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Author Topic: Climbers killed on Western Breach of Kilimanjaro  (Read 39698 times)

Cy Kaicener

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Climbers have been killed on the Western Breach of Kilimanjaro by rockfall.
http://www.thedenverchannel.com/health/5860993/detail.html
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MoT

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Re: Climbers killed on Western Breach of Kilimanjaro
« Reply #1 on: Jan 6 2006, 17:08 »

 :-\ Damn it, that's bad news indeed, kind of puts most of our everyday troubles into perspective.
« Last Edit: Jan 6 2006, 17:17 by MoT »
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jedi-knight

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Re: Climbers killed on Western Breach of Kilimanjaro
« Reply #2 on: Jan 6 2006, 19:57 »

:-\ Damn it, that's bad news indeed, kind of puts most of our everyday troubles into perspective.

not just bad news...i think its also bad luck.....just their luck to have the rocks tumbling down when they were sleeping in their tents.....
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walktheearth

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Re: Climbers killed on Western Breach of Kilimanjaro
« Reply #3 on: Jan 7 2006, 23:21 »

The Kilimanjaro National Park Authority (KINAPA) has closed the WB route as of January 5, 2006 until further notice.

This is a huge bummer as I was planning to do this route this year.  I thought that they would prohibit utilizing Arrow Glacier as a campsite, not close the route.

Is it possible to explore the crater and glacier without using the WB?  That's supposed to be the best part of the mountain.  It would suck if those sites became unaccessible to climbers.
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wilddog

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Re: Climbers killed on Western Breach of Kilimanjaro
« Reply #4 on: Jan 8 2006, 09:03 »

The Kilimanjaro National Park Authority (KINAPA) has closed the WB route as of January 5, 2006 until further notice.

This is a huge bummer as I was planning to do this route this year.  I thought that they would prohibit utilizing Arrow Glacier as a campsite, not close the route.

Is it possible to explore the crater and glacier without using the WB?  That's supposed to be the best part of the mountain.  It would suck if those sites became unaccessible to climbers.

There's a path from Stellar Point that leads to the crater and it takes around 2 to 3 hours to explore the Ash Pit and the glaciers there. However after several hours of hard walking from Barafu/Kibo Hut, I am not sure if you'd want to do that..
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BMunson

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Re: Climbers killed on Western Breach of Kilimanjaro
« Reply #5 on: Jan 9 2006, 02:30 »

 :-\I have gone up twice..WB both times and Arrow (besides Crater Camp) was my very favorite site.  I can see how it could be dangerous.  Apparently there have been slides there before, but not for a while.  You can go to the crater and ash pit going from Stella, but I think the problem is how long your day would be.  From Arrow to Crater Camp was only 6 hours...nap...go to the ash pit and then spend the night.  Up to Uhuru in the morning and then down.  Going through Stella would make it an incredibly long day.  The climb from the crater up to the ashpit, is almost like going from the crater to Uhuru....I don't know how many people would be able to do that much exertion at altitude for as many hours as it would require from morning start to night camp.  Condolences to those families whose members died on the mountain and to the porters who were badly injured!
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ClimbHigh

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Re: Climbers killed on Western Breach of Kilimanjaro
« Reply #6 on: Jan 9 2006, 10:56 »

Not to be inconsiderate but I don't think they should close down the western breach.  Or they should assess the problem and then reopen it as soon as possible.  While it is a tragedy it is the risk we all take as climbers.  I climbed Kili in July via the western breach and it is by far the best route.  I hope this doesn't close down the western breach for too long. 
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walktheearth

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Re: Climbers killed on Western Breach of Kilimanjaro
« Reply #7 on: Jan 9 2006, 20:12 »

I'm hoping once they figure out why the rockfall happened and given a few months, if it doesn't occur again, that they will reopen at least the WB route by august (and possibly keep arrow glacier as a campsite closed).  I'll probably still do the mountain regardless, but I won't be as happy about it.

Is it possible to ascend from Barafu, summit, hike the ash pit, then descend to Barafu again in a day?  By descending to Barafu instead of Mweka camp, can you buy enough time to do the ash pit hike?  Or would the ash pit hike after summitting be too physically demanding to accomplish anyhow?

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bmunson

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Re: Climbers killed on Western Breach of Kilimanjaro
« Reply #8 on: Jan 10 2006, 06:24 »

I am leaving for TZ in a week to work at a hospital for a few weeks.  I won't be going on Kili while there this time, but will be having dinner with the mountain team from Kiliwarriors that I went up with in July 05.  I know there was a porter/guide  who lost his leg in the Arrow Accident.  I will get more information from them while I am there.  it sure is frustrating not being able to find more information on the conditions at Arrow nor who was injured and the plans for the route. I am sure some of you know how to find out more local news but I don't seem able to find out more.  You could certainly ask a company that you were planning to climb with what the situation is now.

I would think if you were in good shape and feeling well at altitude, you could go from Barafu to to ash pit and down to Barafu for the night.  You could work this out with your company....see what they think.  You cannot ever be guaranteed to get to the ash pit.  Sometimes the sulphur fumes are too bad and even if you went up the WB, you cannot go there.

Good luck
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Roger

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Re: Climbers killed on Western Breach of Kilimanjaro
« Reply #9 on: Jan 11 2006, 03:32 »

Account of incident by US survivor

http://www.wtopnews.com/?nid=104&sid=667823

Cheers
Roger
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bmunson

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Re: Climbers killed on Western Breach of Kilimanjaro
« Reply #10 on: Jan 11 2006, 05:35 »

Eben was in Arusha and has posted this report on FS Kiliwarrior website.
http://www.go-kili.com
He said the WB is open again.
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walktheearth

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Re: Climbers killed on Western Breach of Kilimanjaro
« Reply #11 on: Jan 11 2006, 10:16 »

That was quick.
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bmunson

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Re: Climbers killed on Western Breach of Kilimanjaro
« Reply #12 on: Jan 11 2006, 21:34 »

I have been in contact with KPAP in Moshi and they told me that in addition to the clients, 5 porters were killed in the rockslide that was below the lunch spot.  She said that even the local news hasn't reported about the porters. They must think they couldn't keep the client news quiet but they are keeping the porter news quiet, it seems.
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Roy Nirschel

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Re: Climbers killed on Western Breach of Kilimanjaro
« Reply #13 on: Jan 24 2006, 08:23 »

I just returned from summiting Kilimanjaro and was in Moshi - scheduled to do the W Breach when the news arrived about the tragedy.

Here is what I know -
1. the firms were Zara and another local firm with sketchy records and poor reputations locally.
2. the WB was closed for a week and some outfitters will take you up but you need to sign a waiver
3. I went a modified route - Lemosho gate to Shira, Barrancho Hut (the Barranco Wall and Lava Tower were tough), Karanga Valley, Barafu and a long day to Stella Point and Glacier Camp.  Overnighted  - after seeing the Ash Pit - and a summit at 6 AM on a perfect, but snowy climb to Uhuru Peak - followed by 2 days down.
4. Went with Tusker which had medical support, costly but WELL worth it.

There are no easy days but to travel 5 climate zones and test yourself physically, emotionally and spiritually for the climb was unbelievable.

Good luck to all and im memoriam we climb for those who died.

PS
Word is 10 porters injured, one lost his leg, but no deaths.
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Tatro43

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Re: Climbers killed on Western Breach of Kilimanjaro
« Reply #14 on: Jan 25 2006, 09:05 »

Roy,

In your post, I had a question.....The firms that were sketchy was unclear....

Was both Zara and the local firm sketchy, or just the local firm?

Thanks

Chris

Just curious, because I just booked with EWP, which uses Zara for local logistics.
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MoT

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Re: Climbers killed on Western Breach of Kilimanjaro
« Reply #15 on: Jan 25 2006, 19:46 »

I thought Zara was one of the good ones  ???
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jedi-knight

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Re: Climbers killed on Western Breach of Kilimanjaro
« Reply #16 on: Jan 25 2006, 20:24 »

I thought Zara was one of the good ones  ???

I thought Zara was one of the good ones too.....but there's something I dont understand here. What has the reputation of the firms got to do with the accident??  ???

Accidents can happen to anyone......no matter how good the guide or the climber. Its the mountain man....if it wants to take your life, it will.....all we can do is to thank it after a successful summit and descent.  8)
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Jaq

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Re: Climbers killed on Western Breach of Kilimanjaro
« Reply #17 on: Jan 27 2006, 12:38 »

So the Western Breach is closed indefinitely?

I have booked a climb on 18 Dec 2006 but my tour operator has not yet provided any information about the closure!
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Phil Jones

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Re: Climbers killed on Western Breach of Kilimanjaro
« Reply #18 on: Jan 27 2006, 16:51 »

I went with Tusker shortly after Roy came down (few posts back - Hi Roy, me and the two Americans Paul and Janene all made it to the summit).
One of our guides was on the mountain when the rockfall happened and went over to help the injured. He told us that one porter had died and that several had been taken to hospital with broken legs. I hope thats all there was - it's very worrying to see the post that 5 porters died. I am still in Moshi and will try to find out more.
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7summits

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Re: Climbers killed on Western Breach of Kilimanjaro
« Reply #19 on: Jan 29 2006, 00:17 »

Zara is not 'one of the good ones', it is the best one. I trust all my clients with them as I knwo they take good care of them and they execute all my custommade itineraries exactly as I ask them to, creating very satisfied customers, who are extremely happy with my services and advice.

Tusker is a good company as well, you just pay twice as much for the same trip as 7summits.com/Zara.

The accident could have happened to any company, it is the result of the global warming, the ice that had 'glued'the rocks together for centuries, is now melting. Any mountain is dangerous, Kilimanjaro included, and you have to minimize the risks. The Breach is still very well possible, but with the current numbers of climbers, accidents will happen.

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