Climbing Mount Meru
One of the best things about climbing Mount Meru is probably the chance of a phenomenal view of Mount Kilimanjaro. This probably defines Mount Meru in the local mountain mythology, and is the misfortune of a geographic feature that by any standards is a big mountain. At 14980 foot it compares neither in stature nor reputation to Kilimanjaro, and so is sharply overshadowed. However Mount Meru is a unique feature in its own right, and very much worth the effort to climb.
Had it not been for a geological event on a scale of the mount St. Helens eruption in 1980 it is likely that today Meru would have stood higher than Kilimanjaro, and the entire history of mountaineering and tourism in the region would have been different.
Currently, however, Meru is available from most outfitters who organize trips of Kilimanjaro over a four-day climb for usually about half the price. It is obviously a less dramatic experience that climbing Kilimanjaro, and perhaps rather scornfully touted as a warm up for the main event, but climbers should be warty of such flippant assessments. Meru may well physically ruin you, and cut deeply into the potential for a successful summit of Kilimanjaro. Do not underestimate this mountain, and neither underrate the charm and beauty of a mountaineering experience that will at the very least be less crowded then the more popular trails up the flanks of Kilimanjaro.