Umbwe 7 Day via Western Breach
(U7WB)


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 7 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 – 28 miles / 45km
Vertical Gain – 13,436ft / 4095m 
Drop – 13,961ft / 4225m
Trekking Time – 33 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 – 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 6 – 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 7 – 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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