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Machame Route Option 1

Day 1:
Machame Gate to Machame Camp (10,000 ft.)
You drive through cultivated coffee fields, forests of farms flowers to the Machame Park Gate. From the Machame Park Gate, you start the hike on the edge of a rain forest, through the Montane Forest; it will take us about 4 – 6 hours to reach our camp.

Day 2:
Machame Gate to Shira Plateau (12,500 ft.)
You ascend the Machame route through the giant heather known as the upper Heath Zone, climbing above the old Shira Hut. You head to the edge of the Shira Plateau where you get the spectacular views of the western plains, and a glorious sunset on Kibo. Camp will be in the upper Heath Zone.

Day 3:
Shira Plateau to Barranco Camp (12,900 ft.)
Today the route will take you up to 15,000 feet just below Lava Tower and then back down to your camp in the Great Barranco Valley. The views of the Great Breach Wall are better from this camp than anywhere on the mountain.

Day 4: Barranco Camp to Karanga Valley (13,000 ft.)
Our route today climbs out of the Barranco Valley and ascends up and over the Great Barranco to about 14,500 feet, helping us in our acclimatization. You then traverse under the glaciers of the southern slopes of Kilimanjaro before you descend into Karanga Valley for the night. You pass below the famous Breach Wall on your left, the largest ice and rock face in Africa.

Day 5:
Karanga Valley to Barafu Camp (15,500 ft.)
As you continue to traverse from Karanga valley, you will have close-up views of the mountain’s Southern Glaciers. You will traverse for a couple of hours through the high desert plateau, covered by volcanic boulders, before you begin the long ascent to Barafu Hut. The pinnacles of Mawenzi rise above us, and the desert plains spread to our south. You want to rest and get sleep early in preparation for the demanding summit day to follow.

Day 6:
Barafu Camp to Uhuru Peak/Mweka Camp (10,500 ft.)
Summit day!!! You will start your ascent to the summit (19,340′) at about 12midnight by headlamp. You follow a ridge to approach the crater’s rim, watching the sun rise along the African plains as YOU reach the rim. You then trek along the rim to the true summit of Uhuru Peak. From the summit you view the Bismarck Towers (rock pinnacles along the crater’s rim), the hanging Rebman Glaciers, Mt. Kenya to the North (17,056ft, the second highest mountain in Africa), and the sprawling plains of East Africa to the south. After taking in the view from Uhuru Peak, you will begin the long descent back to Barafu Hut and on down to Mweka Hut.

Day 7: Mweka Hut to Moshi
A final descent from 4,500 feet, trek through a thick jungle of 20 foot-tall fern trees, brings us to the road. You will have lunch and transfer to the lodge for showers and a celebratory drink.

By Peter Baxter | Permalink | No Comments | May 13th, 2005
Tags: Routes up Kilimanjaro
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