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Author Topic: Hiking poles on KIlimanjaro. A must??  (Read 5939 times)

kwaiet

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Hiking poles on KIlimanjaro. A must??
« on: Oct 9 2005, 20:29 »

HI
MY group is planning to hike Kilimanjaro.  I have been reading some of the guide sites and they describe the last part to the summit as being steep with scree.  Are hiking poles a necessity for this part?  Would it be greatly beneficial for people who are not hardcore hikers?  Most of the people in my group, this will be their first time on a big mountain, so they want to prepare.  But they don't know if they will attempt another big mountain.  So they are unsure of whether to get poles or not.  We will be going just before Christmas, before they hike the prices up for 2006.

Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.  Thank you.
Elvin
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Re: Hiking poles on KIlimanjaro. A must??
« Reply #1 on: Oct 9 2005, 20:50 »

Hello Kwaiet,

hiking poles are a must for Kili, especially for experienced hikers  8)
It will help you go up more easy, keep your balance on the muddy parts of the first day. And you can lean on them if you need a little rest  8)

After going down from the summit experienced hikers use them to 'ski' down the scree slopes, sometimes actually making turns! Others use them, simly to save theur knees as it has been scientifically proven that it takes a lot of weight off your knees. And the downhill on Kili is very long, with some slippery parts near the end.

Invest 20-60 euros/dollars on protecting your knees, you will be thankful for it afterwards!
Use adjustable ones, so you can change length depending on ascending/descending and per steepness.

See also topic about poles here:
http://7summits.com/forum/index.php?topic=591.0

Cheers,
Harry
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"He who climbs upon the highest mountains laughs at all tragedies, real or imaginary." -- Friedrich Nietzsche

Roger

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Re: Hiking poles on KIlimanjaro. A must??
« Reply #2 on: Oct 10 2005, 17:21 »

Hi Elvin
Ill tell you a little story of my experience with Kili. Me the tough ex army commando who felt no need for these silly poles that all these soft Americans were using.
I personally felt no need for them at any occassion untill I got to the scree, post toping the Western Breach and then having to suffer up that last lot of scree from the crater up.
Poles would have been really nice to lean on whilst gasping for breath.  I now have a set of fully adjustable Komperdell Titanal contour poles, nice and light as I have also learnt that lighter is nicer especially when carrying a big bag of stuff.
I personally did not need poles down the 2000  metre scree run down from the summit and had a ball scree running down there, i just used my arms as my balance. I also did some fancy turns to avoid large rocks hidden in the scree that seemed to come up way too fast.  I smile thinking about it now, "However" it was my fitness that allowed me to do that and I have to say that my legs suffered for the next two days.
It would be much nicer on your legs, knees to climb with  poles and also to go down gently and use poles for balance etc.
Harrys comments are very sound and I totally agree. Poles from then on for me :)
You will really enjoy Kili, just make sure you are getting some good long walks in
Cheers
Roger
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