Hike 131: Kilimanjaro (Umbwe – Arrow Glacier)

  • Date: Aug 2022.
  • Location: Kilimanjaro, Tanzania.
  • Crater Camp hike.
  • Route: Umbwe – Arrow Glacier (Western Breach).
  • Duration: 4 Days.
  • Difficulty: Super Hard.
  • Starting Point: Umbwe Gate.
  • Finish: Mweka Gate.
  • Total Distance: 44.4 km.
  • Total Elevation Gain: 4,404 m.

DAY 1: UMBWE GATE (1,800 M) TO BARANCO CAMP (3,900 M).

  • Distance: 15.5 km.
  • Time: 9 hr 39 min.
  • Elevation Gain: 2,377 m.

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DAY 2: BARANCO CAMP (3,900 M) TO ARROW GLACIER CAMP (4,903 M) VIA LAVA TOWER.

  • Distance: 3.7 km
  • Time: 4 hr 50 min
  • Elevation Gain: 931 m

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DAY 3: ARROW GLACIER CAMP (4,903 M) – UHURU PEAK (5,895 M) – ASH CONE – CRATER CAMP (5,700 M).

  • Distance: 4.2 km
  • Time: 11 hr 27 min
  • Elevation Gain: 1,096 m

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DAY 4: CRATER CAMP (5,700 M) TO MWEKA GATE (1,640 M).

  • Distance: 21 km
  • Time: 9 hr 47 min
  • Elevation Loss (Descent): 4,100 m

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This was a super tough hike because we decided to do it relatively fast (4 days). And the route we chose, Umbwe – Arrow Glacier (Western Breach), is the toughest Kilimanjaro route. It is very steep and has a couple of scrambling sections. There’s also the risk of rock fall.

Camping on the crater was quite challenging because of the high altitude (5,700 M) and the cold. We got mild altitude sickness symptoms but nothing bad. We carried some altitude meds and bottled oxygen in case of any emergencies. Fortunately, we didn’t have to use any.

All in all, it was an awesome hike! Big thanks to the guides, chef and porters. The Ash Cone was a beautiful sight. A must-see!

Our prep for this hike was Mount Kenya one week prior. Sleeping at 4,790 M.

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