Day 1: Umbwe Gate - Umbwe Camp - 9,700 ft. The majority of the hike on this first day is through the Mountain Forest. Lush vegetation with very old trees and lilts of ferns and mosses mark this as an area that gets reliable rain year round. The forest abounds with wildlife; small bushbuck and duikers as well as monkeys. There is also rich and varied bird life. The first three hours or so is on gently rising land before steep ring for the last two hours. The camp for the night is in a small clearing on the trail.
Day 2: Umbwe Camp - Barranco Camp - 13,000 ft. Shortly after starting the hike the forest gradually gives away to the giant heath. The trail has been following a ridge for some time and as it ascends through the heath land the ridge narrows and sharpens, finally becoming knife edge with steep drops on each side. As the height of the heath reduces there are stunning views of both Kilimanjaro southern flank and across the Mount Meru some 50 miles away, Wildlife changes with the vegetation, jackals may be heard barking and the huge Lammergeyer seen circling overhead. The camp is overlooking the Barranco Valley with views up towards Arrow Glacier.
Day 3: Barranco Camp - Arrow Glacier - 15,800 ft. The day starts in the unique Barranco valley with its lush vegetation and giant scenarios. As the valley steepest we strike off up a scree ramp on the most direct route to Arrow Glacier. The vegetation is left behind as we move through old weather rock and alongside old lava runs. A final boulder slope brings us to the Arrow Glacier Campsite.
Day 4: Day Hike – Arrow Glacier. This day is a chance to acclimatize and rest before the push to the summit. During the day we will take a hike up the Western Breach Route to familiarize ourselves with it and if necessary kick steps in the snow. This hike will also help with our acclimatization.
Day 5: Arrow Glacier - Mweka Camp - 10,500 ft.
Leaving at midnight we will wind our way up the Western Breach non-technical climbing route, about six hours to the crater rim. Moving around the massive Fur wrangler Glacier as the skies lighten we will see the shape of Mt. Meru to the west. Having crossed the crater plateau we begin the final 800 ft climb to the summit (19,340 ft) hopefully arriving shortly after dawn. Having enjoyed the view we begin the long descent to Barafu Hut and down to Mweka Camp for the night.
Day 6: Mweka Gate – Moshi or Arusha. It takes about 3 to 3 1/2 hours to make the 4,500 foot descent to the gate and pick-up. Here we will have our lunch and say goodbye to our mountain staff and then transfer back to Moshi or Arusha. End of tour.
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Africa Tanzania Outdoor: Mountain Ranger Mountain/Rock Climbing Hiking & Trekking
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