How Hard Is it to Climb Mount Kilimanjaro?
When it comes to famous mountains, Mount Kilimanjaro doesn’t have a reputation for being difficult. This probably comes from the fact that the average person can make it up the mountain with enough determination. One of the great benefits of Kilimanjaro is that it is accessible to all types of people. You don’t have to be in peak physical condition or have much experience to climb it. However, it won’t necessarily be a walk in the park. To climb any mountain takes preparation, skill and determination to reach the top.
Not Everyone Makes It
While most people, if they’re able-bodied and determined, can make it to the summit, not everyone does. In fact, you may have a traveling group of 20 people, where only 10 make it to the top successfully. Hiking is physically strenuous. You don’t have to be a fitness guru, but you do have to be in shape to make it. Without proper food and hydration or preparation, you could give up before you finish. The truth is that hiking is a workout, no matter your experience level. If you aren’t prepared for the mountain to test you, then it’s going to be more difficult for you to finish.
The Climb Begins the Day Before
The day before the climb is physically trying too. To gain altitude, in preparation for the climb, you have to scale the side of a cliff. Fortunately, it doesn’t take any special gear or experience to make it up, but if you’re not used to climbing cliffsides, you’re going to feel the impact that climbing has on your body. With a guide and the proper precautions, everything that you take part in that day is relatively safe. If you keep safety practices in mind and hang onto your determination, you’ll be ready.
The Hike Takes Time
When it comes to the actual ascent, it takes approximately six hours to complete. Don’t rush yourself up the mountainside, but likewise, your guide will probably discourage you from taking it too slow. Often, if you take too long of a rest while hiking, it may be more difficult to get up to reclaim your momentum. If you have experience in mountaineering, then you already know that you have to find a healthy balance between hard work and breaks. The point is to push yourself physically, but you don’t want to strain yourself to the extent that you won’t make it to the top. The satisfaction of reaching the top only happens if you make it happen. You can’t do that if you’re too tired to finish.
The Descent Begins Quickly
Most people do not linger at the top of the Kilimanjaro for long. On one hand, your guide will normally keep to a loose schedule. In addition, most people are tired and ready for the climb to end by the time they reach the summit. If you have less experience at high altitudes, you’ll notice how cold it is at the top and this is enough to make most spend only a few minutes there before starting the descent. Keep in mind that the climb down can also be difficult. The cliffs and rocks may be slippery. Listen to your guide and take extra care in the climb.
Many people who dream of climbing famous mountains dream of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. For most people, it is attainable. While a lot of experience is not necessary to make it to the summit, it does take work. If you don’t have the motivation or the preparation, you might end up one of those people who can’t make it all the way. However, with the right amount of prep, skill and determination, it is a challenging but accessible hike.