Avg: 3.4 from 7 votes
|Type:||Trad, Snow, 2556 ft, Grade III|
|Page Views:||1,434 total · 20/month|
|Shared By:||Anfarwal Vr on Jan 10, 2013|
The Western Breach is the most aggressive and riskiest way to summit Kibo. Be aware that rock fall is a hazard, and climbers should be prepared for variable weather conditions. The trail is steep and involves 3rd-4th class climbing at over 16,000 feet. During my summit, we were hit with a snowstorm and climbed the route through snowdrifts. Microspikes or crampons are suggested, and helmets are a must.
This is not a route to be taken lightly; this route was closed in 2006 due to the death of 3 climbers, and the route was changed to minimize the time in the danger zone. As the glaciers retreat, rock fall will become more of a hazard.
The route is generally approached from the Shira, Machame, Lemosho or Umbwe Routes. From the Shira route, most people camp at the Lava Tower Camp at 4637m, then Arrow Glacier Camp at 4871 before heading up through the Western Breach in the crater wall to Crater camp at 5731m. From there, it's a 1.5 hour hike up to Uhuru Peak at 5895m. From there you will descend over the other side on the Mweka Route.
Be aware that an alpine start is required! This allows climbing parties to get free of the rockfall zone before the sun begins melting out the snow/ice in the dangerous rock bands above. Most climbing parties will leave Arrow Glacier between 2am & 5am.
Beta on the descent: Just after half-way up, after the 4th section of 3rd class scrambling is the point of no return. If AMS, HACE, HAPE or an accident occurs the safest way down is still continuing up to the ridge, across the icefields and down the other side via Stella Point.