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The Long Day Down

Although I wouldn’t recommend it, until you feel your body on Day 6, you can cut one day off your Kilimanjaro climb, by going about another 3 hours on the last day. This is not recommended. Please take into consideration that you will have already walked for about 12 to 15 hours and, with an extra three hours, possibly in the dark, with sleep deprivation, and having just summited Kilimanjaro, it isn’t always the best thing to do. Heed this advice!

In theory, this is how some people can get off the mountain earlier. Let’s say you are at Barafu Camp, on your last night before the summit. Usually you hike from Barafu to Uhuru Peak (Kili Summit), and then descend all the way to Mweka Camp, which is about 10,000 ft/3100 mt. This is a very long, tough, difficult day, some of the most difficult part of climbing is coming down as it can be very painful on the knees. When you begin your climb, you will have maybe slept for 3 hours if you were lucky, so you will have just hiked much of the day, go to sleep for a few hours, and then begin to climb again. After you climb up Kilimanjaro, and then desend, you will hike all the way to Mweka Camp, possibly stopping for a nap at Barafu Camp on the way down. You will continue to hike all the way down to Mweka Camp. You will be beyond tired and ready to just go to sleep when you arrive.

This is where you determine the following. Can you continue on for another 3 hours? Can the guide arrange transport back to Moshi or Arusha? Is the group going to do this alone or together? If you can answer these questions, and have the strenght, you might be able to push yourself and hike out.

What is the advantage to do this? First off, you would sleep in a bed, not on the ground. Second. you get some warm hotel food. Third, the next day you wake up, sleep, stretch and have no more walking. When the rest of your group arrives, you will have enjoyed the day, have clothes washed, and will be ready for your safari.

Again, please consult your guide before doing this. It’s not recommend, but it can be done if you absolutely need to get off the mountain.

By Peter Baxter | Permalink | 1 comment | October 6th, 2005
Tags: Kilimanjaro Planning, Routes up Kilimanjaro
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By Ed Abell | January 3rd, 2006

During my research for a 2004 climb I chose not to do a 15 to 18 hour summit day and hence, climbed the Western Breach. We didn’t sleep very well in Crater Camp but the Breach and the location of the camp added quality to the trip. We gained the summit in 1.5 hours in the morning and descended to Millennium Camp in about 8 hours. The porters were happy for us, the excellent meal was consumed with real hunger for the first time in days and we slept like rocks.
To continue down would have ment 5 more hours mostly in the dark. Missing the views of the rain forest. The shower was just that much more welcome when we arrived at the hotel. Try not to be in a hurry.


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