Explore 360

Kilimanjaro

Rapid Ascent

  • Where?

    Tanzania

  • Altitude

    5,895m

  • Duration

    4 days

  • Weather

  • Physical

    P3

  • Technical

    T2

  • P3 - This trip is physically tough. Frequent exercise is necessary to prepare properly for this expedition. Regular walking mixed with training at the gym to build up endurance and cardiovascular fitness is key. Expect to be able to do 8 hour days in hilly and often steep train, carrying a pack of 6-10kg in weight with the occasional extra long day.

    Visit our Grading Information page for a full overview.

  • T2 - Consider this a trek, although there may be occasion to use hands for short sections of easy scrambling. No previous climbing or trekking experience is necessary.

    Visit our Grading Information page for a full overview.

  • Overview

  • Date & Prices

  • Pics & Vids

  • Itinerary

  • Kit List

  • FAQs

Overview

There is no mountain like Kilimanjaro and there is no challenge like this one.

With more than 60 successful summits by our co-founder, Rolfe, and over 400 summits accomplished by our African Rapid guide, we stand in a formidable position to push boundaries and provide a Rapid ascent of Kilimanjaro. This is a truly distinctive challenge tailored for those seeking an epic and unparalleled experience while pushing the limits of their physical and mental fitness.

It marks an exciting new era in high-altitude trekking and climbing and is a testament to our credentials. Our elite Rapid Ascent commences at the Umbwe gate, situated at 1,600 metres, with the ambitious goal of reaching the summit in under 24 hours, taking the remote Umbwe and challenging Western Breach route. The Western Breach, a steep scrambling path, guarantees an uncrowded experience and offers a unique perspective of the mountain that few other climbers ever encounter. We’ve chosen this combination because it offers the most direct and shortest route to the summit.

Our Rapid Kilimanjaro expeditions operate with a maximum 2-1 client-to-guide ratio, ensuring a private and bespoke experience. You have the flexibility to customize your expedition’s dates and style as we progress. Be aware that this challenge demands a high level of fitness, substantial previous expedition experience, and pre-expedition altitude acclimatisation with The Altitude Centre. For a comprehensive overview, please review our FAQs, and don’t hesitate to get in touch when you’re ready to chat through Flash Kilimanjaro.

Find out more
Kilimanjaro, Rapid Ascent

Date & Prices

**Please note, we can operate on your preferred dates.

For private trips or bespoke itineraries inc. different dates, please contact the 360 office on 0207 1834 360.
A monthly payment plan is possible, please contact the office to chat through the options.

**Please note, we can operate on your preferred dates.

For private trips or bespoke itineraries inc. different dates, please contact the 360 office on 0207 1834 360.
A monthly payment plan is possible, please contact the office to chat through the options.

Departure & Return

Duration

Land Only

Flight included

Start: 13 June 2024
End: 16 June 2024

Land Only:  £8,780

We can operate on your preferred dates.

13 June 2024

16 June 2024

4 days

£8,780

N/A

We can operate on your preferred dates.

Please note that if 360 is booking your international flights, a supplement may be applicable

if the flight budget (as seen above) is exceeded.

Please note that if 360 is booking your international flights, a supplement may be applicable

if the flight budget (as seen above) is exceeded.

Included

  • Local guides and a 360 guide Elite guide
  • X6 tanks of O2 per climber
  • (with 3 different delivery systems) as back up for sleeping and climbing
  • Scheduled hotel nights
  • Park fees
  • Group climbing and cooking gear.
  • Porters
  • Ground transportation in country
  • Airport transfers
  • All accommodation
  • All meals
  • Discount at Cotswold Outdoor
  • Monthly payment plan, on request

Not Included

  • The Altitude Centre training
  • Tanzanian visa
  • Personal equipment
  • Tips for local and western guides
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Items of a personal nature – laundry, room service, alcohol etc
  • Any unforeseen increase in park fees
  • Any additional costs associated with leaving the expedition early including any airline surcharges as a result of changing return airline tickets.
  • Post summit accommodation if wanted.

Pics & Vids

Itinerary

DAY 1 : Early am departure from the UK

A day flight to Kilimanjaro followed by and evening transfer to our stunning hotel.

Dinner and a comprehensive safety and logistical briefing will then take place with Rolfe, our Tanzanian guides and support team. We will go through all the O2 and delivery system that are in place for backup. After dinner its time for bed! We have a big 36 hours in front of us!

DAY 2 : Early breakfast. Depart hotel at 05:00am

Your exciting journey begins at the Umbwe gate (1,621m) and finishes at Arrow Glacier camp (4911m) and the plan is:

05.00 Transfer to Umbwe gate (1,621m).

Sign into the National Park and have the first of many O2 saturation and pulse rate recordings.

06.30 We start to trek! Through out the whole journey we will be accompanied by a very accomplished western guide, and an equally accomplished African guide, who will be familiar with this style. We will also have a team of porters. The porters will be carrying additional back up O2 along with the 3 different delivery systems. (Enough for the whole team!) We also will have an advance crew that will be trekking in front of us who will be preparing all the pop-up camps ready for our arrival. Each camp will have an array of hot foods, drinks and snacks. Additionally, each camp with be stocked with 02 as a precaution.

Our aim today is to reach Arrow Glacier camp / high camp at 4,911m where we will sleep for a few hours before attempting the summit this same night.

Dawn will greet us as we ascend through rarely-visited equatorial rainforest. As we climb a broad, jungle-covered ridge towards our first stop, Forest camp (2,850m), we begin to appreciate the steep terrain and the immensity of the forest around us, through gaps in the trees.

Surrounding us are numerous endemic plants unique to the mountain. Our 360 local team will have climbed to Forest camp the day before and set up a delicious fruit and snack table and prepared hot drinks for us to refuel on our arrival.

We’ll stay here for 20 – 30 minutes and your Western guide will once again record your O2 saturation and pulse rate. Our next stop is Barranco camp at 3,871m.

As we climb above Forest camp, we leave the rainforest behind and enter the thick, moss-covered heath zone. The terrain steepens significantly, and we gain altitude quickly. Rewarding us for our efforts are distant views of the enormous Meru, an impressive 4,600-metre-high volcano to the west.

Our advanced crew will have prepared for our arrival at Barranco camp before us and set up a dining tent and a rest area. Here we will once again monitor your 02 saturation and pulse and determine whether you will need supplementary O2 from this point onwards. (Unlikely as you would have trained with the Altitude Centre up to the height of 5000m so we are expecting you won’t need any throughout the trip!)

After a light 3-course lunch and a power nap we continue to the next camp, Arrow Glacier camp at 4,911m. The terrain becomes rocky and surrounding us are Giant Groundsel and Lobelias, plants only found on East African mountains.

Before we reach the distinct Lava Tower (4,200m) we are likely to encounter trekking teams attempting the summit from the Machambe or Lemosho route but once above the tower it is unlikely, we’ll see people until we reach the summit.

Our advanced crew will have arrived at the high camp before us and set up your personal tent, another dining tent and brought up more supplementary O2 as back up.

Our aim is to reach this camp before sunset.

The time available to us for sleep, rehydration and re-fuelling at the high camp is determined by how long it has taken us to reach this point. Our aim for the nighttime ascent is to be given a wake-up call at 23:00 and after breakfast commence our ascent to the summit at midnight.

Your Western guide will determine which O2 flow rate you will sleep on (if any) and after breakfast which flow rate you will climb on to the summit (if any).

DAY 3 : Summit day

Today we are going to achieve what few others have achieved. With the guidance of your Western guide and our local 360 team we will most likely be at the summit of Kilimanjaro before sunrise and enjoy the feeling of being the highest person in Africa as the sun breaks the dawn!

We will steadily climb the final 1,000m through the steep and exposed Western breach and to traverse the crater before the final ascent of the steep rocky slope to the summit is. Remember you have an above average fitness level. You can draw on a huge amount of previous expedition experience and have extensively trained with the Altitude Centre. Achieving the summit within 24 hours will be relatively achievable. It’s not just a goal; it’s a rewarding challenge to pursue!

For a special half hour, you hope to enjoy being highest person on the continent. Your efforts in getting to this point are rewarded by an incredible sunrise and the knowledge that you have achieved something incredibly unique. This is what life is about.

Once the summit has been reached it is time to traverse and descend the entire mountain to the distant Mweka gate, a challenging 4,600m below us.

Before us lays not only the same challenging terrain we climbed up through but a few rounds of cold Kilimanjaro beer, a fantastic meal at our boutique African hotel and a welcome hot shower. The finishing line and those refreshing beers may be 8 – 10 hours away but we bet they’ll never have tasted better. Along the way our same advanced team will have prepared a celebration at Millenium Camp (3,829m) where a large buzz will be waiting. Music, dancing and laughter (and of course a few beers and a hot meal!). We will use this opportunity to thank our whole team, who we have enjoyed this incredible challenge with. Remember they LOVE this as much as we do! It breaks the norm and the norm is there to be broken.

Once down we will be met by our 4X4s and whisked off for a bit of a further celebration, shower and delicious meal and then your evening flight home that will have you back the next day in time for a late Sunday lunch!

There is also an option to embrace the African hospitality a little more and you can also enjoy an additional night taking a 6am day flight on day 4. This will see you home for a late supper!

DAY 4 : Arrival back to the UK in time for lunch or if on a day flight, in time for supper

Today you arrive home… Your head will be buzzing – and you will be left trying to catch your breath on what on earth just happened!

These are subject to minor changes depending on flight arrival and departure times, weather, group dynamics and fitness and so on, but the itinerary outlined provides an excellent indication of the trek and what you will experience.

Kit List

Bags & Packs

Kit bag

A 90 -120L duffel bag to transport kit.  A duffel bag is a strong, soft, weather resistant bag without wheels but with functional straps for carrying. Suitcases and wheeled bags are not suitable

Daysack

Approx. 40L capacity. Your day to day pack that you carry with your daily essentials, fitted with shoulder straps and importantly a waist belt

Waterproof rucksack cover

To protect rucksack from rain

Drybags

Nylon rolltop bags that keep fresh clothing and other important items like passports and iPods dry in the event of a total downpour that seeps into your kitbag. Good for quarantining old socks.

Please note that many countries are now banning plastic bags. We would always advise buying re-usable nylon rolltop bags for keeping your kit dry (and sustainability).

Small kit bag or light bag

This is for any kit you intend to leave at the hotel and could even simply be a heavy duty plastic bag

Padlocks

For use on your kit bag for travel and on the expedition plus your hotel bag

Quantity: 2

Sleeping Gear

4 Season sleeping bag

You should get a sleeping bag rated to -15C and choose a sleeping bag that functions within the comfort rating of this temperature. A silk sleeping bag liner will enhance this rating on the coldest nights

Sleeping bag liner

Silk is best for keeping the bag clean and you a little warmer

Sleeping mat

A sleeping mattress is supplied. However a sleeping mat is advised for warmth rather than comfort

Headwear

Warm headgear

This can be a warm hat, beanie, balaclava, anything to reduce the heat loss from your head

Wide brimmed hat

Keeps the sun off exposed areas like ears and the nape of the neck

Buff/Scarf

Essential for protection from the sun and dust

Sunglasses

Category 4 minimum. Worth spending money on good UV filters.  Julbo is our preferred supplier

Sunblock

Buy the highest SPF you can find as UV intensifies with altitude

Lip salve

Sun cream will not work on your lips and they are very susceptible to burn without proper protection

Upper Body

Base layer

This is the layer closest to the skin and its principal function is to draw (wick) moisture and sweat away from the skin. You can also get thermal base layers for use at higher altitudes that provide an additional insulative layer while still drawing sweat during times of high exertion

Quantity: 1

Mid layer

These are typically lightweight microfleeces or similar technology that provide varying degrees of warmth and insulation without being overly bulky or heavy to pack

Quantity: 1

Gilet (optional)

Optional – A great low volume additional layer to keep your core warm, whether down, primaloft or fleece

Light insulated jacket

A lighter jacket such as a Primaloft or lightweight down which can be worn at lower to mid altitudes is a great addition to your kit offering greater flexibility with layering

Soft Shell (optional)

Optional – These should be windproof (not all are) and insulative. They are mostly made of soft polyester and sometimes resemble a neoprene finish which makes them very mobile and comfortable to wear. While offering a degree of weather repellence, they are not waterproof

Hard Shell

These jackets are thin, highly waterproof and windproof and worn over all other items of clothing. You’ll find these made of Gore-Tex or other proprietary waterproof yet breathable technology. Inexpensive hard shells that aren’t breathable will prevent evaporation, making you sweat intensely and are not recommended

Down jacket

Generally made using feathers, these are the ultra-warm and insulated layer that are used when at camp or in extremely cold environments. Those with a windproof outer fabric will provide the best insulation. Ask advice in the shop (or from us) when buying the jacket and mention you want it rated to -10C and the assistant will recommend the correct fill for you

Warm gloves

Consider liners or a light polartec pair for lower altitudes and evenings, and a thicker waterproof pair like ski gloves for higher altitudes

Ski gloves or heavy mitts

Summit night can be bitterly cold, a spare pair of ultra warm gloves for this night is recommended, to be worn with a liner glove underneath, and waterproof (and windproof) layer over

Lower Body

Trekking trousers

These tend to be polyester so they dry quickly after a shower and weigh little in your pack. Consider perhaps a pair with detachable lower legs as an alternative to shorts

Softshell trousers

Windproof or thermal lined trekking trousers for higher altitudes and the summit phase. Thermal leggings can still be worn underneath if necessary

Long Johns

Thermal insulation for the lower body

Waterproof overtrousers

Like the jacket, an essential piece of kit to stay dry and should also be Goretex

Underwear

Merino or wicking material, not cotton. How many pairs you take is entirely up to you

Feet

Walking boots

Well worn in 4 season waterproof boots with mid to high ankle support

Trekking socks

Start with lighter socks lower down, working up to thicker pairs for higher up as it gets colder. Some people like a clean pair every day, others are happy to change every other day – that’s a personal choice

Spare laces

Just in case

Hydration

Water bottles/bladder

3L equivalent – Camelbaks are useful at lower altitudes but have a tendency to freeze up at higher altitudes without insulation tubes, Nalgene bottles are better at altitude. We suggest a combination of a 2L bladder and 1L bottle or 2 x ½L bottles to put in your jacket for summit night

Water purification

Although generally all water is boiled some prefer to double up and add purification tabs as well. Always good to have in your bag

Toiletries

Wash kit

Keep it simple on the mountain. Essentials are toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant. Moisturiser is advisable, everything else is a luxury!

Personal first aid kit

Your own first aid kit should contain: A basic blister kit, plasters, antiseptic, sun-protection, any personal medication, basic pain relief (paracetamol/aspirin/ibuprofen), strepsils, anti-nauseau, a personal course of antibiotics if prone to illness etc.

Personal medication

Keep this in your daypack

Wet wipes

These are great for washing when shower facilities become a thing of the past

Alcohol gel

A must have for good camp hygiene

Insect repellent

For early stages and once back down

Toilet paper

Provided on the mountain but a spare in your daysack may be useful if you need to hide behind a rock between camps

Nappy sacks or dog poo bags

Only needed to bag your toilet paper if you are caught short in between camps and for keeping your rubbish tidy in your tent

Miscellaneous

Head torch

Bring spare batteries

Trekking poles

These tend to be a personal preference but help with your stability and can dampen the pressure on the knees coming down hill

Camera

Bring plenty of spare batteries and memory cards

Penknife (optional)

Snacks

You will be fed very well and given snacks however we advise bringing a small selection as a little bit of comfort. Extra snacks can be bought en-route if needed.

Energy gels and protein bars are not suitable as they do not always agree with every body. Always test your snacks before going on an expedition to ensure they are right for you, keep you well fuelled and sit well in your tummy.

Documentation

Passport

Don’t forget this! Your passport should have at least 6 months validity.  With your passport expiry date at least six months after the final day of travel.

Copy of passport

Rarely needed but worth having just in case

Visa

Granted on arrival, it costs $50 USD for a 3 month stay, subject to change

Passport photos x 4

We need these to obtain your climbing and trekking permits

Dental check up

We recommend you have a dental check-up before your trip. New fillings can be an issue at altitude if there is an air pocket left in the gap

Money

We recommend you take at least US$350-$400 in small denominations. This will allow for $150 – $180 tip money plus any extras such as satellite phone calls and emergency funds. Small denominations are recommended as it may be difficult to obtain change and it will be easier to divide tip money

Travel insurance

Copy of own travel insurance details.  And relevant contact numbers.

We have a partnership with True Traveller and would recommend that you contact them when looking for travel insurance for your trip with 360. However, it is vital that you ensure that the insurance cover they offer is suitable for you, taking your personal circumstances (items to be insured, cancellation cover, medical history) into account. Many other insurance providers are available and we do recommend that you shop around to get the best cover for you on the expedition you are undertaking.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the appropriate insurance for your intended trip.  To include medical evacuation and coverage up to the maximum altitude of this trip.

FAQs

Kilimanjaro Flash Ascent

Who is this challenge for?

Someone who wishes to break the traditional expedition boundaries and pushout into the exciting new era of mountain climbing. Prospective challengers must have banked up a combination of previous expeditions, ultra-marathons and / or similar endurance events. Your mental and physical fitness is key to your success!

To reach the summit of Kilimanjaro within 24 hours from Umbwe gate requires a high degree of fitness and prior climbing experience.  A typical profile for someone who is interested in attempting this challenge is the completion of the seven summits or similar prior experience. A typical applicant for this challenge will have done long summit days, of over 18 -20 hours in duration and will be able to competently move over complex terrain. You will need to arrive with a fine-tuned personal hydration and nutrition system and have a thorough understanding of your own personal limitations.

How many clients to guide ratio?

We run this on a 1 max 2 clients to guide ratio. It is considered a private and bespoke expedition.

This means you can set you dates and style as we go! It gives us the most flexibility in a successful and safe summit.

I have not climbed many peaks before or been on many expeditions, but I am keen. Can I join?

We are very open and inclusive and will be delighted to chat over what you do and why you feel this is for you. Nothing is impossible. Fitness and pre acclimatisation will be key and with a decent lead time this is all possible to achieve.

Why do we climb the Umbwe / Western Breach combination for this challenge?

We are here to not only push the boundaries but to experience the most wonderful sides of Kilimanjaro. This is simply the most spectacular route. The Western Breach is considered a technical route therefore uncrowded and takes in aspects of the mountain few other climbers get to experience. We chose this combination for these reasons, while coincidently it offers the most direct and shortest line to the summit.

What is the route like?

This route broadly follows a volcanic ridgeline that leads to a small alpine cirque where Barranco camp is situated. From there it ascends a steep scree slope to our campsite at Arrow Glacier at the bottom of the Western Breach. The Western Breach itself offers short sections of technical scrambling before we reach the rim of the volcano.  We will don our helmets and use additional equipment such as a rope for safety. On occasions we will need ice axes and crampons which will be portered with us as back up.

From here we descend into the cauldron before climbing a short but steep slope to reach the summit of Kilimanjaro.

Kilimanjaro is famous for its unique range of habitats. This route showcases the best of these environments. We start our ascent in equatorial rainforest which host a vast range of plant and animal species endemic to this mountain. From here we move into dense, moss-covered heath forest before entering a broad moorland zone which hosts unique plant species like the Giant Groundsel and Lobelias. Above this lies the barren alpine zone and the desert like upper slopes of this mighty volcano.

How technical is the route?

This is a trekking route with technical sections.  It follows a well-marked but varied trail to the summit. The start of the route, in the rainforest is quite muddy and wet, above it the ground dries up and becomes rocky. The only technical difficulties on the route are on the Western Breach itself. Here there are several sections of rocky terrain that offer grade 2 scrambling which should well be in the climber’s ability to surmount. Our guides carry a rope to secure our passage through these sections.

How much ascent / descent is on this route?

Total ascent is 4,635 metres. Total descent is 4,679 metres.

What should my climbing skills be like?

The sections of scrambling encountered on the Western Breach are short and generally do not surpass grade 2 on the international scrambling grade. Minimal technical climbing skills are required but being sure footed and nimble with good balance is key. Specialist technical climbing equipment might be needed to climb these sections (for safety reasons only) and applicants wishing to complete this challenge should be confident in dealing with this type of terrain. The guides accompanying you on this challenge will be carrying to safeguard you on these short sections and to expediate your ascent.

How fit do I need to be to do this challenge?

For your enjoyment and success you will need to be extremely fit to complete this challenge. As a minimal requirement you should be able to carry a 5 – 7 kg load, continuously uphill, without long rest periods for 18 -20 hours. Long summit days on mountains like Aconcagua, Denali and Mount Everest are a perfect example of what level of fitness is required to attempt this challenge.

Apart from trekking equipment what specialist equipment do I need for this route?

360 will have with us rope, crampons and ice axes as backup for use on the western breach! This is backup if conditions dictate the need, which is rare! You will need a climbing helmet to complete this challenge.

How long does it take to reach the summit?

The aim of this unique challenge is to reach the summit of Kilimanjaro from the Umbwe gate within 24 hours. Our past challengers’ times have varied from 9 hrs and 50 minutes to 22 hours to complete this challenge.

Who are the guides accompanying me on this challenge?

Your guides accompanying you are not only Kilimanjaro specialists but world class expedition leaders. We provide you with a local crew who has ascended the mountain at least 400 times and an International Expedition Leader who has led multiple expeditions to 8000m peaks as well as having completed the Seven Summits challenge numerous times and Kilimanjaro over 60 times. Their job is climbing mountains and they relish this challenge of ascending Kilimanjaro within 24 hours just as much as you. Both your western guide and your local team will be familiar with Rapid Kilimanjaro ascents.

Altitude Training & Challenge Preparation

What is the best way to train for such an endeavour?

There are two training plans you need to follow for this expedition. One will be focused on your physical fitness and one is focused on altitude. Both are vital components for the completion of this expedition.

Can I train for altitude?

It is paramount to be properly acclimatised to 5,000m before coming out to attempt this challenge. Being properly acclimatised means you will be able to achieve this challenge without the need for supplementary oxygen, although we will have plenty as back up! Prior acclimatisation can be achieved by joining our expeditions to 6000m peaks immediately before commencing this climb and/or by being supported by The Altitude Centre in the UK. We have teamed up with the TAC and part of the adventure will start before you even reach Kilimanjaro.

Is prior acclimatisation with the Altitude Centre needed for this challenge?

Prior acclimatisation with The Altitude Centre in London (or remotely via them) is a pre-requisite for this challenge. The three-part plan with them will include:

1, An advanced mountaineering consultation

2, High altitude training

3, Hypoxic tents

How far in advanced from the climb should I start the training with the Altitude centre?

The Altitude Centre tailors your acclimatisation plan around your schedule in the lead-up to the climb. The plan we put together with you incorporates your work/life/social commitments, as well as your current training and training history. The plans will range from 2 weeks to 8 weeks, depending on your initial consultation with The Altitude Centre team.

Can you give me more details on each of the three-part plan from the Altitude centre? First up, what is involved in an advanced mountaineering consultation?

The aim of the Advanced Mountaineering Consultation (even for those who have climbed before) is to understand your genetic suitability for Altitude Sickness with no prior exposure having taken place (the same conditions we will see on Kilimanjaro). We will test your passive, active and cognitive function while at altitude and assess how we can help you best. The data collected will help us tailor your acclimatisation plan to build on your strengths and combat any weaknesses.

Can you give me more details on each of the three-part plan from the Altitude centre? What is high altitude training?

High-altitude training will take place primarily at home via the use of a home generator. These systems can generate altitudes up to 6500m and will allow us to use all 3 modalities of pre-acclimatisation. You will conduct IHE (passive), IHT (exercise) and Sleep sessions at altitude from home. The Altitude Centre team will provide all the training plans you need so nothing is left to chance with the Kilimanjaro weekend!

How long should I plan to sleep in the Hypoxic tent prior to the summit of Kilimanjaro?

As we mentioned above, the more hours of exposure you can get in the tent, the better acclimatised your body will be to the altitudes it will be exposed to on Kilimanjaro. A minimum of 14 nights sleeping at altitude should be the aim, but the more the better!

I live outside of the UK, is this support for the Altitude centre still possible?

Yes, The Altitude Centre work all across Europe and further afield so just ask!

Is the altitude training and acclimatising included in the costs?

No, this is a very separate cost and depending on your plan with TAC depends on the costs. We leave all of this in their hands!

When do I need to speak to The Altitude Centre about my training?

As soon as you book the trip, we will put you in touch with our friends at The Altitude Centre to book your initial consultation. The Altitude Centre recommends booking your consultation as early as possible to give you plenty of time to put a plan in place for your training ahead of the trip of a lifetime!

As I will come full acclimatise do I need supplementary oxygen?

The plan is not to use supplementary O2 BUT it is paramount that we will have it for back up with multiple delivery systems for your comfort and safety. During the expedition there will be O2 in all camps and we will have dedicated porters trekking with us caring your personal supply.

During the expedition your guide team will be monitoring your O2 saturation levels from the starting point to the summit at regular intervals. In the past our challengers have only begun to use Oxygen once they reached high camp (Arrow Glacier of Barafu at 4,600 to 4,900m respectively). They used it as a precaution only and they slept on Oxygen (2 l/p/min) for 4 -6 hours, before continuing 3 l/p/min to the summit. Having O2 helps with your rest, your speed and of course your hydration. It also helps with your body battling the colder elements that we feel at altitude.

If I use O2, what delivery systems do you use?

We have an array of delivery systems in situ for different stages of the trek

  • Nose canula for sleeping / or trekking early on
  • Non rebreathing face mask for trekking past 4500m and on the trek to the summit – this mask delivers a higher concentrated O2 to the user
  • Rebreathing face mask for sleeping

All the tubes will have neoprene covers for them to prevent freezing.

Should I use Diamox?

360 will be working closely with the Altitude Centre and once your training is complete we will decide if we should add Diamox to your acclimatising plan. If decided, we will be starting you on 250MG morning and night 24 hours prior to leaving the UK. You will stay on Diamox until summit night.

Guides and Porter team

Porters welfare: Is 360 part of the Porters program? KPAP.

Yes, we are and we have one of the highest ratings possible. We are very proud of this – our porters and crew make your climbing and trekking possible. They sing and dance up the mountain giving us an incredible experience. In return, we do our utmost to support them back.

The mistreatment of porters can be a troubling challenge in the climbing industry. We are an approved Partner company with the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project – KPAP – and the International Mountain Explorers Connection – IMEC – Partner for Responsible Travel Program.

We voluntarily participate with KPAP’s monitoring activities and allow KPAP to evaluate the treatment of our porters on all of our climbs. By climbing with us you can be assured that your porters are well taken care of.

KPAP also helps to improve the working conditions of porters by:

  • Lending donated clothing at no charge to the mountain crew for use while climbing
  • Educating the public on porter working conditions and climbing responsibly
  • Providing industry guidelines for proper porter treatment
  • Offering educational classes to porters

Is 360 part of the IMEC and a Partner for Responsible Travel?

Again, yes we are. This is a very important aspect of 360 operations. Please do chat to 360 and ask for the full documentation on this to see how we operate, not only in Africa on Kilimanjaro but globally.

 

How else do you support porters and local guides?

At 360, we LOVE what we do and are always striving to be better and do more good things.

We provide extensive training to our African team, such as the REC Level 4 Remote Emergency First Aid Course, conducted by UK expert in Rescue & Emergency, Allan Shaw. 

Not only does this keep our standards high and you all safe but we are helping build the skills of our guides, enabling them to push forwards in their careers.

Food and Water

What is the food like on the mountain?

All meals on the mountain are of the highest possible standard. In fact considering that our cooks have to produce the best possible meals in a wilderness setting using only the most basic of facilities (gas burners) the meals they produce are nothing short of a miracle. The meals are always fresh, nutritious and varied. We ensure that dietary preferences are always met and that the best local ingredients are used. The underlying aim is to provide balanced nutritional meals packed with carbohydrates to re-fuel hungry bodies and to keep stores replenished.

Snacks will also be provided at pop-up camps en route. You are invited to bring along any of your favourite snacks and goody bags from home if you want. Concentrate on high energy food-stuffs such as Jelly Babies or nuts to give you that little boost on an arduous day.

I have food allergies, can these be catered for?

Absolutely, please inform the office of any allergies or intolerances and we will ensure that these are taken into account on the trek.

Why do you advise against packing protein bars or energy gels as snacks?

Many people get sucked into bringing along protein bars and energy gels, having never tried them before they embark on the trek.

This can leave them constipated and in excruciating pain at altitude.

We recommend trialling your snacks before you get on the mountain and see what works for your body. Every body is different.

This advice comes from 360 operating on Kilimanjaro for 20+ years, with co-founder Rolfe having summited over 60 times. Feel free to get in touch with us to chat over best snacks to pack with you on the mountain.

Accommodation

Will the camp be freshly set up or will we be staying at existing camps at set sites on the way up?

Our local camp crew will set up the tents for you. We send them ahead to secure the best site and to get the site prepared before you arrive. We will only be resting for a short time – this very much depends on when we arrive into camp and the pace we are keeping – but it is important to take rest when we can.

Will the toileting facilities will be “au naturel”, or pit latrines?

We bring along our own toilet tents with Portaloo units. This method allows us to maintain the best possible levels of hygiene without contributing to the toilet problems that can happen at some camps.

Health and Safety

What is the emergency backup plan?

Our extensive experience and knowledge of the mountain has led us to understand precisely where and how to best carry out an evacuation from any given location.   As with all our expeditions we plan for the unexpected and have developed a thorough evac plan for any emergency that could arise. We always carry satellite phones and radios on the hill with us. We have unrestricted use of the mountain shelters and carry our own personal stretchers. We carry a Gamow bag and will have registered our team with the helicopter rescue service prior to the expedition.

Please remember you are with an expert team of leaders and guides who have worked in remote environments for decades. You have chosen one of the best providers in the industry and your safety is of paramount importance to us.

What happens if there is a problem on the mountain?

All our guides are in communication with each other by phone and radio. In addition the national park operates a rescue service on all the routes we use, this service is linked by radio to the park headquarters. In the vast majority of cases of emergency rescue the problems can be attributed to altitude and if so the solution is immediate descent to lower altitudes. Our local mountain crew are all experienced in dealing with any problems that arise. Our guides are either doctors or qualified with the highest standard of wilderness first aid qualifications and can handle any emergency to the highest level of competency, in the vast majority of cases without national park assistance.

What happens if I get altitude sickness?

There are different types of altitude sickness. Although our acclimatisation regime ensures that everybody enjoys the best possible chance of getting high on the mountain, altitude related problems can happen. The most common of this is high altitude sickness – AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness). Symptoms for this can include headaches, nausea and vomiting.

This sounds quite dramatic but generally this is just the process your body naturally goes through to adjust to the higher altitudes and the reduced partial pressure of the atmosphere. For some people, the acclimatisation process takes a little longer than others.

With your altitude training in collaboration with The Altitude Centre you should be in a good position and be well-accustomed to trek on the mountain. We will be carrying extra Oxygen to aid this too.

For our guides, this is all part and parcel of ascending a near 6,000m peak and, although we assess each client’s personal situation carefully, we also further consider the compounding effects of dehydration brought on by excessive vomiting and loss of appetite.

AMS might sound frightening but our guides are fully trained (and highly experienced) in helping relieve your personal symptoms and providing advice on how to best proceed.

What can I do to help prevent AMS?

In most cases AMS can be avoided by following these guidelines:

  • Drink lots of water
  • Walk slowly
  • Stay warm
  • Eat well

We recommend that you familiarise yourself with the various affects that altitude can cause.

During your pre-climb briefing, we describe altitude sickness to you in detail, and advise you how to cope with it. The most important thing is not to fear it, but to respect it and to know how to deal with it and more importantly tell your guides how you feel. Our guides have seen every condition that the mountain produces, and they will always know how to deal with problems.

In the lead up to your challenge, working with The Altitude Centre to prepare for your Flash ascent will be key.

Is there a risk of getting HACE (High Altitude Cerebral Edema) and HAPE (High Altitude Pulmonary Edema) on the mountain?

HACE and HAPE rarely occur on Mount Kilimanjaro and our guides are fully trained in the recognition of the onset of these problems and will deal with them at the first sign of their development.

Do I need to take Malarial drugs?

The Malaria protozoa generally does not survive over an altitude of 1,500m so once commencing the actual Mount Kilimanjaro climb Malaria poses no threat. The entry gate is at 1,800m. Both Moshi and Arusha however are slightly lower than this and particularly after the wet season there are frequent incidents of malaria amongst the local inhabitants of these towns. Your time in these places is however quite short and if precautions such as sleeping under mosquito nets, applying insect repellent and wearing long sleeve shirts and trousers are taken then the chances of contracting this disease is significantly reduced. If you are extending your stay in Tanzania to visit other areas, for example, doing the safari option, then you should take them.

You advocate taking a small first aid kit, what should it contain?

We advocate a little bit of self-help on the mountain. If you have a blister developing for example then please stop take off your boot and treat it before it becomes a problem. Your own first aid kit should contain: a basic blister kit, plasters, antiseptic, high factor sun protection, your own personal medication (sometimes your porter might get to camp after you and if he is carrying your medication you may not be able to take it according to the regime you are used to), basic pain relief (aspirin and Ibuprofen), a personal course of antibiotics if prone to illness. Foot powder in your socks every morning is great for preventing blisters. Generally the best approach to take when packing your first aid kit is to include such basic medications as if you would on a family or personal holiday.

Your 360 expedition leader and / or a local porter (we call the ambulance man!) carries a very comprehensive first aid kit which contains a wide range of supplies and medications. They are fully trained to use whatever is needed for any emergency that may arise. We advocate keeping this in mind when packing your own first aid supplies and keeping your own FA kit as compact and light as possible.

What vaccinations do I need?

The following vaccinations are recommended:

  • Hepatitis A
  • Typhoid
  • Diphtheria
  • Tetanus
  • Polio
  • Yellow Fever (see below)

This list is not absolute and it is important you should see your GP Surgery or travel clinic for latest recommendations and to ensure you are up to date on necessary vaccinations.

Do I need to have a yellow fever certificate?

The advice about Yellow Fever vaccinations for travelling to Tanzania changes frequently and you must check with your GP surgery or Travel Clinic for the latest advice before you travel. We cannot advise you on this due to the frequency with which the advice changes.

Kit

What is the best type of footwear to use?

Because of the huge variety of terrain encountered when ascending this mountain it is very important to wear the right footwear. Boots should be sturdy, waterproof, insulated against cold temperatures and offer adequate ankle support. In addition it is highly recommended that your boots are well worn in to prevent the formation of blisters.

A wide range of suitable boots are on the market and further advice as to which brands are available can be found online or at your local gear store. When in store try lots of boots on, use the ramps in the shops to test their traction, make sure they are comfortable as you will be almost living in them for days on end and they are very important.

It is not necessary to buy technical boots with crampon clips unless you plan to do more ambitious climbs in the future as crampons are not used to climb this mountain.

What do the porters carry? What is the correct porter weight?

The bags the porters carry should be of a soft material (“duffel bag” or rucksack variety) and should not be a suitcase or hard bodied metal case. This bag should weigh no more then 15kg when packed for the mountain. On all our Mount Kilimanjaro trips we have found this weight to be ample and usually everybody can plan to take only enough clothes and equipment needed for the mountain.

Park regulations restrict porters to carrying 20kg only and on top of your luggage, porters also have to carry a share of the food, kitchen equipment, camping equipment and their own survival gear.

Inside the bag carried by the porters should be a change of clothing, your clothing for higher up the mountain, sleeping bag, personal toiletries etc.

Are down jackets necessary?

They are highly recommended and are worth their weight in gold particularly when at the summit. Our guides wear them every evening from the first camp up. A layer system comprising of several layers of base and thermal layers, fleeces, and a thick jacket will suffice on most summit attempts but nothing beats the efficiency of a good down jacket (especially when topped with a water proof layer).

How warm does my sleeping bag need to be?

Should be rated within the -10C comfort zone. From the first camp upwards it is not unusual to experience frosty nights and a good night’s sleep is important to giving you the best chance to climb this mountain. Ensure you get a sleeping bag that has this temperature rating at this comfort zone rather than as its extreme zone.

Our guides take sleeping bags rated to well below -10C to ensure that they are warm at night. 3 season sleeping bags can be enhanced by using an inner silk liner (or similar), and ultimately by draping your down jacket over you. The idea is to be as comfortable and warm as possible and henceforth to ensure plenty of sleep. It is important to remember that down sleeping bags work by your own body heating the down that’s inside the bag. Once you have warmed the bag up the feather down will retain the heat and ensure that you sleep at a temperature that’s your own body temperature. For best results wear as little as possible when inside your sleeping bag. Our guides will often only wear a set of thermals in their bag. It is important for the bag to trap the heat. By wearing multiple layers of clothing your clothing will trap this heat and your bag will not function properly.

Is it possible to rent equipment before I go?

You can rent equipment from our friends at www.outdoorhire.co.uk. Look under Partner Kit Lists, 360 Expeditions and Mount Kilimanjaro. However, we do advocate the use of personal equipment when it comes to footwear, your boots should be well worn in to your own feet.

What clothing is suitable for when we come back from the mountain?

Tanzania almost straddles the equator and daytime temperatures are warm. Although around 30% of the population in Moshi and Arusha are Muslim there is not a very strict dress code for foreigners. When in Rome do as the Romans. Shorts and T-shirts are fine to wear during the day. Evening wear generally tends to be casual with long trousers and casual shirt appropriate for all hotels and restaurants. Tanzanians are generally quite conservative in their dress code and are generally well dressed despite their situation in life.

The Weather

What is the best time of the year to climb the mountain?

The optimal climbing seasons are late December through to early March when the daytime temperatures are the warmest and there is a reduced cloud cover. June through to October are also good as the daytime conditions are generally cooler but clear. Bear in mind that this time-frame coincides with the European and USA holiday season and that the routes may be busy. In October the crowds tend to vanish.

How cold can it get?

The temperature at the top of the mountain can vary widely. Sometimes it is only a degree or two below freezing, but visitors should be prepared for possible temperatures as low as minus 25 Celsius, especially in conjunction with wind chill.

Travel

Do I need to book my own flights to Tanzania?

360 Expeditions will be booking flights on your behalf. We provide confirmation of flight times and departure terminal approximately three weeks before your departure date. Please be aware that flight schedules are subject to change. Please ensure that you have checked your flight details before you set out for the airport.

Insurance

Do I need special travel insurance for the trek?

You must carry individual travel insurance to take part in the trek. We cannot take you on the mountain without proof of insurance.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the appropriate insurance for your intended trip.  To include medical evacuation and coverage up to the maximum altitude of this trip.

Your insurance details are requested on the booking form, however this can be arranged at a later date. 360 Expeditions will be requesting your insurance details 8 weeks before your departure.

Entry into County

My passport runs out 3 months after the trek, is this OK?

Your passport should be valid for 6 months after the date the trek starts. If it runs out before you may be refused entry. It is also advisable to have a couple of photocopies of your passport in case of loss.

Do I need a visa for Tanzania?

Visas are compulsory for entry into Tanzania for UK citizens. Although these can be acquired relatively easily at the border, we recommend that you contact your nearest Tanzanian embassy to avoid queuing, unnecessary delays and potential clearance.

Tanzania High Commission UK

3 Stratford Place W1C 1AS

London, UK

Tel: +44 (0) 207 569 1470

http://tanzaniahighcommission.co.uk

Physical Fitness Training

How can I best train / prepare for climbing the mountain?

You will be expected to reach a strong level of fitness and to be able to keep up a reasonable pace in order to complete the Rapid ascent. However, we can and will ensure from your previous mountain and altitude experience and general fitness that you are ready to complete a Rapid ascent.

The 360 expedition training programs have been devised to be expedition specific. Use these as a guide but also feel free to contact us for individual advice on how best to incorporate a suitable fitness program with your own lifestyle.

How fit do I need to be for this expedition?

Having a strong level of fitness is a must for this style of expedition. It will lend itself to acclimatisation, enjoyment of the challenge, and summit success. This is not to be undertaken lightly, you will need to be at an optimal level of fitness ready for the challenge.

Finance

When is the money due for this expedition? What kind of payment do you accept?

We understand this expedition is a great financial investment and lifetime experience. Generally speaking deposits are due upon booking as we need to book your international flights well in advance. The full amount should be paid 4 months prior to departure. However having said this, our aim is to get you to the top of this mountain and we understand that personal financial situations can vary. Please contact our friendly office crew to discuss a suitable payment plan should you find raising the funds to be difficult. We have after all been in your shoes and go by the motto of where there’s a will there’s a way.

What is your cancellation policy? What is your refund policy?

Please read our terms and conditions careful before you depart. 360 Expeditions highly recommends trip cancellation insurance for all expeditions. Due to the nature and heavy costs of government and operator permits we must adhere to a stringent refund policy.

Am I correct in thinking we only need to take American Dollars with us?

American dollars are readily recognised and are easily converted to the local currency. Upon arrival there is a bureau de change at the airport as well as a tempermental ATM just beyond the arrivals barriers. Generally these provide a better rate of exchange then your hotel.

For most situations when buying gifts or small goods such as drinks or snacks etc. The use of small denomination US($) dollar bills is not a problem. Getting change for a $20 bill when buying a $1 coke will be a problem. Larger bills are good for tipping your porters at the end of the expedition and a sufficient amount should be carried with you for this. Please refer to ‘how much do we tip our local crew’ for details on how much to take for this.

How much do we tip our local crew?

Please discuss with the office team ahead of your departure.

Although you will only be a small team i.e. one or two, there will still be a substantial local team working extremely hard to ensure that your expedition runs well.

Tipping the 360 leader is entirely at your own discretion.

What happens if I need to leave the trip early?

If you need to leave early, arrangements can be made with the help of your guide. Additional costs (transport, hotels, flights etc.) will be incurred.

Electronics

Will I be able to charge my camera/phone battery on the trek?

Opportunities to charge your batteries will be limited. If you can get hold of a solar battery charger this is probably the best option. This together with making sure that you keep your spare batteries warm i.e. by keeping them near your body day and night should mean that you can keep snapping all the way!

Is there mobile phone reception on the trek?

There is mobile phone coverage but this weakens to almost non-existent above camp 2. You do sometimes receive signal on top to relay the good news though. Your 360 leader will have a satellite phone that is used in emergency situations only.

Is a travel adaptor necessary for the plug sockets in the hotel or are they like UK?

The voltage is 220v / 50Hz like the UK. Rectangular or round three-pin plugs are used.

General

Will my valuables be safe?

While we will do everything we can to provide adequate safety for the group and security for your possessions, the general rule is that if you don’t need it, don’t bring it. This includes jewellery, necklaces, rings and even watches. Your passport and money should be kept on you at all times. As with travel in any foreign country, you need to look after yourself and your possessions, and this is no different.

Has Tanzania banned plastic bags?

Tanzania has made a bold conservation move and has banned plastic bags – from production to importation and use within the country.

Visitors are advised to avoid carrying plastic bags or packing plastic bags in their luggage but please note that ziploc bags to carry toiletries will be permitted, on the basis they remain in your possession and are not disposed of within the country.  We suggest biodegradable nappy sacks and wet wipes.

We had really good support leading up to the expedition and on the mountain. The porters and the group were amazing – especially the singing and support on the summit day. I really felt that they wanted us to summit as opposed to just doing a job. The food was also amazing.

Sophie Masters, Kilimanjaro
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