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The Final Ascent – Barafu to the Summit

I recently had a conversation with a Kilimanjaro climber whose trip I organized. She and I were talking about her experience, and she said the one thing that troubled her was the final night, the last six hour hike up the mountain, starting at Barafu Camp.

Barafu Camp is the final camp before the summit and sits at over 15,500 ft. The next section to Uhuru Peak is by far the hardest, most grueling, part of the climb up Mount Kilimanjaro. It’s usually in the middle of the night, so there is limited lighting. The winds are usually ferocious. It’s extremely cold. You have had limited sleep. And, you are pretty much hiking straight up the mountain in the dark. It’s very dramatic, not easy and very intimidating. It does not feel as easy as the past five days.

This is the biggest mental challenge of Kilimanjaro. Many people hear of the ease of climbing Kilimanjaro but don’t taken into account the final tough stretch. Save your energy for the final night. You will need it.