Kilimanjaro: Day 6 - Summit

Walks » Walking Log » 2013

Fri 22 Feb 2013

Route: Kibo Hut (4700m) - Hans Meyer Cave - Gilman's Point (5681m) - Stella Point (5730m) - Uhuru Peak (5895m) - Stella Point - Gilman's Point - Hans Meyer Cave - Kibo Hut

Ascent: 4,000ft

Time: 9 hours 30 minutes

With: KE Adventure / Tanzania Rift Valley Tours


Cold in the dark, thermals and winter walking kit for the first time on the trip. Not much wind.

Up at 11:20pm, time for some tea and porridge before setting off at 00:05, camera packed away as its dark!

We reach Hans Meyer Cave after two hours of shuffling/zigzagging upwards, half way to the rim, and our guides have a flask of tea for us.

Seven of us reach the rim at Gilman's Point at about 4:15 having taken just over 4 hours. The other two are travelling slower but will also make it.

Then follows the walk round the rim to Uhuru Peak, Kilimanjaro's summit and at 5,895m (19,340ft) the top of Africa. Although not a great distance there is another 200m of ascent and we are painfully slow, the altitude sapping our energy. We reach the summit at 6:30 and sunrise and out comes my camera. A bit of a bun fight to get the requisite summit photo, there are lots of people, and soon our 15 minute summit time, imposed by our guides, is over and we start to head down.

With the sun up the views are amazing although my lightheadedness means I probably don't take it in as well as I should, but I snap away with my camera. Walking poles are a must! We meet the other two near Stella Point, they will also make it to the summit, and we are back at Gilman's Point for 8am having enjoyed spectacular views of the crater and summit glaciers. Then follows a one and a half hour scree run down the gravelly scree to Kibo Hut, cutting through the zigzag path we had ascended. A cup of tea and a couple of hours rest in our tents at Kibo Hut before we continue our descent.