by Mike Coltrin


Trip Participants
Selecting the Route
Guide/Trekking Company
Training for the Climb
Gear List

Travel to Tanzania
Pre-Climb Orientation
Day 1: to Forest Camp
Day 2: to Shira 1 Camp
Day 3: to Moir Camp
Day 4: rest day at Moir
Day 5: to Lava Tower
Day 6: to Arrow Glacier
Day 7: Western Breach
Day 8: Summit day
Day 9: Descent

Safari After the Climb

Hiking  Distances
GPS Coordinates
Contact Information

In September, 2005, four of my friends and I climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Kilimanjaro is 19,340' tall, and is the highest mountain on the African continent. It also is considered the highest peak in the world that can be climbed without technical mountaineering gear (for example, ice axes, crampons, and ropes).

The lore is that "any reasonably fit person" can get to the top of Kilimanjaro. As a result, tens of thousands of people attempt to climb it every year. Many of those people underestimate the mountain and do not take it seriously enough. For that reason only about half the climbers who attempt Kilimanjaro actually make it to the top.

This web site describes my experience climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. I had a very enjoyable time on the mountain, and it is one of the highlights of my life. However, just because the experience went so smoothly for me, please don't underestimate what it takes to get to the top. I had worked quite hard for nine months to get in very good hiking condition, we did a tremendous amount of research about the climb before we left, carefully chose our route, guide company, and time of year to give ourselves the best chance of a successful and fun time. Still, I learned that many things (some of them outside of your control) can go wrong on the mountain, and force you down before reaching the summit.

Before the climb, I read everything that I could to find out "what it was like" on the mountain. This was a completely new challenge for me, and I'd never tried anything like it before. This web site describes "what it was like" for me. I give a day-to-day account of what we did, how hard it was, what we ate, how we felt, how cold it was. These were the sort of things that I wondered about before we left; they are the things that I will remember about the trip.

If you are planning to try Kilimanjaro, my advice in a nutshell is: prepare well, do your research, drink plenty of water, consider taking diamox, hike very slowly ("pole, pole" in Swahili), and pay attention to all of your guide's advice.

Good luck, and have fun.


Number of Visitors


Copyright 2005. Michael E. Coltrin, Albuquerque, NM. All rights reserved.