The Western Breach is a gap in the summit wall on the western side of Kibo that was caused by lava flow hundreds of thousands of years ago. It provides a challenging access point up to Uhuru Peak and can be incorporated in to various routes on Kilimanjaro. Our Western Breach ascent begins with an assault on the Umbwe Route and overall, this combination is the toughest Kilimanjaro Challenge.
The Umbwe route has a well-deserved reputation of being the most challenging route on Mount Kilimanjaro. Due to the fast ascent to high altitude, this route does not provide the necessary stages for acclimatization. Although the number of people on this trail is very low, the chances of success are also low. Umbwe is considered to be very difficult, taxing route – one that should only be attempted by strong hikers who are confident in their ability to acclimatize quickly to altitude. Approaching from the south, the Umbwe route is a short, steep and direct climb. After reaching Barranco Camp, the trail turns east and traverses underneath Kilimanjaro’s Southern Ice Field on a path known as the Southern Circuit before summiting from Barafu. Descent is made via the Mweka route.
Day 1: ARRIVAL DAY then take a 50-minute transfer to the hotel in Moshi. Overnight hotel.
Day 2: Enter Arusha National Park and begin ascent of Mount Meru Although smaller than Kilimanjaro, Mount Meru is not to be underestimated! Our walk begins after a 2 1⁄2 hour drive to the park gate and you head for Mirikamba Hut (2,520m) in around 3 hours. You can expect to see plenty of wildlife.
Day 3: Climb to Saddle Hut (3,566m) on Mt Meru The vegetation starts to change as height is gained and you emerge from the forest to arrive at Saddle Hut after 4 1⁄2 hours. After lunch you make a short ascent of Little Meru (3,820m) for extra acclimatisation.
Day 4: Summit day on Mt Meru (4,556m) The climb begins under a blanket of stars and includes a steady scramble over sloping slabs. It takes 6 – 8 hours to reach the summit. You descend to Mirikamba Hut to rest and relax after a long climb.
Day 5: Descend Meru and head back to Moshi for rest Today is a relaxing walk to the gate via a different route so we can take our time to see as much wildlife on the way as possible. You return to the hotel for a well-deserved hot shower. Overnight hotel.
Day 6: Begin ascent of Kilimanjaro. Climb to Forest Caves (3,000m) Travel by either Jeep or private bus, depending on the size of the team, to the start of the Umbwe Route. From the gate at 1,400m and with porters carrying our equipment, you set off up a good track and into dense jungle to reach a campsite at Forest Caves (approx 5 hours).
Day 7: Climb to Baranco Camp (3,900m) The route continues through forest with a good chance of seeing Colobus Monkeys before rearing up on to a steep, narrow ridge with deep valleys on either side. At 3,000m, you emerge on to high moorland and the entire character of the trek changes. Baraco Camp is reached in mid-afternoon (5 hours).
Day 8: Acclimatisation and exploration An acclimatisation day involving a short climb up the Baranco Wall to view the southern glaciers of Kilimanjaro.
Day 9: Climb to Arrow Hut beneath the Breach Wall (4,800m) You continue up the ridge until it joins the final slopes of the volcano. Camp near the ruins of the Arrow Hut which is a good, level campsite (5 hours).
Day 10: Arrow Hut to Uhuru Peak (5,895m) to Millennium Camp
Departing in the early hours of the morning, you climb the steep scree and then rock that leads up past the Arrow Glacier to the crater rim. There a several sections of scrambling over the top of incredible frozen lava formations. Following the crater rim, you cross the foot of the Furtwangler Glacier and make a final steep climb up to Uhuru. The ascent from the camp to the summit takes between 6 and 8 hours. You descend to Millenium Camp in a further 5 to 6 hours.
Day 11:Descent via the Mweka Hut In the morning you walk to Mweka Gate, where the team will say farewell to their porters. The team drives back to hotel.
7 Days Climb Kilimanjaro Western Breach Umbwe Route:
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 acclimatization on Mt Meru is strongly recommended.
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Not included in price: