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7 summits and other mountain stuff => Questions => Topic started by: MoT on Jan 31 2002, 23:29

Title: Kilimanjaro Breach Wall Direct
Post by: MoT on Jan 31 2002, 23:29
In 1979 (I think) Reinhold Messner climbed the Breach Wall Direct route on Kilimanjaro.  He described it as one of the most dangerous climbs he had ever attempted, but still managed it in under 20 hours (again I don't have the exact details of the climb available to me). I have a few questions:

Has it ever been repeated.
Where can I find information on the route/climb?
Is it still climbable by this route?
What difficulty /grade was it?
Who else has done this and when?
Title: Re:Breach Wall Direct
Post by: 7summits on Feb 1 2002, 16:45
Hi MoT,

it s interesting that the ice routes on Kilimanjaro are among the most difficult in the world; Reinhold Messner and Konrad Renzler climbed The Icicle on the Breach Wall for the first time in 1978, but I don't know if it has been repeated or not.
Not much info about the actual route is to be found, but here is s short description of the direct route:

Ascend the rocks and couloirs to the Baletto icefield, climb the left of the two icicles to the diamand glacier.

I have attached a picture taken from Barranco camp with an enlargement of the breach wall Although the glaciers have diminished enourmously in the past 24 years, you can still see the 2 ice pillars on the wall.

(And yeah, that's me, enjoying the tea  ;) )

Best thing to do would be to buy Messners book "free spirit" which has a chapter about it:

Hope this helps,
best regards,

ps: the picture was taken in 1998
pps: the route is graded VI...
Title: Re:Breach Wall Direct
Post by: 7summits on Feb 1 2002, 17:32
ps check out this RISK report about the Russian climbers trying to do the route

including a nice picture

Makes you bow deeply for Messner and als makes you think again before trying it...

But then again, as we say in Holland: if you don't shoot you'll always miss ;)

Be safe,

Title: Re:Kilimanjaro Breach Wall Direct
Post by: Anthony J. Biacco on Jun 6 2003, 18:58
they also say the glaciers on kili might be gone in 15 years! so if anyone's thinking about doing those climbs, don't wait too long :D