3rd Day Climbing

Mount Kilimanjaro is Africa's highest summit at 5895 meters tall (19,341 feet). Kilimanjaro is a giant dormant stratovolcano, famous for its glacial cap and wide biodiversity, particularly its cloud forest. Montane ocotea forests cover the wet southern slope, cassipourea and juniperus forests on the dry northern slope, and subalpine Erica forests at the highest elevations above 4000 meters.
Photo credit:  Photograph by National Geographic Channels/ Rob Taylor

Mount Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest summit at 5895 meters tall (19,341 feet). Kilimanjaro is a giant dormant stratovolcano, famous for its glacial cap and wide biodiversity, particularly its cloud forest. Montane ocotea forests cover the wet southern slope, cassipourea and juniperus forests on the dry northern slope, and subalpine Erica forests at the highest elevations above 4000 meters.

Today Howard, Max and Ben will climb to 12,500 feet and spend the night at Shira 2 Camp. We were excited to hear from them again this morning with our second satellite phone call! The reception was actually pretty good!  Since it is summer in the southern hemisphere and they are close to the equator, it is 90 degrees in Arusha.  In 3 days of climbing they have dropped 50 degrees and are definitely headed into subzero snow conditions.  

Some Interesting Facts from National Geographic:

  • At 5895 metres (19,341 feet) tall, Mount Kilimanjaro is the tallest free-standing mountain in the world (rather than being part of a mountain range).
  • It now takes the average person a minimum of between 6 to 9 days to reach Kilimanjaro’s summit, depending on which of the 6 available routes is taken. The success of ascending to the summit is also dependent on which route is taken – the overall average of successful ascent to the peak is 45%.
  • Glaciers constantly evolve. They melt and shrink in dry season but regenerate in the wet. However, since 1912, Kilimanjaro has lost 82% of its ice cap, and 55% of its remaining glacier fields since 1962. Scientists predict all ice on the mountain may disappear within the next 20 years.
  • Kilimanjaro supports five ecosystems: savanna bush land, sub-montane agro-forest, montane forest belt, sub-alpine moorland and alpine bogs, and the alpine desert.

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