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Machame Route Question


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Thorn Tree Refugee
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Joined: August 23rd, 2010

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  • Added on: February 2nd, 2011

I received a proposed itinerary from a guide company for a 7 day trek on the Machame Route. I am spending an extra day on the trail to better acclimatize. I noticed that on day 4 (Barranco Huts to Karanga Valley Campsite) and day 5 (Karanga Valley Campsite to Barafu Huts), there is only 3 hours of hiking each day.

I'm wondering if it would be a better idea to do more hiking on day 4, let's say 4 or 5 hours, then a light day on day 5 (3 or 4 hours?). This way, it would decrease the hours hiked on summit day, since summit day will be a 12+ hour hike.

Does anyone have a opinion or experience with the 7 day Machame Route? Also, how will this change affect the acclimatization? Thanks!


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Thorn Tree Refugee
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  • Added on: February 3rd, 2011
To answer my own question, here is a response I received on another forum:

"Barafu Huts is the last camp site before the actual summit, there is no where else you can camp. The summit night/day was not as bad as I was expecting. Start climb about midnight, down at camp again about 8 or 9 oclock, a few hours rest then continue for another four hours. We did not do the Machame Route but took the Lemosho route and did it in 8 days to be sure of acclimatising but the Lemosho and Machame join together."


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  • Added on: February 3rd, 2011
climb high, sleep low. If you have the energy and time it is worth hiking up an extra 500-1000 vertical feet above where you camp. Than hang out at that elevation for a bit before heading back down to camp. It generally improves acclimatization. Personally, I don't like camping much more than 3000 feet higher than the previous night. So, for something like Kili that means (for me) first night camp at 10000 ft. The next day hike to 14000 ft and then camp at 13000 ft. Then hike to 16,500-17000 feet and camp at 16,000 feet. This is approximately where the camps are located so it makes it rather straightforward. Now, if I had an extra day after that before the summit day, my preference would be to stay at the same camp and maybe hike up to 18000 feet or so before returning to camp.

Absolute Kilimanjaro

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  • Added on: February 8th, 2011
Hi MA Hiker

The 7 day trek is definitely a better option, you will probably only ever climb Kilimanjaro once, so why not take an extra day to help you to acclimatise and reduce the risks of getting altitude sickness and increase your chance of reaching the summit.

Any additional days at altitude will help, unless you have previous experience of high altitude trekking or climbing you will not know how your body will react to the reduced levels of oxygen.

The Machame Route quite a direct route compared to the Lemosho and Rongai routes, so it will be more physically challenging so make sure you have prepared well and have done some training to ensure you have a good base level of fitness before the trek. The Machame route is also one of the most popular routes on Kilimanjaro so the trail and campsites can get fairly busy.

Hope this helps....
Absolute Kilimanjaro...guiding you to the summit.

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