Umbwe 6 Day via Western Breach
(U6WB)


WHY THIS ITINERARY?

Suitable for fit hikers only, this is an extreme variation on the Umbwe Route, ascending via the Western Breach. Participants should be fully aware of the level of exertion and danger before booking this trip - exactly what some rare visitors are looking for.

DESCRIPTION

This is a 6 day Kilimanjaro hike starting at Umbwe Gate and ascending via The Western Breach. Due to the relatively extreme nature of this trip there are generally less people than on other routes and if guests have altitude sickness they will not be allowed to ascend the breach. This is the 7 day version with a night in the crater - pre acclimatisation on Mt Meru is strongly recommended.

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, Barranco valley, Lava Tower, glaciers and the Western breach. Unusual ascent of Kibo, walking in the Kibo Caldera and option to visit the ash pit. The Roof of Africa!

 

ITINERARY

 

IN BRIEF

Hike Distance – 30 miles / 48km
Vertical Gain – 13,436ft / 4095m 
Drop – 13,961ft / 4255m
Trekking Time – 34 hours

 

IN DETAIL

DAY 1 – UMBWE CAVES

START – 5,906FT / 1800M
END – 9,351FT / 2850M
DISTANCE – 7 MILES / 11KM
TIME – 5-7 HRS
CLIMATE ZONE – AFROMONTANE FOREST

After breakfast you depart by vehicle to Kilimanjaro National Park. Your first stop is atMachame Gate to collect your permits before getting back in your vehicle and driving to Umbwe Gate. After checking in you set off up through the forest zone. The first day hiking is not overly difficult but certainly steepens towards the latter end of the day. In the late afternoon you arrive in the first camp in time for dinner.

DAY 2 – BARRANCO CAMP

START – 9,351FT / 2850M
END – 12,796FT / 3900M
DISTANCE – 4 MILES / 6KM
TIME – 4-6 HRS
CLIMATE ZONE – HEATH

The second day ascends from the forest zone into the heath zone and there are some very steep sections here. Taking it easy is essential to allow your body to acclimatise. A picnic lunch is taken on route. Later that afternoon you arrive into Barranco Camp in time to relax for a while before dinner. The views of the Barranco wall and Western breach pertain to events some 60,000 years ago when this whole part of the mountain collapsed.

DAY 3 – LAVA TOWER

START – 12,796FT / 3900M
END – 15,093FT / 4600M
DISTANCE – 2 MILES / 3KM
TIME – 4-5 HRS
CLIMATE ZONE – HEATH

The ascent today is very steep and into alpine desert. The air is generally very dry here. As you ascend, the guides will be carefully assessing your progress. Note that if your body is not acclimatising well then the routing may well be switched to an ascent via Stella Point instead. Lunch is taken at Lava Tower with the afternoon to rest.

DAY 4 – 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 5 – KILIMANJARO SUMMIT / MILLENIUM

START – 16,087FT / 4903M
END – 12,960FT / 3,950M
DISTANCE – 8 MILES / 13KM
TIME – 12-14 HRS
CLIMATE ZONES – ARCTIC, ALPINE DESERT, HEATH

There is a very early ascent up the breach at 1am. It takes around 4 hours to reach the crater. Here there is time for a quick rest and refuel before the final push, for about an hour, to the summit (Uhuru Peak: 19341ft, 5895m). The aim here is to arrive just after dawn to enjoy the most incredible sunrise from the roof of Africa. The hike then heads down via Stella Point to Barafu Camp. Here there is another short rest before continuing to Millennium Camp for the final evening on the mountain.

DAY 6 – ARUSHA

START – 12,960FT / 3950M
END – 5,381FT / 1640M
DISTANCE – 8 MILES / 14KM
TIME – 4-6 HRS
CLIMATE ZONE – AFROMONTANE FOREST

After breakfast you descend once again through afromontane forest and in the early afternoon, 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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