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western breach 

Kilimanjaro Rock Climbing 

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Elevation: 19,340'
Location: -3.0768, 37.3508 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 1,573
Administrator: Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Camster (Rhymes with Hamster) on Apr 17, 2008

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Stars swirling around Kili, from Barranco Camp.


A big mountain with both some of the easiet "climbing" in Africa, and, as Rheinhold Messner found out, some of the hardest.

Getting There 

Fly to Kilimanjaro International Airport and catch a taxi to Moshi or Arusha. Since guides are required on Kili, it's best (and basically your only option) to sign up for a guided trip up the peak. Once in Arusha or Moshi (or Marangu), you can easily find an outfitter that'll get you up the peak.

Climbing Season

For the Africa area.

Weather station 12.1 miles from here

1 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',1],['2 Stars',0],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Kilimanjaro

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Kilimanjaro:
western breach   3rd 1- 1 I 1 M 1a Mod. Snow     Snow, 2556'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Kilimanjaro

Featured Route For Kilimanjaro
Rock Climbing Photo: Early morning heading up the Western Breach

western breach 3rd 1- 1 I 1 M 1a Mod. Snow  Africa : Tanzania : Kilimanjaro
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 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 ...[more]   Browse More Classics in International

Photos of Kilimanjaro Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Ann Burns enjoying sunset in front of Mawenzi.
Ann Burns enjoying sunset in front of Mawenzi.
Rock Climbing Photo: The roof of Africa
The roof of Africa
Rock Climbing Photo: Beware the African hustlers of checkers!!
Beware the African hustlers of checkers!!
Rock Climbing Photo: A lot more hiking before we get to the summit.
A lot more hiking before we get to the summit.
Rock Climbing Photo: View from Crater Camp
View from Crater Camp
Rock Climbing Photo: Night shot of Kilimanjaro.
Night shot of Kilimanjaro.
Rock Climbing Photo: Approaching the summit (with the sign ahead in the...
Approaching the summit (with the sign ahead in the...
Rock Climbing Photo: Another night shot of Kilimanjaro with the moon.
Another night shot of Kilimanjaro with the moon.
Rock Climbing Photo: Heading out
Heading out
Rock Climbing Photo: Ascending via the Western Breach
Ascending via the Western Breach
Rock Climbing Photo: The top
The top
Rock Climbing Photo: Our route, The Western Breach, behind us
Our route, The Western Breach, behind us
Rock Climbing Photo: Kilimanjaro looming over us
Kilimanjaro looming over us
Rock Climbing Photo: Victory dancing atop the Western Breach/Crater Rim...
Victory dancing atop the Western Breach/Crater Rim...
Rock Climbing Photo: The Summit
The Summit
Rock Climbing Photo: As always, she was with me. (That's zinc oxide on ...
As always, she was with me. (That's zinc oxide on ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Say no more...
Say no more...
Rock Climbing Photo: Crater Camp (very high) with the summit behind
Crater Camp (very high) with the summit behind
Rock Climbing Photo: The beginning of the glaciers
The beginning of the glaciers
Rock Climbing Photo: The descent
The descent
Rock Climbing Photo: The Snows of Kilimanjaro
The Snows of Kilimanjaro
Rock Climbing Photo: A great read
A great read

Comments on Kilimanjaro Add Comment
Show which comments
By EdN
Dec 5, 2012
I just went up Kilimanjaro. Was nothing more than a hike. No technical aspects at all. Anyway, the team was good and I would recommend them to anyone thinking of a trek. E-Trip Africa and the Kilimanjaro page is
Rock Climbing Photo: Machame
By Anfarwal
From: Denver, CO
Jan 10, 2013
Just did the Lemosho to Western Breach route last week. The Western Breach is probably the 'hardest' summit route on Kilimanjaro. I didn't know what I was getting into climbing it--if you put a foot of snow on it, an exposed Grade III rock scramble at 18000 ft turns into a real mountaineering adventure, not just a hike. In 2006, 3 climbers were killed here due to rock fall, and they closed the route for a few years. The route is pretty steep and challenging. Definitely the way to go if you're a climber. If you want an experienced guide service to take you (which you must have to climb Kili), I highly recommend Destination Tanzania ( guides know their stuff and they do a great job overall with the trip.
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking left while on the western breach
Looking left while on the western breach

Rock Climbing Photo: Small rock scramble section at 18200 ft
Small rock scramble section at 18200 ft
By Seth Teb.
From: Denver
Jan 12, 2015
My fiance and I also did Kili with eTrip and had a great experience. We did the 7 day Machame route. Our guides were excellent, the logistics very well done, and the experience comfortable, fun, and challenging (no technical challenges, it's all hiking). Our head guide (Casper) was extremely knowledgeable about high altitude medicine, and we felt quite safe the entire time. Just to qualify those statements, my fiance and I are both physicians, I used to study high altitude medicine as part of a masters in physiology (prior to med school), and I have been a climber for 16 years. They know what they are doing. I would highly recommend eTrip to anyone considering this trek, and not just for the reasons stated above. Read on...

PAY ATTENTION to whom you are doing business with and what behaviors you are supporting by doing so. Check out the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Program (KPAP) before you buy your trip. The website is: The porters on Kili are wonderful people and they are the ones who actually make the trip possible. Because the opportunities for employment in Tanzania are so bleak, several companies take advantage of the situation by ruthlessly abusing the porters. We had assumed that local Tanzanian companies would be better about this, but they are some of the most blatant. One of the largest companies selling treks in Tanzania (with several positive reviews on tripadvisor) came up frequently as being one of the worst in our discussions with the porters and guides. It's very difficult to have a clear conscience because companies will often sell a trek from abroad (from the USA or wherever) that promises this or that about how the porters are treated and then outsources the trek to a local company that takes advantage of impoverished porters. One company even put on their web page that they were KPAP certified when they were in fact not and would openly take advantage of porters. The only way to be sure is to check KPAP's website. Because KPAP tries to be positive, they only list those companies that are certified, they do not list the many companies which are not. eTrip is one of 20 companies (out of more than 600 selling treks) to pay porters the highest available salary, and they are also KPAP certified.

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