Kilimanjaro is one of those mountains that seem to be endless. Did you know Kilimanjaro is made up of three different volcanoes, Kilimanjaro has multiple peaks that will be your backdrop, glaciers, and cliffs that will leave you speechless? Kilimanjaro is full of surprises large and small – Let’s brush up on your Kilimanjaro Climb vocabulary.
You might dream of the summit, but don’t be astonished if the Barranco Wall becomes your favorite part of the mountain. Reaching the Kilimanjaro Summit, the crater rim and its glaciers you will find on your path. As you get higher up the mountain and closer to Uhuru Peak, you will arrive at Gilman’s Point and Stella Point, which for many climbers, serve as important milestones during the journey. However, once you’ve made it to these summit points, you are close to achieving your Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.
KILIMANJARO CLIMB PEAKS AND VOLCANIC CONES
Kibo is the tallest of the volcanoes. It rises above two other peaks: Shira to the west and Mawenzi to the southeast. Kibo is hidden, while Shira and Mawenzi are destroyed. Scientists expect no volcanic activity anywhere on Kilimanjaro in the predictable future.
Mawenzi is the second-highest peak on Kilimanjaro, standing at 16,890 feet. Climbers get a great view of Mawenzi towards the end of the journey because the most popular summit routes snake up the eastern side of the mountain.
Shira is the shortest “peak” at roughly 13,000 feet in elevation. It was once higher but collapsed to its current height thousands of years ago, creating the bowl-shaped Shira Plateau. Each of our preferred routes, except the Umbwe Route, trek the Shira Plateau within the first 3 days of the climb.
KILIMAJARO CLIMB CLIFFS & CRATERS
At roughly 15,200 feet in elevation on the western side of the mountain, the 300-foot Lava Tower looms. The rock formation was created by a volcanic vent long ago. Climbers with technical mountaineering skills and equipment used to climb Lava Tower, but Kilimanjaro national Park authority has since banned the practice. Now, it’s simply a favorite sight for Climbers on the mountain.
The Barranco Wall
Climbers still climb this 800-foot cliff that rises over the Barranco Valley to the southwest of Uhuru Peak. The Barranco Wall is simultaneously one of the most difficult and one of our guests’ favorite portions during the Kilimanjaro Climb. Machame, Umbwe, and Western Approach trekkers use their hands and legs to ascend up the rocky slopes – no technical equipment or expertise required.
You may see a few different glaciers while you trek around the rim of Kibo. The first will likely be the Rebmann Glacier, which is part of the Southern Icefield. Keep an eye out when you pass Stella Point on your way to Uhuru Peak. If you’re fortunate, you’ll see this wall of ice standing in the distance down the mountain opposite the crater. You likely won’t get that close to it, though.
If you have your heart set on a close encounter with one of the few glaciers in Africa, Furtwängler Glacier is your best bet. This wall of ice is a short distance from Crater Camp inside the caldera on top of Kibo. If the weather is clear on Uhuru Peak, take a gander past Furtwängler for a view of the Northern Ice Fields.
KILIMANJARO CLIMB POINTS & MILESTONES
Gilman’s Point marks where the Rongai, Marangu and Grand Traverse trails reach the eastern side of Kibo’s rim at roughly 5756 meters (18,650 feet). While on Gilman’s Point, you will see a vast open crater at the top of Kibo, where you can relish the spectacular views of the true wilderness which surrounds you.
Stella Point marks where the Umbwe, Machame, and Western Approach routes reach the rim of Kibo at about 5756 meters (18,885 feet). This is closer to the summit than Gilman’s Point. Climbers reaching Kibo’s rim from Gilman’s Point will trek to Stella Point on the way to Uhuru Peak.
Uhuru Peak is the end of your journey during Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro – the summit of Kilimanjaro and the “Roof of Africa” where the iconic summit sign is. It is the highest point on Kibo’s rim with an altitude of 5895 meters (19,341 feet)
If you’ve made it to Uhuru Peak, then your Kilimanjaro Climb journey has already been a successful one. To get to this point, you will have made your way up to find Peaks, Volcanic Cones, Cliffs, Craters, Glaciers & Milestones! So this is something to celebrate and be proud of. Why you are waiting for, Jerry Tanzania Tours is here to provide free and inspiring advice to help you prepare for an amazing Climbing experience on Mount Kilimanjaro.
You are most likely planning for Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro! Start making your Kilimanjaro Preparations!