Kilimanjaro by the Umbwe Route
8 days Grade B+ Fully Porter Supported
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This route is the hardest but most spectacular and direct way to reach
Uhuru Peak. Extra days can be added to our itinerary to explore or relax
along the route or to camp in the Karanga River valley.
Accommodation on the mountain is in tents; you will need a sleeping
bag but a mat is provided. The porters do not pitch the tents for you but will
help if you wish.
- Arrive at hotel.
- Drive to the Umbwe Roadhead at 1800m. The route initially follows a forestry
track winding up through the natural rain forest. It then narrows and steepens
to climb the ridge between the Lonzo and Umbwe rivers. The first campsite
is in the forest by some rock overhangs at 2940m, (5-6 hours walking).
- Shortly after leaving the camp the forest ends and the path continues along
a narrow spectacular ridge. Above, the sheer 1000m of the Breach Wall appears
and disappears as the afternoon mists roll up the Great Barranco. From
the Umbwe ridge the route descends slightly to the Barranco Hut and our
camp in the valley floor at 3900m, (5-6 hours walking). Day 2 & 3 Video
- A short scramble to the top of the Great Barranco and then a traverse over
scree and ridges to the Karanga Valley (4000m, 3 hours), beneath the icefalls
of the Heim, Kersten and Decken Glaciers.
- After climbing out of the Karanga Valley the trail ascends a ridge
to the Barafu Hut, a bleak location with little vegetation at 4600m, (3
hours walking). Video
- An early start for the ascent to the rim of the Kibo Crater between the
Rebmann and Ratzel Glaciers, (4 hours); the last section before the rim
can sometimes be snow-covered and an ice-axe or ski stick is useful for
balance. From here a further hour leads to Uhuru Peak, from where there
are often fine views of Meru to the west and the jagged peak of Mawenzi
to the east. After a short time on the summit you descend to the Barafu
Hut for a rest and lunch before continuing on down to camp at Mweka Hut
in the giant heather zone on the Mweka route. Those with energy on the
summit may wish to descend to the Reutsh Crater and visit the dramatic
ice pinnacles of the Eastern Icefields. Video
- A 3-4 hour descent through beautiful forest brings you to the Park gate
and your waiting transport. Drive back to the hotel near Moshi.
- Leave hotel after breakfast.
Western Breach Variation: Umbwe Route then Uhuru Point by the Western BreachThe programme is available all the year round.
This is a really steep, hard but short route to the summit from
Arrow Glacier Camp which is itself reached in about 4 hours from the Barranco
Hut. From December to February crampons and ice axes may be needed. Some prefer
to start from the slightly more comfortable but lower Lava Tower camp - this
adds just over an hour to the ascent.
Not included in the cost:
All park fees, guides, porters, cook, accommodation and food except the hotel
is on a Bed and Breakfast
Included in the cost:
Tips, airport transfers, extra drinks, meals other than breakfast, at the hotel.
See also hotel details and facilities, safari extensions, Zanzibar extensions, weather.
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Looking up the Umbwe Ridge
At the Barranco hut
On the Kibo South Circuit
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