Tag: Machame

Kilimanjaro weather can be great, weather on mountains can also not be great. As we tried to sleep in our tents in preparation of our 11pm wake up for our summit bid, our tents folded like tacos in the wind and sounded like chip bags with snow and hail. Needless to say, I don’t think anybody slept. We got up, ate a light breakfast and started our ascent. About 5 inches of new snow had fallen overnight and the wind had increased, we climbed higher and higher in the dark bucking a serious wind, steady and unrelenting. By around 5:15AM we stood at Stella Point, the bulk of the climbing below us the sun rose and illuminated Africa and the clouds below. We made the final stroll to the summit and at 6:40AM we all celebrated. The descent was straightforward if not muddy due to the melting snow and the wind had abated. We were in high spirits as we strolled back into camp until we saw what remained of much of our camp. The winds throughout the night had taken their toll on our cook tent, our dining tent and our porters sleeping tent leaving them destroyed. What would generally be a celebratory lunch turned into a rush to pack and head down the mountain. As the icy winds began again we hurriedly packed our gear and hightailed it down the mountain. After a 4 hour hike we finally got to relax at McKay high camp where we are, drank water and tea and slept like baby rhinos.
The last day of any trip is bitter sweet. On one handed we long for cold beer, new food and hot showers while on the other we have to leave a place we have given so much for. We came out here and climbed the mountain and the trip is over. Now we all go back to our lives and have the memories and pictures. This was on all of our minds as we hiked the 10 kilometer hike out to the gate, through the rain forest we saw more birds and monkeys than we could count. We arrived at the gate to our team singing and dancing and congratulating us on a great climb. We feasted on a fantastic buffet lunch, thanked our staff, said goodbye then loaded up in the van back to the hotel. We are all sad to be going home, but psyched for the pool.

Yesterday was a favorite so far for our Kilimanjaro team! The Baranco Wall can be an intimidating feature and as we woke up we could only see it for brief moments through the breaking fog. We stashed our trekking poles and steadily climbed. Mike, Todd and Cassey showed no signs of slowing as we crested the wall! As we bobbed and weaved our way around the mountain we were all in awe on the mountain to our left, and the beautiful countryside of Tanzania to our right. Karanga camp was a welcome sight!

Today we sit primed and ready for our climb tonight! The climb from Karanga to Kosovo camp at 15,500ft is a rewarding but demanding day. As usual Mike, Todd and Cassey floated it! As the scrub brush disappeared leaving only gravel and rocks, one starts to feel the change from hiking to climbing. Now we rest, drink water, eat and prepare for our late night start and our climb to the top of Africa!

Sid Pattison


.kili-1kili-2 kili-3 kili-4 kili1-1 kili1-2

There are few places like the beautiful Shira Camp sunrise on Mount Kilimanjaro. Looking out over the jungle, seeing Meru peaking up above the clouds watching the frost give way to sun warmth is fantastic. Today the team rocked our acclimatization day climbing up to 15,000ft to the Lava Tower! We moved confidently and steadily up, happy to see our lunch tent through the mist. We dined in luxury on chicken, pasta, sandwiches and fresh fruit while trying out best to master the Swahili phrases of gratitude we have been learning. After a good break we descended down through the Hidden Moorlands of indescribable beauty. Wandering past waterfalls, clumps of wild Dr. Suess trees we arrived at Baranco Camp at 12,750ft. Red blood cells freshly oxygenated, we rest before dinner.

Sid Pattison









Finally on Mount Kilimanjaro after our jungle trek! Sometimes in climbing, the toughest part is waiting to start. Like a runner in the starting blocks, we waited and prepared. Yesterday we set off and now have our first day under our belt. We steadily climbed through the jungle seeing monkeys and beautifully colored birds who’s names I wish I knew to Machame camp at 9500ft in elevation. The group is strong and psyched to be here. We ate, rested and sleep like babies.

This morning we were greeted to sun and our first views of Kilimanjaro! The team did great grinding up from 9000ft to our 12000ft Shira camp. As we climbed up out of the last of the jungle, past the majestic Erica trees we were treated with fleeting views of the jungle below. Dinner and rest was well earned now we shall all sleep like baby giraffes.

Sid Pattison












Under promising sky’s we load up the jeep, packed, ready and psyched to climb! Tonight we sleep in the jungle at the foot of the tallest mountain in Africa! We couldn’t be more ready! –Sid Pattison







Today our Kilimanjaro team left Machame Camp and trekked through a hail storm before reaching the warm shelter of their next camp. Garrett and team are now enjoying a beautiful night under the stars where they can see the impressive Milky Way Galaxy. Onward!


Audio dispatch attached here by Garrett Madison.


To monitor our climbing team’s exact route to the summit you can view our LIVE RainOn mapping platform here.


Team photo


Today is Saturday October 1 and our team is currently preparing to leave Arusha, Tanzania where they will travel by car to the Machame entrance (5,900 feet) and begin the adventure through the lush forests. After a nice trek through the jungle our team will arrive at Machame Camp (9,950′). Our climbers will trek  alongside local Tanzanian guides and explore the rich culture of Tanzania.

Our team plans to summit the peak on October 6th. To the top!


Garett Madison calling in for the Kilimanjaro team:


To monitor our climbing team’s exact route to the summit you can view our LIVE RainOn mapping platform here.


Fred, Dante, Stefano, Ken, Joao, Braulio, Garrett, Jayme and Petr relaxing at their hotel in Arusha before departing toward Mt. Kilimanjaro.


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Kilimanjaro, the “roof” of Africa, is located in Tanzania, and is surrounded by many famous game-viewing parks. Our route up Kilimanjaro, the Machame, is a non technical journey through five very distinctive climate zones, allowing ample time for acclimatization. We ascend Kilimanjaro in style, enjoying the incredible views, camaraderie, and sense of accomplishment in climbing one of the famed “7 Summits.”

Madison Mountaineering offers the premier climbing experience on Kilimanjaro. Quality is unsurpassed throughout the expedition, and our service reflects a well thought out menu plan, enthusiastic and supportive local staff, and well appointed accommodations on the mountain. Our professional guides (see guide roster) are seasoned Americans who have led expeditions on many continents, and for whom Kilimanjaro is one of their favorite programs. These guides know how to run a mountaineering expedition, and are well equipped to handle the challenges that arise in any high altitude endeavor. This is the primary difference between us and other Kilimanjaro ‘outfitters’ who employ local Tanzanian staff to lead the expedition, and whose primary business involves game viewing excursions. As a mountain climbing company, Madison Mountaineering offers climbers the highest chance of success in conjunction with the highest standards for safety.

Although Kilimanjaro is partially covered in glacier, our route meanders around the icy slopes to Stella Point and then onward to Uhuru Peak, the highest point in Africa. We do not use crampons, or rock climb at any time (unless teams elect to scale the Lava Tower), making this expedition a high altitude trek.

This adventure appeals to the seasoned climber in pursuit of the “7 summits” as well as first time trekkers who are eager to experience a high altitude expedition in the natural wonder of Africa. We arrive in camp every afternoon, and alongside our very enthusiastic and robust Tanzanian staff, participate in song and dance to celebrate another successful day.

We conclude our climb of Kilimanjaro then head out on safari! This is a truly rewarding transition in that we have just returned from mountain climbing and now enjoy spectacular game viewing during the day, then retire in luxury lodges to recount the day’s wildlife sightings over a gourmet meal. Our safari is expertly organized to maximize game viewing opportunity and minimize drive time. During the safari we visit these parks:

Tarangire Park: Though relatively unknown, this park is potentially Africa’s best kept secret in terms of abundant wildlife and minimal crowds. The Tarangire takes us back in time thousands of years to a land untouched by man and in it’s natural state.

The Serengeti: Perhaps one of Africa’s best known game parks, the Serengeti is one of the largest game parks in the world. Oftentimes our Land Cruisers are caught among large herds of animals in migration. Here we have the opportunity to visit a traditional Masai village and interact with a people who live much the same as they did thousands of years ago.

The Ngorongoro Crater: Nearly eight miles across, this was once an active volcano that sunk in on itself, and is now a rich ecosystem with immense biodiversity and wildlife. Our lodge is located on the crater rim and provides a sweeping panorama of the world below. We save this park for the last day as we will surely see the most wildlife, and return to our hotel in Arusha very satisfied.

Additional notes:
Given that the Serengeti is huge, our itinerary above allows guests more quality time to explore this exceptional park, also removing the need to overnight at Ngorongoro Crater as it is not necessary with only 3 nights as we try to make most of the time we have. Another reason we suggest the smaller boutique style lodge properties is because most of our guests are familiar with large luxury chain hotels, and when journeying to Africa these smaller properties provide a unique experience while offering personalized service. In Tarangire, the Osupuko lodge has only 12 rooms while in Serengeti the Hemingway style ‘tent camp’ has only 10 luxury tents. This suggested itinerary offers a combination of a ”normal lodge” and luxury camping with huge “Hemingway” style tents with en-suite bath facilities. In the evenings in Serengeti guests enjoy beverages around the camp fire, with Africa’s finest natural setting a stones’ throw from the camp.

We regularly organize custom programs for private groups. We are happy to accommodate your program dates, as well as other specific requests related to the itinerary, amenities, and group size. Please contact us if you would like to know more about custom programs.

Day 1: Depart country of residence

Day 2: Arrive in Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), you will be met by one of our representatives and taken to our hotel.

Day 3: Climb orientation and equipment check.

Day 4: Drive from hotel to the Machame entrance (5,900’), and begin our ascent in the lush forest. We arrive in the afternoon at our Machame Camp (9,950’) and enjoy a wonderful dinner before retiring to bed.

Day 5: After breakfast we head out and wind our way through the moor lands to Shira camp (12,450).

Day 6: We leave Shira Camp and trek to the Lava Tower, where we enjoy lunch and views of the Western Breach route. We descend to Barranco Camp (12,750’). Upon reaching camp we size up the next day’s crux, the Great Barranco wall.

Day 7: After ascending the Great Barranco wall, we pause for photographs above the clouds and then descend down into Karanga Camp (12,950’).

Day 8: Today we ascend to Kosovo Camp (15,550’), this will be our high camp. We have an early dinner and drift off to sleep in anticipation of the early morning start for our summit climb.

Day 9: We have an ‘alpine start’ shortly after midnight, and climb through the night using head lights until the first rays of sunlight illuminate the mountain and surrounding landscape. We arrive at Stella Point, take a short break, and then continue on to Uhuru Peak and savor our moments here at the “roof” of Africa. After summit photos, and ample time for rest and snacks, we descend to Mweka Camp (10,150’) and return into the lush green forest for our last night on the mountain.

Day 10: Still savoring our summit success, we awake and enjoy our last breakfast together on Kilimanjaro, then descend to the Mweka Gate and have a celebratory buffet style meal to quench our burgeoning appetites! We thank our Tanzanian staff, and drive back to Arusha to shower and enjoy a meal together in town.

Day 11: Safari begins! After breakfast, you will be collected from the Mt Meru hotel in Arusha at 8:00 AM, and drive to Tarangire National Park. On arrival into the park, we experience our first ‘game drive’, then in the evening we drive to Tarangire Osupuko lodge for overnight, which is located strategically at the border of the park, where guests can see wildlife ‘close up’ that visit the lodge. This property is near the exit gate which means no time is wasted on the second day when leaving for the Ngorongoro crater. The location of the lodge is useful particularly for logistics on the second day, unlike Tarangire Sopa Lodge that is located deep inside the park, safari participants can leave the Osupuko lodge at Tarangire park and enjoy ample quality time at Ngorongoro crater.

Day 12: After an early breakfast we depart Tarangire park for Ngorongoro Crater with picnic lunch. On arrival into the park we descend to the crater floor for game viewing. With wildlife concentrated in a small area in the Ngorongoro crater, safari participants can do the game drive then visit a cultural ‘maasai boma’ visit and game viewing in the Serengeti en route to the luxury tented lodge. In the afternoon we drive to Serengeti National Park, with many game viewing opportunities en route to Osupuko Lodge in the Serengeti.

Day 13: Full day in the Serengeti with morning and afternoon game drives. Alternatively, you can take a packed lunch and spend the whole day in the bush (keep in mind the best times to view game are early and late in the day). Dinner & Overnight Serengeti Osupuko Lodge. The following day offers guests a full day of game viewing in the Serengeti while enjoying a game drive en route to the exit gate and then continuing the drive to Arusha.

Day 14: After breakfast start your return journey to Arusha, game drive en-route to the exit gate. Upon arrival in Arusha, you will drive direct to Kilimanjaro Airport where you will board your KLM flight departing that evening. *On this day, guests do have the option of flying from the Serengeti to Arusha at US $220 per person. If guests select this option you will fly to Arusha, be collected by one of our vehicles, then driven to the Kilimanjaro airport about an hour away.

Day 15: Arrive home.

Additional notes:
Given that the Serengeti is huge, our itinerary above allows guests more quality time to explore this exceptional park, also removing the need to overnight at Ngorongoro Crater as it is not necessary with only 3 nights as we try to make most of the time we have. Another reason we suggest the smaller boutique style lodge properties is because most of our guests are familiar with large luxury chain hotels, and when journeying to Africa these smaller properties provide a unique experience while offering personalized service. In Tarangire, the Osupuko lodge has only 12 rooms while in Serengeti the Hemingway style ‘tent camp’ has only 10 luxury tents. This suggested itinerary offers a combination of a ”normal lodge” and luxury camping with huge “Hemingway” style tents with en-suite bath facilities. In the evenings in Serengeti guests enjoy beverages around the camp fire, with Africa’s finest natural setting a stones’ throw from the camp.

Kilimanjaro Climb and Safari: $6,900
Climb-only option: $4,900

Deposit: $1000

2020 Departures:
January 1-15
January 10-24
January 21-February 4
January 27-February 10
January 31-February 14

July 13-27
August 1-15
August 11-25
August 18 -September 1
September 30-October 13
December 5-19
December 14-28

Costs Include:
• Airport transfers
• Pre and Post climb accommodations at the Mount Meru Hotel in Arusha (breakfast provided)
• Team welcome dinner
• All meals while on the climb and safari
• All group gear on the climb (sleeping tents, dining supplies and tents, toilette tents, first aid, etc.)
• Porter service on the climb
• All climbing staff including mountain guides and local support staff
• All park fees, permits and tour fees
• All transportation in country
• All accommodations on safari, including two nights in a Hemingway style tent camp on the beautiful Serengeti
• Travel in all-terrain Land Cruiser or similar safari vehicles with pop-tops for game viewing – driven by experienced professional safari tour guides

Costs Do Not Include:
• Round-trip airfare to/from Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO)
• Tanzania tourist visa
• Alcoholic or bottled beverages
• Medical and evacuation insurance
• Any expenses incurred by early departure from the program
• Personal items and equipment
• Charges incurred as a result of delays beyond the control of Madison Mountaineering

Cancellation/Refund Policy
• There are no refunds for the deposit or balance payments for this expedition. This includes but is not limited to, expeditions that conclude without a summit or progress towards a summit for participants due to route conditions, weather, insufficient manpower, or any other factor outside the control of Madison Mountaineering. Expedition leader has the final say on the expedition conclusion and will make all best efforts within our margin of safety.
• Participants that choose to leave an active expedition for any reason are not entitled to any refunds
• Madison Mountaineering, LLC highly recommends trip cancellation insurance for all expeditions
• Due to the nature and heavy costs of government and operator permits, Madison Mountaineering must adhere to a stringent refund policy
• Deposit due with registration materials
• All balances are due 120 days prior to departure date unless otherwise specified
• Participants whose balances are not received by the 120-day deadline as stated above, risk forfeiture of their funds and their place on the expedition

Note: Madison Mountaineering, LLC reserves the right to waive any fees. As we offer personalized service, we will attempt to accommodate changes and cancellations when necessary, waiving certain fees when feasible. Deposits paid by participants acknowledge the above cancellation terms.

Print Gear List

• Trekking Poles: adjustable poles
• Trekking Boots: comfortable trekking boots or mid top hiking shoes
• Socks: minimum 3 pair thick mountaineering socks and 3 pair liner socks
• Short Underwear: 1-2 pair of synthetic short underwear
• Long Underwear: 1-2 pair lightweight long underwear pants and shirts
• Long Underwear: 1 pair of heavy expedition weight long underwear
• Trekking Pants: nylon pants worn during warm days
• Soft Shell Jacket: a hooded jacket
• Soft Shell Pants: for trekking and climbing
• Insulated Jacket: PrimaLoft or down
• Expedition Down Parka: a hooded down jacket with 800 minimum down fill
• Insulated Pants: PrimaLoft or down, these should have full side zippers
• Hard Shell Jacket: to be worn in wet conditions
• Hard Shell Pants: to be worn in wet conditions, these pants should have full side zippers
• Headlamp: bring extra batteries
• Warm Hat: a warm fleece or wool hat
• Balaclava: to cover your face and neck on windy days
• Sun Hat: a baseball style sun camp
• Buff: 1-2 of these to wear around your neck & face to block the wind, UV rays, dust
• Glacier Glasses: wrap around style sunglasses with dark lenses
• Goggles: with dark lenses
• Soft Shell Gloves: 1 pair
• Shell Gloves with Insulated Liner: 1 pair
• Shell Mittens with Insulated Liner: 1 pair
• Trekking Backpack: a 20-40 liter back pack
• Sleeping Bag: rated to at least -20 °F (down is preferable over synthetic)
• Compression Stuff Sacks: for reducing volume for your sleeping bag and down jacket
• Self-Inflating Pad: a full length air mattress
• Closed Cell Foam Pad: full length is best
• Sunscreen: SPF 50 or stronger
• Lip protection: SPF 30 or stronger
• Water Bottles: 2 bottles with 1 liter capacity each
• Water Bottle Parkas: to keep your water from freezing
• Pee Bottle: 1+ liter capacity recommended
• Pee Funnel: for women
• Knife: optional
• Toiletry Bag: toothpaste, toothbrush, baby wipes, etc.
• Hand Sanitizer: 2 small bottles
• Hand Warmers / Toe Warmers: 1-2 sets of each for summit day
• Trash Compactor bags (3): to line stuff sacks and separate gear
• Camera: lightweight with extra batteries
• Travel Clothes: for days in Arusha or on safari
• Large Duffel Bag with Lock: for transporting all personal gear during the climb, waterproof is best
• Small Duffel Bag: to store items in the hotel
• Small Personal First Aid Kit: athletic tape, band aids, Ibuprofen, Moleskin, blister care products, personal medications, cough drops, etc.

• Acetazolamide (Diamox) for altitude illness, antibiotics such as Ciprofloxin or Azithromycin for gastro intestinal or respiratory illness, Ibuprofen for muscle soreness, Pepto Bismol for loose stool, Excedrin for headaches, anti-nausea medications, etc.

Climbing Snacks:
• Electrolyte Replacement Drink Mix: bring a supply for 6 days
• Energy Gel: single serving gel packs such as GU, Clif Shot, Powergel, etc.
• Energy Bars: Power Bar, Cliff bar, etc.
• Candy Bars: Snickers, Mars, Twix, Milky Way, etc.

Madison Mountaineering is recognized for well thought out strategy in high altitude climbing expeditions, as well as high-quality service throughout. Because we have two decades of experience in the planning and coordination of mountaineering expeditions, our reputation is excellent. We strive to make each expedition the best possible experience for our climbers and focus on our 3 primary goals of success in reaching the summit, returning safely, and having fun!

Our guides are some of the best and most experienced in the industry, having a strong grasp of technical climbing, expedition, and high altitude experience, along with strong interpersonal skills. Our teams are small and equipped with the best support available to ensure the highest chance of success. We are renowned for our comfortable base camps, high-quality food, first-rate communications, and medical support services, all of which are overseen by a professional member of our team.

Most of our climbers have either climbed with us before, been referred by a friend who has climbed with us, or met one of our teams while attempting another peak and decided to join us for their next expedition. We work hard to facilitate safe, successful, and enjoyable expeditions for all of our climbers. Our track record and past climber testimonials prove we are not only experts in our field, but we also love what we do!

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