorities prefer groups’ vehicles to avoid congesting the area immediately beside Mweka Gate as this is an important thoroughfare for casualty evacuations and is served by a single track road.
Transfer from the gate back to Arusha. You should return back to Arusha sometime between 2 and 5pm, depending on your descent pace. Distance from Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate is 8.5km.
Typical total trek distance is 78.6km or 48.8 miles.
Tipping your mountain crew
Typical tips for mountain crew tend to average some 10-15% of climb costs. All climbers’ contributions are usually added together and the total amount is presented to the chief guide at Mweka Gate. Our guides always divide these tips fairly amongst their crew according to a customary scale that is determined by the responsibilities and experience of each staff member.
5th September 2021: Transfer to Kilimanjaro Airport for flight home.
Kilimanjaro route map
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