How High is Mt. Kilimanjaro in Feet?
Mt. Kilimanjaro is one of the world’s most iconic mountains and has captured the imagination of adventurers, photographers and outdoor enthusiasts from all corners of the globe. Standing tall in Tanzania, the majestic peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro looms in the distance and beckons those daring enough to attempt the summit. But how high is Mt. Kilimanjaro in feet?
At first glance, the answer to this seemingly simple question is not so straightforward, as the elevation of Mt. Kilimanjaro depends on which peak is being measured. According to the Global Volcanism Program, the highest peak of Mweka (known as Kibo) is 19,341 feet (5,895 m) tall, while the second highest peak, Mawenzi, is 16,896 feet (5,149 m) tall. The true summit, Uhuru Peak, is found on the rim of Kibo at 19,340 ft or 5,895 m.
Experts consider the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro an extreme environment, characterized by colder temperatures, high elevation gain and steep terrain. In addition, the sudden jump in altitude can cause a variety of altitude-related sicknesses from mild headaches to deadly pulmonary edemas. It’s not surprising then that a complete acclimatization period- typically about two weeks- is recommended for successful summit bids, as doing so greatly increases the likelihood of a safe and successful ascent.
When attempting any mountain ascent, proper planning is absolutely essential. This is especially true when it comes to Mt. Kilimanjaro, as the conditions can be brutal. Adventurers need to approach their ascent with the proper navigational know-how as well as the right gear and clothing. Moreover, the right training should be in place to ensure the highest levels of safety and enjoyment.
Travelers have several options when it comes to summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro. The most popular route is the seven-day Machame route, which starts at the southern side of Kilimanjaro. This route features dramatic terrain, including dense jungle and then alpine desert, before reaching the icy summit of Uhuru Peak, which sits at 19,340 feet.
The Rongai route is another popular option for those hoping to summit, and it starts from the northern side of Kilimanjaro. This route takes longer, typically about eight days, and is less crowded than the Machame route. It does offer the potential for excellent views and unique wildlife on the descent.
Mt. Kilimanjaro is a serious undertaking and requires proper preparation. Trekkers should begin planning at least three to four months in advance, as this will allow enough time to get all the necessary gear, research the proper routes, arrange transportation and potentially hire a guide.
Aspiring climbers can also benefit from begining a physical training routine. This should include regular cardio and strength traning to get the body used to climbing for long periods and carrying a heavier load.
Understanding Altitude Sickness
Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) and High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE) are two forms of altitude-related sicknesses that travelers should be aware of before venturing to Mt. Kilimanjaro. While some headaches and nausea are expected at high elevations, more serious symptoms, including heavy breathlessness, vomiting and dizziness should be taken seriously. People with a history of heart or lung diseases are more susceptible to AMS and should be extra careful when attempting the summit.
Checklist for Summit Success
A successful ascent of Mt. Kilimanjaro requires attention to detail and preparation. To ensure a safe and successful summit, hikers should make sure they have the following items: suitable clothing, footwear, sunscreen, a hat, a sleeping bag, a first aid kit, food and snacks, water, a headlamp, a map, a compass and a tent. Depending on your route, some hikers may also choose to hire a guide.
Savor the Moment
Mt. Kilimanjaro can be a grueling and unforgiving climb. Successfully making it to the summit requires mental and physical fortitude. So when that moment arrives and a traveler stands atop the highest peak in Africa, savor the moment and enjoy the unique beauty of Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Leave No Trace
Mt. Kilimanjaro is africa’s highest peak and the environment is fragile and beautiful. Travelers are reminded to leave no trace, and to practice Leave No Trace ethics while they are exploring the mountain. Littering, cutting plants or outdoor fire are prohibited, and all human waste should be filtered and disposed of properly.
Stay Connected to Nature
In a world where most of us are glued to our phones, finding time to connect with nature is so important. Ascending Mt. Kilimanjaro can provide a perfect opportunity for travelers to stay close to the beauty of the mountain and disconnect from the hustle and bustle of our hectic lives.
Can One Take Home the Summit?
The summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro is a completely unique and breathtaking experience, and travelers often wonder if they can take home that moment with them. Thankfully, some savvy adventurers bring along cameras or camcorders, and fill their feed with spectacular shots of the summit.
Humans Have Reached the Peel
Since the first successful ascent by German explorer Hans Meyer in 1889, humans have journeyed up Africa’s highest peak. Over the years, thousands of adventurers have made the trek, and millions more wish they could.
People From All Over the World Climb the Great Kilimanjaro
Mt. Kilimanjaro draws people from all over the world. Trekkers come from the United States, Europe, Africa, and even Australia in an attempt to summit the highest mountain in Africa.
The Greatest Benefits Come When You Push Yourself
Whether it’s conquering fear, pride in one’s accomplishment or simply taking in the extraordinary beauty of the mountain, there is no doubt that the greatest benefit of climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro lies in pushing oneself to reach the extraordinary heights the peak offers.
Trek Responsibly for Success
A successful ascent of Mt. Kilimanjaro requires careful planning, preparation and safe execution. This includes having the necessary gear, being in good physical condition, and understanding the potential risks of altitude sickness. However, doing so will allow you to have a safe and successful ascent that will be remembered for years to come.
Standing at 19,341 feet, Mt. Kilimanjaro is a powerful and unforgiving mountain. With proper training, preparation, and understanding of the risks associated, hikers can have a safe and successful ascent of the mountain’s highest peak. No matter one’s background or skill level, the view from the summit is something to behold and is worth the effort and dedication it takes to get there.