Final ascent to Kilimanjaro
Ascent to Kilimanjaro IV: On the fourth day, the final ascent is finally waiting for you. It takes about ten hours to climb to the top of Kilimanjaro and descend back to Kibo Cottage. You will climb in the dark in the great frost, so it will really test your endurance. However, overcoming the highest mountain on the continent is worth the effort.
Ascent through the rubble trough
The final ascent to Uhuru peak starts at midnight, so most tourists start completely asleep. In addition, problems from a height bother almost everyone. It's a problem to get something for breakfast at all. Many tourists finally decide to finish the climb within the first few minutes. The reason for getting up early is trying to catch the sunrise right on top of the mountain. As a result, you ascend all the way in the dark. The photos in this article are from the descent. From the beginning, you will have a kilometer-long elevation gain through the rubble trough, which is becoming steeper and steeper. What you go up the clock you run down then in a few minutes.
Under Gilman's point
The rubble fields are becoming more and more full of larger volcanic eruptions. The ascent at night is enriched by the headlights of large expeditions, where it looks as if large light snakes were crawling in the wall. On the way back, you can see the whole road with the Kibo hut in the middle of the volcanic wasteland. Finally, you are approaching the edge of the crater.
Finally you ascend to the edge of the crater – to Gilman´s Point. You are at an altitude of 5,681 m above sea level. It is only about 200 altitude meters to the top itself, but more than two kilometers away. The temperature drops to –10 degrees and you don't feel like at the equator at all. From the originally large glacier, only the smoothed slopes remain, and only small pieces of ice make the otherwise desolate landscape special.
Road along the edge of the crater
From Gilman´s Point follows the path along the edge of the crater between the volcanic rocks. The road finally leads only slowly uphill, but at this height it is still a challenging march. Fortunately, at night you don't see a destination that seems pretty far from here in the light.
At the crossroads
You keep climbing over the shallow crater and slowly approaching the view of the remains of the glacier. Just before the really final ascent, the Mweka route will join you and tourists will come again.
Remains of a glacier in Kilimanjaro
The remains of the top glacier are the most beautiful parts of the whole mountain, because otherwise the landscape around you is not very interesting.
Uhuru in sight
The final ascent path is really comfortable, but at this height every meter is already known. The glacier is on the left, the shallow crater on the right, and between it rubble and small rocks
View of Mawenzi over the glacier
Around the top, the hellish winter is quite windy, but it pays to stay as long as possible and enjoy the views after sunrise.
Uhuru Peak (5,895m asl)
After six hours of ascent, finally at the top of Uhuru – the highest point in Africa.
Sunrise in Kilimanjaro
Waiting for the sunrise is quite cruel in winter. After dawn, the air finally begins to heat up. The return journey is much faster, especially if you are not afraid to run down the rubble trough.
Article: Ascent to Kilimanjaro
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