Dispatches

Approaching the Lava Tower

Approaching the Lava Tower (Madison Mountaineering archives)

Our January Kilimanjaro climb kicked off a few days ago and the team is doing great and feeling strong!  They entered the National Park at the Machame Gate (1814 m / 5,950 ft) on the first day and they hiked through the tropical rain forest climate zone up to Machame camp at 3022 m (9,915 ft).  Their 4,000 ft. elevation gain crossed into the heath climate zone.  The heath zone is typically covered by heavy mists and marked with rolling meadows, heath plants, and many small wild flowers.  A fantastic start to the trek to the roof of Africa!

On the second day they continued to climb through the heath zone and into the moorlands to Shira camp (3833 m / 12,575 ft).  Yesterday was the third day of hiking and the start of the three-day west to east traverse of the mountain.  In the morning, they climbed up to the Lava Tower at 4655 m (15,272 ft) for lunch and stunning views of the Western Breach route.  In the afternoon, the team descended to Barranco camp (3981 m / 13,060 ft), where they got their first views of the Great Barranco wall – today’s crux!

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