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Kilimanjaro self suppport option

Discussion area for peaks outside of the USA.
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Re: Kilimanjaro self suppport option

Postby fleetmack » Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:33 am

There were 4 of us and on summit day our 2 guides brought a porter along as an "assistant guide."

Samantha and me: most experienced & no trouble to summit -- paired with porter
Stronger of the other two: paired with one of the capable guides
Weaker of the other two: Paired with strongest guide

We all ended up making it, but the two of us pushed ahead with the porter, and about 30 mins behind us was the strong of the other 2 with the guide. About another half hour later, the weakest of us made it with the best guide.

I was pleased with this method.
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Re: Kilimanjaro self suppport option

Postby Eric Anderson » Thu Feb 14, 2013 5:39 pm

I climed Kili in October with a large group via the Rongai route and took 5 days to the summit. We hired Team Kilimanjaro and they seemed OK with any size group from 1 to 16 people. If you get in with a larger group, they will provide suffcient guides so that you are allowed to make the summit even if others get ill. Do not underestimate the altitude. During our climb, two people died elsewhere on the mountain. One from Pulmonary Edema and one from heart attack. A very fit friend in his late 20s was evacuated (by wheel barrow essentially) and spent 4 days in the Moshi ICU due to Pulmonary Edema. Take the 4 mg pill form of Dexamethosome with you in case you or someone else is suffering. It is a life saver as we had one member of our party suffering Cerebral Edema quite noticabley.

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Re: Kilimanjaro self suppport option

Postby MountainHiker » Thu Feb 14, 2013 6:25 pm

Eric Anderson wrote:A very fit friend in his late 20s was evacuated (by wheel barrow essentially) and spent 4 days in the Moshi ICU due to Pulmonary Edema.

I remember seeing an evacuation wheel barrow. It would be a pretty rough ride. The guide told me as we saw it, many people find they can walk after all after riding for a short ways on the thing!
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Re: Kilimanjaro self suppport option

Postby scalba123 » Thu Feb 14, 2013 6:47 pm

MountainHiker wrote:
Eric Anderson wrote:A very fit friend in his late 20s was evacuated (by wheel barrow essentially) and spent 4 days in the Moshi ICU due to Pulmonary Edema.

I remember seeing an evacuation wheel barrow. It would be a pretty rough ride. The guide told me as we saw it, many people find they can walk after all after riding for a short ways on the thing!


I also saw one the morning of our final day. It wouldn't surprise me if that poor boy being evacuated also had a concussion at the end of his ride.

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Re: Kilimanjaro self suppport option

Postby snowypeaks » Thu Feb 14, 2013 7:23 pm

Tanzania remains one of the poorest countries in the world and you will be a very long way from home. Safety and peace of mind are important things to consider.

I arranged our own “expedition” for a party of five, working directly with local guides and shuttle services from Arusha. By working around the formal and pricey tour companies, I managed to save some money but then chose to pay our guides and porters very well. We enjoyed their company and they did a fine job. We took our own tents, stoves, and food. By design, the government regulates the activities to generate income from external currencies, so it is an expensive endeavor for a relatively easy but unique climbing experience.

My suggestion would be to climb within the typical timeframes (5-6 days) and use the extra time you have to enjoy the culture, climate, and spectacular vistas. It’s likely to be a once-in-a-lifetime climb, so savor it rather than rushing through it. Have a great time!

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Re: Kilimanjaro self suppport option

Postby sunny1 » Fri Feb 15, 2013 8:10 am

I just returned from Tanzania on Monday 2/11.
It has taken me several days to form what I hope will be coherent and helpful thoughts! In the throes of jet lag.

I did NOT climb Kili while there. I didn't even get to see it! :(
Arrived in the dark, by the time I returned to the area, it was enshrouded by clouds.
I went on a horizontal terrain experience, rather than a vertical one this time.
Mt Meru, a 13er nearby Kili, is actually more appealing to me than Kili, tho I may return for Kili someday...

Tanzania is a phenomenal country blessed with diverse natural resources.
From the wild animals of the Serengeti to the white sand beaches of Zanzibar, to the highest peak in Africa, and more.
As snowy peaks pointed out, it is a very poor country, as well.
Many things are different there than what we have in our developed country here.
Your safety and peace of mind are a big deal.

You won't be able to carry fuel on the plane. You'll need to purchase it locally.
I don't know what types of fuel are available locally.

Our guide on part of our journey became a friend. He has guided on Kili.
Says the best chances for success are "poli, poli" - "slowly, slowly" in Swahili.
As other posters have suggested, hiring a guide who will partner with you knows the area and can assist with logistics.
It is well worth the money and will increase your odds of a successful summit.
A slower pace increases your chance of a successful summit.
There is no "hurry" in Africa. For several reasons and applicable in several settings.

The other option you may have already considered would be doing the climb after your stay in Same, TZ.
You would have time to personally investigate details, such as what fuel is available, etc., perhaps leading to a better "semi-independent" experience.

It's an experience you'll treasure. Best wishes!!
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Re: Kilimanjaro self suppport option

Postby fleetmack » Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:13 am

scalba123 wrote:
MountainHiker wrote:
Eric Anderson wrote:A very fit friend in his late 20s was evacuated (by wheel barrow essentially) and spent 4 days in the Moshi ICU due to Pulmonary Edema.

I remember seeing an evacuation wheel barrow. It would be a pretty rough ride. The guide told me as we saw it, many people find they can walk after all after riding for a short ways on the thing!


I also saw one the morning of our final day. It wouldn't surprise me if that poor boy being evacuated also had a concussion at the end of his ride.


I took a picture of it ... here ya go (Mt. Meru behind):
Image
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Re: Kilimanjaro self suppport option

Postby douglas » Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:43 am

lpyle wrote:I'm also planning a climb of Kili this year, in October. We are probably going with Zara for a guide service. It's my understanding that if someone needs to go down, most guide services will have a junior guide go down with them so that the others can continue. But you might want to check on this in advance. If you're concerned about cost, Zara has a "Clean Kilimanjaro" special in early October - if you help clean the mountain, you get a 15% discount on the Machame route.


I'm going in October as well - the last two weeks and doing the Lemosho route. I was planning on using Ultimate Kilimanjaro as I've heard good things about them. I'm going to do a private tour with 4 or 5 buddies.

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Re: Kilimanjaro self suppport option

Postby Patinator » Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:33 pm

Carl wrote:Sounds interesting. I assume this also means your could set your own pace and round trip it in 2 days? If I can only get to Africa for 8 days I'd like to have time to enjoy other things than just the climb.


I definitely think this is doable as long as you don't get altitude sickness (most standard routes I think gain about 12K). I summited via the Machame route and my total climbing time over 6 days was 34 hours, gate to gate, but the route takes is a grand tour of the volcano. The decent from the upper camp (Barafu) to the Mweka gate is about 12 miles and took me 7 hours. I am not sure if this is the most direct way up, but it would allow you to camp at 15K (Barafu). Off the top of my head I seem to remember a camp that was below Barafu so it would be possible to set up camp there, climb up to Barafu, then back down to camp (climb high, sleep low). Theoretically, the next day you could summit and descend.

Although I used a different guide service, I did notice that guides at teamkilimanjaro.com have set some speed records up the peak. They might have some advice. Good luck!

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Re: Kilimanjaro self suppport option

Postby matpedw » Tue Nov 26, 2013 7:42 pm

I decided against the self support option but I am still booking my trip through Kilimanjaro Alpine Services. We're going with the 6 day Lemosho route.
My next set of questions for those of you who may know are:

1. Is a rental sleeping bag okay or completely gross like those rain jackets at Niagara falls? I have a 15 degree down bag or I can buy a bulky zero degree bag for $50 and maybe just donate it when I'm done( or lug it back). A rental sleeping bag will be $25. I will be working for a month in a hospital in Same, TZ afterwards and I'm not sure of what my housing conditions are and how secure my belongings will be so I'm a bit hesitant to bring my best gear.

2. I have an acetazolamide RX (from my travel health consult) but I wonder what others experience with this is?

3. How cold is the summit. I mostly ask because of gloves/mitten choice

Thanks

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Re: Kilimanjaro self suppport option

Postby HuskyRunner » Wed Nov 27, 2013 10:18 am

If you're ready to wear a good bit of clothes in your sleeping bag you might get away with a good quality 15 degree bag but that might be pushing it. For $50 for a 0 degree (if it's actually comfortable to 0 degrees) is a good deal. One person is our party was going to rent a bag (Zara tours) but our guide said the tour bags were in bad shape and he loaned her his own 0 degree TNF bag.

I tried Diamox on our 2nd day just to see how the side affects were and didn't use it again the rest of the trip and was fine other than a slight headache on summit day which was likely from slight dehydration since I didn't drink much on the ascent. I do live at 8000 feet and spent much of the summer trail running in the mountains up to ~14k. For me the side effects were unpleasant and made me feel much worse without any benefits (at least as far as I could detect). Plenty of people swear by and may experience fewer unpleasant side effects than me so take my experience cum grano salis.

Summit day started about 20 degrees at Barafu camp and I guess it was easily in the single digits if not below zero on the summit. I had some liners with mid weight fleece over and then put hand warmers between the layers and kept my hands in my puffy pockets for a good bit of the ascent. Could have justified pulling out my heavy down mitts but was reluctant to slow down our group on the climb. We were on the summit ridge at sunrise and warmed up quickly within an hour or so of sunrise. I would say don't under estimate how cold it can get, expect the temps to drop to 0 or below on the summit and expect it to be windy. If you have any doubts trend to bring warmer gear, every morning the temps were below freezing but warmed up nicely, the first few miles through the jungle were the only time I was uncomfortably warm.

Have a good time, it's a terrific experience.
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Re: Kilimanjaro self suppport option

Postby vusteph » Wed Nov 27, 2013 5:40 pm

HuskyRunner wrote:I tried Diamox on our 2nd day just to see how the side affects were and didn't use it again the rest of the trip and was fine other than a slight headache on summit day which was likely from slight dehydration since I didn't drink much on the ascent. I do live at 8000 feet and spent much of the summer trail running in the mountains up to ~14k. For me the side effects were unpleasant and made me feel much worse without any benefits (at least as far as I could detect). Plenty of people swear by and may experience fewer unpleasant side effects than me so take my experience cum grano salis.


my boyfriend and i did cotopaxi earlier this year and he used diamox and i didn't. personally he loved using diamox and it helped out his altitude sickness a ton. we had flown into quito (i think ~9k) from sea-level and at the end of the week summitted Cotopaxi successfully. I used diamox once and didn't like it. My fingers were tingly, it made me drink a ton more water, and it just made me feel really off. but it worked for my boyfriend and he used it the whole week we were there.

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