Climbing Kilimanjaro is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure and each year, thousands of trekkers from all over the world come to summit Africa’s tallest mountain at 5,895 meters (19,341 feet). Despite the fact that the climb is not technically tough, there are numerous hurdles to overcome before reaching the summit and you might be asking yourself ‘is Kilimanjaro a hard climb’. In this blog post, we’ll look at the primary reasons why climbing Kilimanjaro can be difficult and provide guidance on what you can do to prepare.
The Altitude Factor
One of the most difficult components of climbing Kilimanjaro is the altitude. As you trek higher, the air becomes thinner, making it more difficult to breathe. This can cause altitude sickness, which can cause symptoms including headaches, nausea, exhaustion, and in very rare cases more serious conditions.
It is recommended that you acclimatise for at least a few days before beginning your summit attempt to help your body adjust to the altitude. We recommend at least 5 days before attempting the summit on the sixth day. By doing this you will be at higher elevations for extended periods of time which will allow your body to adjust to less oxygen.
Also, it is vital to pace yourself while climbing, take stops, and drink plenty of water. It is critical to be upfront and honest with your guides about how you are feeling in order for them to make the best decisions for your safety while keeping a look out for indications of altitude sickness.
The Rough Terrain
Another challenge on Kilimanjaro is the terrain. Whilst Kilimanjaro isn’t a technical climb, the trek requires you to scramble over rocks or hike up steep sections at certain points. Wearing strong hiking footwear with good traction because some parts of the ascent can be slick, especially after rain.
It is recommended that you embark on a few practice hikes in terrain comparable to that of Kilimanjaro before trying the summit. This will help you build stamina and strength while also preparing you for the climb itself.
The Unpredictable Weather
The weather on Kilimanjaro is variable and vulnerable to unexpected shifts. Lower elevations have a warm and humid climate, but as you travel higher, the temperature can drop below freezing. There may also be severe winds, heavy rain, or snow.
To be weather-ready, you must have the correct equipment and clothing. Warm, water-resistant apparel is required, such as a high-quality down jacket and a waterproof outer layer. You will also need a robust sleeping bag, a thick cap, and gloves. Make sure you carefully follow the packing list provided by your guides.
The Physical Challenge
Although not technical, Kilimanjaro is a physically challenging climb. You will go on a long hike every day, which will be uphill and at a high altitude. This requires a high level of stamina and fitness.
It is recommended that you engage in regular exercise in the months leading up to the climb to help you prepare. Training should include both strength training to build leg muscles and cardio exercises such as jogging or cycling. Hiking on similar terrain will help you build endurance.
The Mental Challenge
Kilimanjaro is a challenging mental task to climb. There may be times when you want to give up because the climb is difficult and exhausting. It’s critical to be positive, focused, and to remind yourself of why you’re climbing.
Establishing daily goals for the climb can help you mentally prepare for it. This could be getting to a specific place on the trail or simply focused.
In Summary, Is Kilimanjaro a Hard Climb ?
In answering the question ‘is Kilimanjaro a Hard Climb?’ we’ve learned that whilst climbing Kilimanjaro does not require expert mountaineering skills, it is a demanding expedition that requires both physical and mental preparation. Due to the high elevation, climbers may experience altitude sickness, and changeable weather conditions can also make the ascent more difficult. Climbers with a moderate level of fitness can, nevertheless, conquer Kilimanjaro and reach its peak with sufficient training and preparation.