Lemosho 9 Day via Western Breach
(L9WB)

WHY THIS ITINERARY?

The more adventurous version of the 9 day Lemosho route. Ascending via the Western Breach has increased danger of rockfall and so has a separate mandatory waiver form for those that want to ascend this route. Nevertheless, absolutely spectacular and affords the ability to see much of the mountain that others don’t.

DESCRIPTION

Starting on the Western side of Kilimanjaro at the Lemosho trail head, this route follows the first half of the Lemosho Trail until reaching Lava Tower. At this point the route ascends straight up the side of the mountain to the crater floor passing sleeping glaciers on the way. From the Crater, the route to the summit is the shortest of all routes, which makes the summit day much less tiring.

Please note: This route is inherently more dangerous than other routes for 2 reasons. Firstly, the amount of time spent at high altitude and accessing the western breach. This route should only be undertaken by fit individuals with experience of altitude and adventurous training.

HIGHLIGHTS

Kilimanjaro! afromontane forest, Shira plateau, glacial valleys and alpine desert, the Western Breach, glaciers, ascent of Kibo and views of Kibo caldera and ash pit.

 

itinerary

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In Brief

Hike Distance – 42 miles / 67km
Vertical Gain – 12,451ft / 3795m
Drop – 13,961ft / 4,255m
Trekking Time – 44 hours

 

In Detail

DAY 1 – LEMOSHO FOREST

START – 6,890FT / 2100M
END – 8,695FT / 2650M
DISTANCE – 4 MILES / 7KM
TIME – 4-6 HRS
CLIMATE ZONE – AFROMONTANE FOREST

After breakfast you depart by vehicle to Kilimanjaro National Park. At the gate your crew finalise packing and after finishing with formalities you return to your vehicle for another 30 minutes or so until you arrive at the start of the Lemosho Trail. Today's hiking is through verdant afromontane forest and is steep in places. A picnic lunch is usually taken on trail during the hike before reaching Forest Camp for the night.

DAY 2 – SHIRA 1

START – 8,695FT / 2650M
END – 11,844FT / 3610M
DISTANCE – 4 MILES / 7KM
TIME – 5-7 HRS
CLIMATE ZONE – HEATH

From the forested slopes of Lemosho you ascend through Podocarpus and Juniper forest and break out of the forest on to the heath zone and the Shira Plateau. A hot lunch is taken at Shira 1 Camp and the rest of the afternoon is spent relaxing and acclimatising to the new environment.

DAY 3 – SHIRA 2

START – 11,844FT / 3610M
END – 12,632FT / 3850
DISTANCE – 6 MILES / 10KM
TIME – 3-5 HRS
CLIMATE ZONE – HEATH

After a relatively long hike and significant altitude gain, today is a short day and you arrive in Shira 2 camp well in time for lunch. A good day for acclimatisation with the option of an afternoon walk with your guides exploring the Shira Plateau.

DAY 4 – MOIR HUT

START – 12,632FT / 3850M
END – 13,780 / 4200M
DISTANCE – 6 MILES / 10KM
TIME – 4-6 HRS
CLIMATE ZONE – ALPINE DESERT

From the Shira Plateau we head up to the very base of the Kibo massif. The hike is not overly steep and by lunch time we are in camp and take a hot lunch and then time to relax. An afternoon acclimatisation hike is a good option, this area is awash with flank eruptions that build the base of Kilimanjaro.

DAY 5 – LAVA TOWER

START – 13,780FT / 4200M
END – 15,093FT / 4600M
DISTANCE – 4 MILES / 7KM
TIME – 4-6 HRS
CLIMATE ZONE – ALPINE DESERT

Another half day today as you start to cross glacial valleys on the western side of the mountain. By not ascending much today we allow our bodies better acclimatisation. A half day where lunch is taken in camp. In the afternoon there is time to go for an acclimatisation walk before dinner.

DAY 6 – ARROW GLACIER

START – 15,093FT / 4600M
END – 16,087FT / 4903M
DISTANCE – 0.6 MILES / 1KM
TIME – 1-2 HRS
CLIMATE ZONE – ARCTIC

The ascent to Arrow Glacier is relatively short and leaves plenty of time to rest for a large part of the day. Short walks are possible with the guides to enjoy views of the Great Barranco Wall and remnants of the once mighty glaciers that filled the breach before having dinner and an early night.

DAY 7 – CRATER CAMP

START – 16,0871FT / 4903M
END – 18,866FT / 5750M
DISTANCE – 2 MILES / 3KM
TIME – 6-8 HRS
CLIMATE ZONE – ARCTIC

The starting time this morning will be dependent on the previous day's guides assessment of the weather, temperature, ice and snowfall conditions. All ascents are relatively early to avoid the part of the day when significant thawing occurs. Ascent to the crater floor takes around 4 to 6 hours and a picnic refuel stop is taken near the top of the breach wall. Once on the crater floor there is time to rest and for those that are feeling strong a hike to the ash pit is a superb option.

DAY 8 – KILIMANJARO SUMMIT / MWEKA CAMP

START – 18,866FT / 5750M
END – 10,171FT / 3100M
DISTANCE – 8 MILES / 13KM
TIME – 7-9 HRS
CLIMATE ZONE – ARCTIC, ALPINE DESERT, HEATH, AFROMONTANE FOREST

Unlike other routes with a night time ascent, your hike selection affords you a day time ascent to the summit. Leaving an hour before dawn you ascend to the Roof of Africa! From here you descend to Mweka Camp for the evening. Dinner and overnight Mweka Camp. Alt 3,100m,10,171ft (full board).

DAY 9 - ARUSHA

START – 10,171FT / 3100M
END – 5,381FT / 1640M
DISTANCE – 6 MILES / 10KM
TIME – 3-4 HRS
CLIMATE ZONE – AFROMONTANE FOREST

After breakfast you descend once again through afromontane forest and around midday, after saying farewell to your crew, you are picked up and transferred back to your lodge for a well deserved shower! Later that evening you will be visited by a Summits Africa Representative to congratulate you, to find out how the trip went and to answer any final questions you may have about your onward journey.


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