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7 summits and other mountain stuff => Summitlog => Topic started by: DB on Sep 29 2006, 20:31

Title: kilimanjaro - umbwe route
Post by: DB on Sep 29 2006, 20:31
Just got back from Africa, having gone up Kili via the Umbwe route.  Definitely not for those who lack hiking experience or are out of shapre, but quite an adventure all the same.  All six in our party made it up pretty easily.  I was the only question mark though, since I got a pretty nasty fever at summit camp (15k ft) a few hours before we were to make our summit attempt.  It's amazing what two Advil, two Nalgene bottles of water, and 2 hours of sleep can do for a person.

Anyways, even though I only averaged about 3 hours of sleep a night, I still had a great time and am glad I did it.  I'm now planning my next trip to Mt. Elbrus, but I may need some time to raise the money and I still need to take a mountaineering class.
Title: Re: kilimanjaro - umbwe route
Post by: m.c. reinhardt on Sep 30 2006, 02:30
Congratulations DB!!!

Quick question for you. I was wondering why you averaged only three hours of sleep a night? Was it just difficult to sleep at the high altitudes?

Again, congrats and good luck on getting the funds for Elbrus.

MC  :)
Title: Re: kilimanjaro - umbwe route
Post by: Mountain John on Sep 30 2006, 11:24
hey DB,

that is impressive.  if you got a fever, and were not feeling well....to go up and climb to the summit anyway, that says a lot about your mental fortitude and strength.

good job.

Elbrus is not too bad.  not really technical (no walls).  no cravasses.  but just be good with glacier ice and crampons and ice axes.  having said that, a mountaineering class will only help you, if you do that.  Elbrus is a good one before you take on Denali.

Mountain John
Title: Re: kilimanjaro - umbwe route
Post by: DB on Oct 3 2006, 01:02
Thanks for the replies.  I think the altitude had a lot to do with it, but also the fact that I wasn't really used to sleeping in a sleeping bag (not since Cub Scouts anyway).  I usually sleep on my stomach or side, but that was near impossible in these bags; it was too uncomfortable.  A couple of nights we were even on a slant.  I managed though.

I'm getting info now for Elbrus.  Does anyone have any suggestions as far as reliable tour groups?  There are so many out there, and it's hard to narrow them down without first-hand info.
Title: Re: kilimanjaro - umbwe route
Post by: MikeW on Oct 3 2006, 01:47
Hey DB!

About Elbrus, you should go with 7summits.com, it's a lot easier than going through Pilgrim Tours directly and it's about the same price. They're reliable and professionals and they know the mountain pretty well.

MikeW
Title: Re: kilimanjaro - umbwe route
Post by: Mountain John on Oct 3 2006, 03:21
Yes, I can vouch with that.  I used 7summits.com (Harry) for Elbrus and paid the cheapest price.

Mountain John

Title: Re: kilimanjaro - umbwe route
Post by: DB on Oct 5 2006, 19:58
Any reccomendations on equipment?  I'm especially curious about climbing boots.  What should I look for?  Anyone have a pair that they really like?
Title: Re: kilimanjaro - umbwe route
Post by: Mountain John on Oct 6 2006, 00:01
Zamberlan is the brand I really like.  They were a perfect fit for me in the right size.

But there are many brands out there, so make sure you go to a big enough store to try on many pairs, as every foot is different!

Yes, you are right, the boot is probably the most important choice for you on Kilimanjaro.  Do you normally use walking sticks?
Title: Re: kilimanjaro - umbwe route
Post by: DB on Oct 6 2006, 02:35
yes, i've practiced and done plenty of hiking with trekking poles.  i've never used an ice axe or crampons however
Title: Re: kilimanjaro - umbwe route
Post by: Mountain John on Oct 6 2006, 04:41
ice axe and crampons not needed on Kili.  maybe gaitors to keep out small rocks.

I ask about trekking poles only because I did not become a believer in them until just about 3 years ago.

you can do a google search for "Kilimanjaro equipment checklist" (don't use quotes).

then I find it useful to ask about items you might question.  for instance, you might question gaitors (no snow to worry about) but then you will be told it is for small rocks.  then you make your own decision.

MJ
Title: Re: kilimanjaro - umbwe route
Post by: DB on Oct 6 2006, 23:24
i've already been up Kili.  i actually didn't use the poles too much, but the gaiters came in handy for the scree and mud.  there was no snow on Umbwe route so we only had to worry about cold.
Title: Re: kilimanjaro - umbwe route
Post by: Mountain John on Oct 7 2006, 01:59
of course, yes.

well, Elbrus, i seem to recall a lot of plastic (Koflach and other) but the goretex leather would work, just barely.  the plastic is for warmth as it is double layer.  I was surprised the first time I wore plastic boots.  they are a lot more comfortable than you think (for those of you that have not worn them) the boot i wore on Elbrus was not my favorite (Glacier LaSportiva) so I am not going to recommend those.  I guess you need to break them in for years.

boots equally important, but for warmth here.  look around for some extra thick wool socks.  Nikolay, one of our senior guides on Everest, wore some socks his mother made from a local sheep in Russia.  those socks put mine to shame.

MJ
Title: Re: kilimanjaro - umbwe route
Post by: MvdB on Oct 8 2006, 23:50
I never liked poles... but it might change, cause I can understand the usefullness of them when walking with a heavy loaded backpack on your back..

about the shoes: plastic boots are indeed nice and warm.. good for glaciers climb... but annoying to walk with on "normal" roads/paths


oh and congrats on making it to the top  DB :)
Title: Re: kilimanjaro - umbwe route
Post by: DB on Oct 10 2006, 20:06
Thanks.  I noticed about half of our group liked the poles (including myself), while the others didn't use theirs at all.  Normally I only use them on steep downhills, but when we made our summit attempt they came in pretty handy.  I was still pretty sick from the fever I had, plus I got some initial altitude sickness in the form of a nasty headache.  I was also pretty tired from lack of sleep, so the poles were good to lean on at times when we stopped to rest and I could sit anywhere.
Title: Re: kilimanjaro - umbwe route
Post by: MoT on Oct 16 2006, 21:49
Congratulations! Kili was my first mountain - a bold undertaking but so rewarding... Good luck with Elbrus - rudimentary snow/ice skills would be important. Also, having a basic idea of rope use would be good for those occasionas where a storm may hit. Elbrus isn't as easy as many people think - it can be vicious when it wants to.