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Kilimanjaro Climbing Routes

OEHLER RIDGE
A hard walk, best in snowy conditions. An ice axe is necessary particularly on the exposed glacier traverse above the Ravenstein where crampons would also be required in poor snowy conditions. Grade I+

GREAT PENCK, PENGALSKI, DRYGALSKI & CREDNER GLACIERS
Considerable glacial recession has shortened these or made them discontinuous. Access to the Penck Glacier is difficult; the others are straightforward throughout. To avoid ice cliffs at the top of the Credner Glacier trend left or take the Oehler Ridge exit for the others.

LITTLE PENCK GLACIER
This can be reached by icy couloirs and bulges. Once gained it is easy-angled. Leave the glacier by traversing right, level with the top of the Ravenstein. Grade III.

WESTERN BREACH trips
A tough walk up steep scree with some easy rock scrambling. Snow cover makes the scree easier but an ice axe is then required. Afternoon mists can make route finding on the descent difficult. Grade I+. Note: the Lava Tower Hut is now ruined by rockfall (1997).

THE BREACH WALL
This has been compared to the North Wall of the Eiger. The direct route (Messner and Renzler) ascends icy rocks and couloirs to the Balletto Icefield then climbs the left of two icicles leading to the Diamond Glacier. A bivouac below the icicle allows it to be climbed before the afternoon thaw. Grade VI.

HEIM GLACIER
A magnificent, classic route under good snow cover; without snow the lower section can be very icy with many exposed rocks. Upper section is easy; keep left. Good bivouac site on top of the Window Buttress. Grade III.

KERSTEN GLACIER
The lower rock buttress presents complex route finding, following ledges and snow and ice couloirs leading to the upper slopes. The best route to take is dictated by the prevailing snow conditions. Beware of falling rock and ice in the afternoon. Grade III+.

DECKEN GLACIER
Narrow snow fields and icy couloirs lead through the first steep section to the easier slopes above. Beware falling rock and ice in the afternoon. Grade III.

BARAFU ROUTE trips
Laborious and steep scree leads to Stella Point, half way between Uhuru Peak and Gillman’s Point. Ice axes may be useful for some step cutting if there is ice present. Easy in descent. Grade I.

MAWENZI
A complex ridge comprising several summits. The rock is rather poor.

1. From the top left corner of the screes in the North West Corrie climb the left of two gullies till the ridge is reached. Scramble to a small gully which leads to the Oehler Gully 60m. below an icefall which is taken direct or avoided by a gully to the right of it. Grade II.

2. From the screes between the North Spur and North East Ridge climb a ledge leading left to the higher of two notches in the North East Ridge. A chockstone pitch leading to the notch can be difficult if icy. A short steepening leads to easier climbing generally right of the ridge to the Nordecke top. Grade III. An easy col can be crossed to Hans Meyer Peak.


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© Andrew Wielochowski 4/9/2014. From the "Kilimanjaro Map and Guide"