Mountain climbing in East Africa’s Tallest mountain

Mountain Climbing (Mountaineering)

It is the sport of attaining, or attempting to attain, high points in mountainous regions, mainly for the pleasure of the climb. Mountaineering differs from other outdoor sports in that nature alone provides the field of action and just about all of the challenges for the participant. Climbing mountains embodies the thrills produced by testing one’s courage, resourcefulness, cunning, strength, ability, and stamina to the utmost in a situation of inherent risk.

Mountaineering, to a greater degree than other sports, is a group activity, with each member both supporting and supported by the group’s achievement at every stage.For most climbers, the pleasures of mountaineering lie not only in the “conquest” of a peak but also in the physical and spiritual satisfactions brought about through intense personal effort, ever-increasing proficiency, and contact with natural grandeur.It is more properly restricted to climbing in localities where the terrain and weather conditions present such hazards that, for safety, a certain amount of previous experience will be found necessary.

Caution: For the untrained, mountaineering is a dangerous pastime.

 

Techniques: While it is necessary for the complete mountaineer to be competent in all three phases of the sport: Hiking, Rock Climbing, and Snow & Ice Technique each is quite different. There are wide variations within those categories, and even the most accomplished mountaineers will have varying degrees of competence in each. Good climbers will strike that balance that is consonant with their own physical and mental capabilities and approach.

•Hiking: It is the essential element of all climbing, for in the end mountains are climbed by placing one foot in front of another over and over again. The most-arduous hours in mountaineering are those spent hiking or climbing slowly, steadily, hour after hour, on the trails of a mountain’s approach or lower slopes.

•Rock climbing: Just like hiking, it is a widely practiced sport in its own right. The essentials of rock climbing are often learned on local cliffs, where the teamwork of mountaineering, the use of the rope, and the coordinated prerequisites of control and rhythm are mastered. The rope, the artificial anchor, and carabiner (or snap link, a metal loop or ring that can be snapped into an anchor and through which the rope may be passed) are used primarily as safety factors. An exception occurs in tension climbing, in which the leader is supported by a judiciously placed series of anchors and carabiners through which the rope is passed. He or she is then supported on the rope by fellow climbers while slowly moving upward to place another anchor and repeat the process.

Anchors are used with discretion rather than in abundance. Anchors include the chock, which is a small piece of shaped metal that is attached to rope or wire cable and wedged by hand into a crack in the rock; the piton, which is a metal spike, with an eye or ring in one end, that is hammered into a crack; the bolt, which is a metal rod that is hammered into a hole drilled by the climber and to whose exposed, threaded end a hanger is then attached; and the “friend,” which is a form of chock with a camming device that automatically adjusts to a crack. Anchors are rarely used as handholds or footholds.

For the majority of rock climbers, hands and feet alone are the essential, with the feet doing most of the labour. The layperson’s notion that the climber must be extraordinarily strong in arms and shoulders is true only for such situations as the negotiation of serious overhangs. By and large, hands are used for balance, feet for support. Hands and arms are not used for dragging the climber up the cliff.

Balance is essential, and the body weight is kept as directly over the feet as possible, the climber remaining as upright as the rock will permit. An erect stance enables the climber to use that fifth element of climbing, the eyes. Careful observation as while moving up a cliff will save many vain scrambles for footholds. Three points of contact with the rock are usually kept, either two hands and a foot or two feet and a hand. Jumping for holds is extremely dangerous because it allows no safety factor. Rhythmic climbing may be slow or fast according to the difficulty of the pitch. Rhythm is not easily mastered and, when achieved, becomes the mark of the truly fine climber.

The harder the climb, the more the hands are used for support. They are used differently in different situations. In a chimney, a pipelike, nearly cylindrical vertical shaft, they press on opposite sides in opposition to each other. On slabs, the pressure of the palms of the hand on smooth rock may provide the necessary friction for the hold.

Climbing down steep rock is usually harder than going up, because of the difficulty in seeing holds from above and the normal reluctance of climbers to reach down and work their hands low enough as they descend. The quick way down is via the doubled rope in the technique called rappelling. The rope, one end being firmly held or secured, is wrapped around the climber’s body in such a way that it can be fed out by one hand slowly or quickly as desired to lower the body gradually down the face of the rock.

Rope handling is a fine art that is equally essential on snow, ice, and rock. Sufficient rope for the pitch to be climbed and of sufficient length for rappelling is needed. As a lifeline, the rope receives the greatest care and respect. A good rope handler is a valued person on the climb. The techniques involved are not easily learned and are mastered primarily through experience. Anchors and carabiners must be so placed and the rope strung in such a way as to provide maximum safety and to minimize effort in ascending and descending. That includes keeping the rope away from cracks where it might jam and from places where it might become caught on rock outcrops or vegetation. A rope should not lay over rough or sharp-edged rock, where under tension it may be damaged from friction or cut by falling rock. The use of helmets while climbing, once a somewhat controversial issue (they may be uncomfortable or may limit vision or mobility), has become much more common, especially for technical climbs (e.g., up rock faces).

 

•Many have gone before. Every time you hike, you find yourself grateful for those who have gone before and have smoothed a trail for you. And be reminded that, in life, we all stand on the hard work of those who have walked before us.
Many will come after. You are not the last to walk this trail, climb this mountain, or witness these views. While you are thankful for the work of those who have gone before, you also sense an important obligation to those who will come after to leave the
trail, the mountain, and the earth in better condition than you found it.
Not all paths have been traveled. Just for fun, you try to build a rock sculpture somewhere during each hike. You look for unusual places where the balancing rocks will remain undisturbed but still noticed by observant hikers in the future. To accomplish that, you always pick a spot just off the beaten path. Each time, you are reminded that there are always new paths to be found in life and new discover to be made.
•Sometimes quiet is the best noise. You will love the stillness and calm of an empty trail. It reminds you how much you love hearing no noise at all.
You can travel farther and accomplish more than you think. Uphill trails only leave two choices: Reach the top or Turn around. Reaching the top only requires the perseverance to keep putting one foot in front of the other. When life gets tough, you try
to remember all you can do is put one foot in front of the other and just keep going.
•Healthy fuel is important. Hiking spurs intentionality in the food and drink you choose to consume. You eat a healthy breakfast. You bring water, thoughtful snacks, and a light lunch if necessary. You choose healthy fuel so that your body will function properly during the hike. Plus, there’s something that just doesn’t feel right about eating artificial foods while being present in the natural world.
•Pack light. The weight of physical possessions is clearly felt when they are piled on your back. Wise travelers carry only what is needed for the journey. May it be true of you while packing and in living.
•Choose your steps carefully. While hiking, each step is clearly chosen. You focus intently where your next foot is going to land sometimes even calculating 2-3 steps in advance. This intentionality helps you avoid unnecessary harm. And I hope the
decisions you make with your life’s direction will be made with the same precision and care.
•Age is only a number. I’ve seen hikers under the age of 7 and I’ve seen hikers over the age of 70. You are learning more and more that age only represents the number of years you have been alive. It does not serve as a litmus test for opportunity. Those who decide
early in life to care for their bodies and not allow age to limit their potential will not be
handicapped by it.
•If you can climb a mountain, you can do anything. While not technically true, the chant still goes through your head constantly during a hike. Reaching the top of a mountain (any mountain) is an impressive physical, mental, and emotional accomplishment. And it is motivating. It reminds you that you can accomplish important things with your life if you dream big and put in the work.

Building your body is a wonderful way to stay healthy, but you also need an activity that engages your mind, soul, and health. Mountain Climbing has some incredible benefits!

a)Muscular, Cardio & Respiratory Health: Mountain Climbing increases your body’s muscular health and helps to create muscles in your body. Improving muscle function and growth will benefit your body and you by being strong and turning fat into muscle.

b)Sharpens Your Brain: Mountain Climbing increases blood flow and oxygen to the brain which enhances a variety of areas. These areas include concentration, focus, memory, and happiness. Oxygen and blood flow allow your brain to function better and helps your body to produce more chemicals that make you feel joy and pleasure.

c)Lowers Risks of Health Problems: Mountain Climbing helps to decrease high blood pressure and reduces your risk of attaining it in the first place. In addition, it lowers risk for diabetes, high cholesterol and lowers your risk of heart disease.

d)Increase Bone Density: Mountain Climbing is bone healthy! Hiking allows your bones to be exercised in your body to the extent that regular activities can’t compete with. Mountain Climbing allows your body fresh air, away from pollutants and has you walking to increase stamina, muscles, and overall performance.

e)Sleep Better: Mountain Climbing stimulates your brain, your body, and your soul, so it’s no wonder that it takes a lot out of you and helps you to sleep at night! While you hike, no matter how small you start at first, your body and mind will be pushed from its comfort zone.

f)Brightens Your Spirit: Finally reaching the top of a mountain, Cliffside or any high peak, is bound to have a beautiful view, no matter the location. When you come to the top of your climb, the peak, you will feel proud and humble. Your body will be exhausted, but your soul and mind will be alive and energized from the feat you just accomplished.

g)Weight Control: We’ve all been there with trying to lose weight and keep it off. Mountain Climbing is a fantastic way to continue your weight loss, build up your core muscles, and continue to stay in shape and get fit. Even without changing your diet, Mountain Climbing can aid in weight loss, so long as you continue to push yourself. Mountain Climbing is beneficial to your mind, soul, and your body. It helps you with weight loss, muscle building, increasing and supporting your bone density, and lessens your risks of dangerous illnesses.

A.Climbing Mount Kenya-Kenya

Mount Kenya is the second highest mountain in Africa after Mount Kilimanjaro and Most of the peaks; Batian, Nelion and Lenana on Mount Kenya have been summited. Mount Kenya offers a wealth of excellent and diverse climbing possibilities on rock, snow and ice.

The highest peak that can be ascended without rock climbing is Point Lenana; 4,985 metres which requires a scramble or a walk. The other two (Batian5,199m, Nelion 5,188m) are for technical climbers.

To combine this ascent with a circumnavigation of the main peaks, Nelion and Batian requires at least an extra day.

There are three main walking climbing routes up to the main peaks, Sirimon, Chogoria, and Naro Moru.

•Climbing Mount Kenya Sirimon Route: Sirimon route is Mount Kenya`s most gradual ascent route profile and best acclimatisation options most interesting route since it’s on the drier side on the mountain. The route passes through impressive Yellowwood forests in the lower reaches and features abundant wildlife and beautiful alpine scenery higher up.

•Mount Kenya Climbing Naro Moru Route: Naro Moru route though not as scenic as the other two, it is the fastest route to point Lenana, Naro Moru route has many climbers since it’s the most popular route compared to Chogoria route and Sirimon route.

•Climbing Mount Kenya Chogoria Route: Chogoria route is the Best route on descent, quite scenic and interesting of the three main routes on the mountain. The route passes the enchanting Hall Tarns and looks down sheer cliffs into the spectacular Gorges Valley and onto the beautiful Lake Michaelson.

Mount Kenya Climate, Mount Kenya’s climbing Seasons:

•Mount Kenya has wet seasons and dry seasons, From Mid-March to June is the heavy rain season, followed by the dry seasons which lasts until September.

October to December short rains when the mountain receives approximately a third of its rainfall total.

Finally from December to Mid-March is the dry, dry season when the mountain experiences the least rain.

Weather on Mount Kenya is mostly clear mornings with mist closing in from 10:00am although this can clear by evening. So early morning starts are preferable by climbers with a 2.00am start for the final ascent to summit point Lenana, if you want to catch the sunrise.
NB: It is easy to gain height too quickly on the mountain and high altitude related illness or considerable discomfort is experienced by climbers who try climbing too fast. It is recommended to allow acclimatization time on ascent.

B.Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro-Tanzania

B.Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro Climb also known as Kili Climb, climbing Mt Kilimanjaro to Africa Highest peak uhuru peak in Mt Kilimanjaro National park where Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania is an awesome and magnificent African mountain, the highest mountain in Africa.

Kilimanjaro is one of the largest single freestanding mountains in the world, composed of one extinct volcano; Shira (3962m) and Two Dormant Volcanoes, Mawenzi (5149m) and Kibo (5894).

Mount Kilimanjaro Climb also known as Kili Climb, climbing Mt Kilimanjaro to Africa Highest peak uhuru peak in Mt Kilimanjaro National park where Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania is an awesome and magnificent African mountain, the highest mountain in Africa.

Kilimanjaro is one of the largest single freestanding mountains in the world, composed of one extinct volcano; Shira (3962m) and Two Dormant Volcanoes, Mawenzi (5149m) and Kibo (5894).The trek to Uhuru Peak is considered to be a relatively straightforward endeavour; however, ample time must still be provided for proper acclimatization to prevent altitude sickness.

•The three shortest routes, Marangu, Rongai, and Machame, are less challenging and are often trekked by individuals with limited mountaineering experience. Some trekkers employ altitude-sickness medication, including acetazolamide, but taking at least seven days is the best way to avoid altitude sickness.

•Route travel times range from five to nine days to summit and return to the base of the mountain. Huts with cooking facilities, bathrooms, and electricity are available on the Marangu route, and camps with fewer facilities are available on many other routes. All huts and many camps have rangers stationed at them with rescue facilities (modified wheelbarrows to transport trekkers stricken with altitude sickness to lower altitudes).

•Summit attempts are generally begun at midnight so that trekkers can reach the rim of the crater to view the sunrise. Walking overnight also means the ground (loose gravel) is frozen, making the going significantly easier.Trekkers on the Marangu route first encounter Gilman’s Point on the rim of the crater, which is roughly a 1.5 hour hike from Uhuru Peak. Trekkers who follow the Southern Circuit will reach the summit via Stella Point which is about an hour from the summit. Both these compare with the Rongai route where the trip from where you reach the rim to the summit can be over two hours making for a very long summit day.

•Another route is the Western Breach, which includes short sections of scrambling (where hands are required for balance and support). The rock on Kilimanjaro though is highly fragmented and deaths from rockfall from above have happened.On all the southern routes and on the Western Breach climb it is possible to sleep overnight in the crater. This has three major advantages. First, you can summit during the day, avoiding the midnight rush. Second, you have time to visit the crater and explore the glaciers.

Finally, you can get back to the rim very early the next day to see the sunrise. The Furtwangler Glacier on Kilimanjaro is a remnant of the ice cap that once covered the mountain. This has retreated dramatically over the last century with over 80 percent glacial retreat. The glacier is named after Walter Furtwangler, who along with Ziegfried Koenig, were the fourth to ascend to the summit of Kilimanjaro in 1912.

C.Climbing Mount Meru-Tanzania

Mount Meru is an active stratovolcano located 70 kilometres west of Mount Kilimanjaro in the nation of Tanzania. At a height of 4,565 metres (14,977 ft), it is visible from Mt Kilimanjaro on a clear day and is the ninth or tenth highest mountain in Africa, dependent on definition.
•Mount Meru is the topographic centerpiece of Arusha National Park. Its fertile slopes rise above the surrounding savanna and support a forest that hosts diverse wildlife, including nearly 400 species of birds, and also monkeys and leopards.
•Mount Meru, situated east of the Great Rift Valley and about 40 km southwest of Kilimanjaro in northern Tanzania’s Arusha National Park, is considered an active volcano and is Tanzania`s second highest mountain.
•It is also considered the fourth highest mountain in all of Africa by some (after Kilimanjaro, Mount Kenya, and the Rwenzoris aka the Mountains of the Moon). 500,000+ years ago, Mount Meru erupted in a tremendous explosion that destroyed its cone shape and resulted in a horseshoe crater with the eastern side removed.
•The resulting mountain has its summit on the west side with its inner walls rising over 1,500m from the crater floor, making them among the tallest cliffs in Africa. In the past 100 years, eruptions have been reported as the Ash Cone continues to build inside the crater. The first ascent is still in dispute and credited to either Carl Uhlig in 1901 or Fritz Jaeger in 1904.
Although this is a spectacular mountain with amazing scenery and wildlife, it’s location in East Africa means that most international visitors will visit Mount Meru as a secondary trip in conjunction with their primary destination, usually Kilimanjaro, Mount Kenya, or the Ngorongoro Crater.

•Reasons to do this summit include: amazing views into the summit crater and ash cone, hiking along the crest of the crater rim, nice, but distant, views of Kilimanjaro from the summit, the ability to see a lot of wildlife on the lower slopes in the form of a walking safari, the chance to escape the tourist crowds, and for Americans, the ability to summit another peak taller than Mount Whitney.

•Arusha National Park provides certificates for people who summit the Little Meru sub-peak (3,820 m / 12,533 ft) or Socialist Peak aka the Mount Meru summit. Although the name Socialist Peak is listed on the summit certificate, this name was rarely used and given that the Tanzanian government is moving more towards capitalism, it will probably never be more than a curiosity.

•The 14 km or 19 km YDS class 2 Momella Route is the primary and only official route to the summit today. This route starts at the Momella Gate (1,500 m / 4,921 ft) and uses one of two tracks to Miriakamba Hut (2,514 m / 8,250 ft), either a shorter 5 km YDS class 1 route or a longer 10 km YDS class 1 route that allows one to see more wildlife, scenery including waterfalls, and old huts.

•From the Miriakamba Hut, you take a 4 km YDS class 1 trail through some forests up to the Saddle Hut (3,566 m / 11,700 ft). From Saddle Hut, you can either summit Little Meru (3,820 m / 12,533 ft) or follow the route another 5 km YDS class 2 to the Mount Meru Summit, aka Socialist Peak. On the way up to the summit from Saddle Hut, the first notable bald area you’ll reach is Rhino Point where you can get amazing views of the summit and the inner crater walls, providing there are no clouds. You’ll know you are at Rhino Point because there is a pile of bones in the center of the clearing.

•The easy YDS class 2 portion of the hike involves crossing two moderately long low-angle rock slabs above Rhino Point. Also from Rhino Point to the summit, there are green blazes and arrows painted on the rocks to show you the way, however, these can be hard to see at night. There is a metal flag of the United Republic of Tanzania on the summit as well as a wood box and summit register.

Before Mount Meru was included in Arusha National Park in 1967 it was also possible to reach the summit via the North and West Slopes, however, use of these trails to enter the park (and reach the summit) is now illegal.

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