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How to choose a climbing route?

How to choose a climbing route?

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An ideal climbing route is based on each climber’s personal preparedness and preferences. Prior acclimatization and experience on other mountains determines your preparedness, while preferences have to do with your interest in a longer, more scenic route versus tackling a busier trail and meeting other climbers.

There is no “best” route; operators advertising that are providing misleading information.

The only quantifiable factor focuses on a route’s acclimatization profile: a good route has well-placed overnight camps and daily hikes that prepare for the final summit, as compared to climbs which rapidly ascend and result in a lower successful summit record. We at Altezza Travel are passionate about climbers having a great and safe experience, and encourage trekkers to choose routes and itineraries with the highest successful summit attempts, instead of the least expensive and fastest approaches that all-too often end without reaching the peak.

 

There is no ‘best’ route on Kilimanjaro, only routes that better fit individual preferences

We encourage prospective climbers to consider the following questions:

  • Does the route in question have a good acclimatization profile?

    • Placement of overnight camps (climb high, sleep low)?
    • Acclimatization hikes?
    • 5 days or more ascending Kilimanjaro?
  • What is your team’s overall fitness level? And, are you training in preparation?

    • The routes vary in level of difficulty
    • Your team may consider prior acclimatization by summiting Mount Meru before attempting Kilimanjaro
  • Your budget

    • Routes have various costs
    • Some routes have the option for ‘extras’ that make camping more comfortable, such as portable showers and sleeping cots
  • Accomodations

    • Marangu has sleeping huts (dormitory-style)
    • All other routes offer tent camping which means more privacy for groups
  • Dates/Weather

    • Trekking in the dry season allows for more route options
    • Some routes are not available in the rainy season. A rainy season climb is particularly green and lush, and hut accommodations may be prefered
  • Social Aspects

    • Climbing in seclusion with your own team on a quiet route, such as Lemosho
    • Trekking with a bigger crowd on a popular route like Machame or Marangu
The more days you prepare for the high altitude, the better your chances of success
As you can see, each individual’s preferences play a big role in selecting the “perfect climb” up Kilimanjaro. There are many options to choose from, however one factor that should not be overlooked is the total time climbing up Kilimanjaro. We recommend a 7 or 8-day route over shorter options for the highest chance of completion. This is a mountain climb, not a race, and the more days you have preparing your body for the high altitude, the better your chances of successfully reaching the summit and watching the sun rise from the highest point of Africa.
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