Kilimanjaro vs. Everest
When discussing the debate surrounding which mountain is higher, Kilimanjaro or Everest, there are no easy answers. Both mountains command respect and admiration due to their remarkable size and stature, with Kilimanjaro also offering pristine beaches and breathtaking vistas of snow-covered peaks. But which is higher?
Kilimanjaro is located in Tanzania, East Africa, and stands at 19,341 feet (5,895 meters) above sea level. It is the highest mountain in Africa and the tallest free-standing mountain in the world. On the other hand, Mount Everest is located between Nepal and Tibet, standing in at 29,029 feet (8,848 meters) above sea level, making it the tallest mountain in the world.
When it comes to comparing the two, experts agree that Everest is higher. However, the debate does not end there as altitude doesn’t tell the full story. For instance, Kilimanjaro’s slopes rise up from the surrounding land to a greater extent than Everest’s slopes, making Kilimanjaro seem taller. Similarly, each summit has a different amount of snow cover and ice, further complicating the comparison.
Additionally, it is important to note that while Mount Everest is the highest summit, it is not necessarily the ‘tallest’ mountain. That honor belongs to Mauna Kea in Hawaii, which starts out 19,677 feet (6,000 meters) underwater and rises up to 32,808 feet (10,000 meters). So, while Everest is the highest, Kilimanjaro currently remains the tallest.
From an adventure standpoint, both mountains present challenging climbs for even the most seasoned mountaineers. Kilimanjaro is split into three major peaks, Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira, each offering a unique journey. Everest, on the other hand, requires a hiker to walk on glaciers, and is better suited to experienced outdoor lovers. Moreover, Kilimanjaro presents the adventurous visitor with five climatic zones, ranging from rainforest to the arctic-like summit. Everest, on the other hand, only has two zones.
From a cost standpoint, Kilimanjaro is a more budget-friendly mountain when compared to Everest. It is roughly 2-3 times cheaper than Everest, mainly due to the price of obtaining the necessary permits. Furthermore, Kilimanjaro also has a better success rate in terms of summit success, possibly because many hire guides to help navigate the peak.
Leisure & Tourism
For the leisure and tourism industry, both mountains are hugely popular. Kilimanjaro draws in more than 24,000 visitors every year, making it one of the world’s most popular hiking destinations. During peak season, the mountain sees thousands of hikers every day. Everest, on the other hand, sees fewer visitors due to its technical difficulty, extreme elevation, and the relatively high cost associated with climbing the mountain.
Accessibility is also a factor when considering either mountain. Climbing Everest requires a plane ride followed by an arduous, weeks-long hike, while Kilimanjaro can be reached in just a few short days with the right supplies. This can make a huge difference if time is of the essence. In terms of safety, overall, Kilimanjaro is considered a safer climb due to its shorter duration and less technical terrain.
The access that Kilimanjaro provides to its summit has enabled millions of people to enjoy and appreciate its beautiful, snow-capped peaks – a blessing for climbers everywhere. Moreover, its popularity has made it possible for the mountain to act as a revenue generator for the surrounding communities and for the country as a whole.
For many, conservation is the main concern. Unfortunately, with expanding tourism comes expanding pollution. Both mountains are facing increasing levels of human-made destruction, and they both require increased protection. But while both Kilimanjaro and Everest face these threats, the effects of these threats are very different.
For instance, because Everest has increasing numbers of tourists and is higher up, it is more prone to human-induced destruction such as trash and waste. This waste can create problems for Everest’s ecosystem, as the warmer temperatures and increased amount of material makes it easier for plants and animals to suffer from the destruction. On the other hand, at Kilimanjaro, the situation is more nuanced. While there is still environmental destruction, the effects are not as pronounced. This is mainly due to the fact that Kilimanjaro is protected as a national park, meaning there is a greater emphasis on preserving its natural beauty.
That being said, both mountains still face an immense challenge in the form of global climate change. Both are under threat due to rising temperatures, leading to glaciers melting and landslides in some places. Unfortunately, the effects of climate change are long-term and it is unclear how they will shape the appearance of these majestic mountains in the coming years.
Recreation & Usage
For those hoping to climb either Kilimanjaro or Everest, preparation should be taken seriously. Both mountains require a significant amount of preparation, training, and experience with high-altitude mountaineering. Furthermore, because both locations have a high-risk associated with them, it is important to consult a local expert in the region prior to attempting any high-altitude climbs.
When it comes to recreation and usage, both mountains provide different challenges and opportunities for adventurers. Kilimanjaro is much more forgiving for amateur hikers, requiring less experience and technical ability. However, due to its cold temperatures, climbing this mountain is physically demanding and trekkers must be equipped with the proper gear. Everest, on the other hand, requires more technical know-how, as well as a strong mental capacity to persevere in its harsh conditions. That being said, those who make it to the summit of the world’s tallest mountain can enjoy the incomparable feeling of standing atop one of the world’s greatest peaks.
Both mountains are popular in their own right for very different reasons. Kilimanjaro has been the central focus of numerous popular films, books, and television shows over the years. It is seen as an achievable goal for first-time climbers and thus has seen surges in popularity throughout the years. Everest, on the other hand, is much more popular among professional mountaineers, and its popularity has surged recently due to its appearance in movies, documentaries, and reality television shows. It is seen as the definitive mountain-climbing challenge by many.
Despite the differences between the two, one point remains –both mountains are astonishing feats of nature and deserve the utmost respect. They are majestic, awe-inspiring, and captivating in their own unique ways. In a world with so much uncertainty and unrest, they offer a much needed respite and respite of peerless beauty.
When it comes to media portrayals of both mountains, Kilimanjaro is often portrayed in a more positive light than Everest. This is most likely due to its easier accessibility and because it does not have the same risk factor associated with it as Everest does. Furthermore, because of its towering height, it is seen as more of a ‘conquering’ mountain, rather than a mere obstacle.
Conversely, Everest is often portrayed as a much more forbidding giant, offering danger at every turn. Many of the documentaries and movies associated with Everest emphasize the personal challenge of reaching the summit and the physical and psychological toll it can take on climbers. This has resulted in Everest being seen as a ‘conquering beast’ rather than as a thing that can be conquered.
No matter which mountain a climber chooses to summit, they can be sure of one thing – they will never forget the experience. Both Kilimanjaro and Everest offer amazing vistas, challenging terrains, and different set of risks and rewards. As such, any mountaineers considering climbing either peak should thoroughly research the location and hazards associated with it, as well as being prepared by mentally and emotionally.
No matter who wins the debate of which is higher, both Kilimanjaro and Everest will continue to captivate climbers with their alluring beauty and sheer magnitude. Both offer an unforgettable experience and should be appreciated from afar and enjoyed responsibly.