UKH

/ Kilimanjaro

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MikeMarcus - on 18 Dec 2017
I’m wondering how many people do Kilimanjaro in a single push.

Obviously there are the likes of Kílian Jornet and Simon Mtuy who do it (summit and back) in 7-8 hours but I’m wondering if mere mortals can manage it in say 16-20 hours, after a suitable period of acclimatisation.

More of a pondering than a serious plan at this point. Not least because of the Tanzanian legal requirement for a guide and two porters per “climber”.
THE.WALRUS - on 18 Dec 2017
In reply to MikeMarcus:
It'd be perfectly do-able if you were pre-acclimitised....but quite possibly fatal if not!

I'd be interested to know if the 7 - 8hr ascents were recorded straight off the bus, or if the climbers had spent time at altitude before going for the record.
Post edited at 13:16
MikeMarcus - on 18 Dec 2017
In reply to THE.WALRUS:

Kílian Jornet certainly was up the mountain at various altitudes in the days before the record attempt. He also had a sophisticated support crew and quite a bit of equipment dotted around (portable hyperbaric chambers, etc).

More recently he’s been training for altitude by wearing a mask which limits the oxygen he’s breathing, while on a treadmill. This method of acclimatisation combined with an unsupported ascent appeals to me (but mostly in my dreams).
profitofdoom on 18 Dec 2017
In reply to MikeMarcus:

> I’m wondering how many people do Kilimanjaro in a single push. / I’m wondering if mere mortals can manage it in say 16-20 hours, after a suitable period of acclimatisation.

Good pondering, but with respect I wonder why you would want to do it in a single push of 16-20 hours (also do you mean up and down in that time or just up)? I think that would be a fairly unpleasant and very tiring or exhausting ordeal. I did it a long time ago by the ordinary route in 5 days. It was a great experience. I would never rush it personally.
Dave Kerr - on 18 Dec 2017
In reply to MikeMarcus:

I sort of briefly looked into this having been in Tanzania last summer. It seems the red tape might be the limiting factor. I suspect Killian and co got some sort of special dispensation that wouldn't be forthcoming to mere mortals and finding a guide to it in a single push might be difficult to impossible.
Dave Kerr - on 18 Dec 2017
In reply to profitofdoom:

> Good pondering, but with respect I wonder why you would want to do it in a single push of 16-20 hours

Probably the same reasons for pushing your limits in any way whether it be your rock grade, 5k time or 100 mile ultra. Fast ascents of big peaks are a really satisfying thing to do provided you have the skills and prepare properly.

MikeMarcus - on 26 Dec 2017
In reply to profitofdoom:

So because you did it in 5 days and enjoyed yourself, I shouldn't be allowed to do it in one? :-P
MikeMarcus - on 26 Dec 2017
In reply to MikeMarcus:

Update: after doing some research, emailing some guides, etc, Kilimanjaro seems like the kind of circus I assume Everest has become (although on a different scale obviously).

Due to government protectionism, etc, it's essentially impossible to summit without a guide and two porters per person, and the operators who book them point-blank refuse to guide an ascent lasting less than 5 days.

I'm going to find another post-Cullin objective which isn't a tourist industry cash cow for the country it's in.
Smythson on 26 Dec 2017
In reply to MikeMarcus:

If you want that sort of altitude cordillera blanca in Peru may be your thing. A two week pass costs about 20 or so pounds and you are free to do as you please in the range. I didn't see anyone else there let alone any rangers to check. (I don't mean that in terms of don't bother getting a pass, rather more there's no officials or red tape. Personally I don't think 20 pounds is an unreasonable sum to contribute to a very poor country.)

Safe travels,

S
Damo on 27 Dec 2017
In reply to MikeMarcus:

I'm pretty sure that anyone doing a speed ascent - and there have been many on Kili, so they are possible - would climb the route soon beforehand anyway, as familiarity increases speed.

So if you booked a longer trip to climb Kili, acclimatised elsewhere on Point Lenana etc, or home in a hypo tent etc, then did the normal route in four days or so, you'd have time for a rest and your one-push shot afterwards.

Jornet, Stangl and those guys who do these things don't get any special dispensation for being famous. They just organise things properly and pay more money to work around the standard practices.
MikeMarcus - on 27 Dec 2017
In reply to Damo:
you mean they bribe their way around the established infrastructure?

To be honest the economic desperation surrounding the whole thing kind of turns me off. I'd feel that I was a porn in and overly priced tourist trap rather than a visitor to national park with a justifiable entrance fee to cover maintenance, conservation, and development.

I understand fully that poorer countries should be able to benefit from outsiders wanting to visit the attractions contained within their borders, but there is a line when profiting becomes exploitation, and for me that is drawn somewhere between a few hundred, and thousands of $USD.
Post edited at 12:36
Pedro50 on 27 Dec 2017
In reply to MikeMarcus:

A bit harsh. I wouldn't touch Everest with a barge pole - O2, fixed ropes, dead bodies etc.

Kili is a pleasant and rewarding hill walk requiring no specialist equipment except an extra jumper. It provides some local employment and helps their economy. The slightly surreal experience of cooks, porters and guides adds to the whole thing. As a retired rock climber I enjoyed it.
The only extra thing I would have done in retrospect would have been to take all my older kit and clothing to donate to the guides. There was an excellent office in Moshi that handles all this.
fmck - on 27 Dec 2017
In reply to MikeMarcus:

Triglav is a good one to try in one day. Usually done in two days. It's a big day and you need to get going early to beat the huts emptying below the mountain. Good thing about it is you can easily do it over a weekend with plenty flights.
Daniel Wrightson - on 28 Dec 2017
In reply to Pedro50:

Second that. I walked up Kilimanjaro after I'd broken my wrist so didn't want to do anything too technical. It was slightly surreal but very pleasant. Walking round an outcrop to come upon a table laid with afternoon tea is bizarre put kind of part of the experience. There was nothing tricky about the whole experience but it was an interesting thing to do.
Dave Kerr - on 28 Dec 2017
In reply to fmck:
> Triglav is a good one to try in one day. Usually done in two days. It's a big day and you need to get going early to beat the huts emptying below the mountain. Good thing about it is you can easily do it over a weekend with plenty flights.

Lots of people do Triglav in a day. It's massively different from Kili as a challenge. I'd say if you have a head for heights and can do something like the Grey Corries or Cairngorm 4000ers in a day then you'd be ok with Triglav in a day. Depending on the choice of route of course.
Post edited at 23:10
fmck - on 29 Dec 2017
In reply to Dave
Alright how about Elbrus? Personnely I have done all three and know what one I would be happy to do in one day. Then I suppose it's down to how miserable your prepared to go or how much you value your life.
Dave Kerr - on 29 Dec 2017
In reply to fmck:

> Then I suppose it's down to how miserable your prepared to go or how much you value your life.

I'd say it's more down to how fit, able and experienced you are.

You're not the first or even the first on this thread to suggest that doing something fast = misery. It would be if you weren't fit but with the right preparation it's great fun and hugely satisfying. It's just a case of putting the training in and being mountain smart as going fast and alone does mean less of a safety net.

Dave Kerr - on 29 Dec 2017
In reply to Damo:
> Jornet, Stangl and those guys who do these things don't get any special dispensation for being famous. They just organise things properly and pay more money to work around the standard practices.

There must still be some sort of special dispensation as I'm pretty sure KJ didn't have a guide on his speed ascent? Or would they let anyone (within reason) do a solo ascent after a guided one?
Post edited at 09:13
Damo on 29 Dec 2017
In reply to Dave Kerr:

I don't know KJ but I do know Stangl and he said he had no problem doing this. It's not really a bribe, just organising it with the company, though I seem to recall his initial ascent was well faster than standard to begin with.

Anyway, if you're truly fast, it's not like they're going to catch you, eh? ;-)

People complaining about the commercialisation or crowds on such routes they're wanting to speed-climb should keep in mind that it is only because those routes are popular and guided - a known route, beaten path, no routefinding, help nearby - that you can easily and safely come along and speed climb them. Can't have it both ways.
Dave Kerr - on 29 Dec 2017
In reply to Damo:
> I don't know KJ but I do know Stangl and he said he had no problem doing this. It's not really a bribe, just organising it with the company, though I seem to recall his initial ascent was well faster than standard to begin with.

I think you might be underestimating the power of a big name athlete with big sponsors to sway the official position. At the very least I assume sponsors would meet some of the costs which are likely to be considerable.

Edit: I guess it's pretty self selecting though. They're obviously going to say no to Joe Public wanting to do a speed ascent on the grounds of experience / safety and the kind of person with suitable experience (whatever that might be in the eyes of the authorities) is likely to be a big name sponsored athlete.
Post edited at 10:15
MikeMarcus - on 09 Jan 2018
In reply to Dave Kerr:
My understanding is that there’s literally no option to do it without a guide and two porters to carry your stuff (1000ml of water each maybe?), so Kilian et al must have had strings pulled for them.

I wonder how secure the park gates are and whether there’s an option to sneak in before dawn?
Post edited at 18:06
GrahamD - on 09 Jan 2018
In reply to MikeMarcus:

Is there anything to stop the guides and porter going ahead ? or for the guides and porter to be paid but not required to actually turn up ?

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