8 DAYS LEMOSHO ROUTE
07:30am your driver will be ready at the lounge ready for transfer to the starting gate Lemosho Gate. Please note that you will need to know your passport numbers in order to complete your registry. You are advised however to leave your valuables including your passport, in the hotel safe, except for the amount in US Dollars that you will be budgeting to tip your support Crew.
The start point of the Lemosho Route is particularly inaccessible during the wet season and climbers should be prepared to walk the final 2-5 kilometres of the road following heavy rains. The journey time to reach the start point is quite long and joined to the possibility of not reaching the end of the road by vehicle.
Trek from Lemosho start point (2100m) to forest camp (2650m) – 5.4km here you spend your first night in the mountain. Mti Mkubwa Camp.
Initially trek from forest camp (2650m) to Shira 1 Camp (3610m) on the western edge of Shira Plateau (7km).
We continue on the trail leading out of the forest and into a savannah of tall grasses, heather, and volcanic rock draped with lichen beards. As we ascend through the lush rolling hills and cross several streams, we reach the Shira Ridge before dropping gently down to Shira 1 camp. The view of Kibo from across the plateau is amazing. Overnight at Shira 1 Camp 3610m.
Trek from Shira 1 camp to Shira 2 Camp (3850),
Then, continue directly across the gentle slope of the Shira Plateau towards Shira Cave camp (7.3km). After hiking for 2.5km, can you request your guide to turn towards the south and enjoy an excursion via the dramatic Shira Cathedral – only if you feel strong enough to add the additional 3km to your day’s walk. The Shira Cathedral is an impressive volcanic outcrop that marks the southern tip of the Shira Plateau. It is possible to obtain excellent views towards Kibo, to the south and to the west, from this point.
We continue to Shira 2 Camp for overnight (3 850m).
Trek from Shira 2 Camp to Lava Tower (4600m). Lunch is normally taken at the foot of the tower. Descend from Lava to Barranco Camp (3900m). Distance from Shira to Lava Tower is 7km. Distance from Lava Tower to Barranco Camp is 3km.
Arrive at camp, refresh and enjoy dinner prepared by your cook with passion!
Start hiking from the Barranco camp to Karanga camp (3995), hike approximately 6km to Karanga camp, expect to arrive around 12h00 for lunch, dinner and overnight at Karanga Camp. (An after lunch acclimatization hike could be a good idea should you feel up to it).
Hike 4km from Karanga camp to Barafu camp. You can expect to arrive to Barafu by around 11:00am which will allow much more time to rest, enjoy dinner, prepare your summit gear and rest till 23:30pm when you will be woken up for the start of the summit attempt. (An after lunch acclimatisation hike could once again be a good idea should you feel up to it.
Aim to sleep as soon as possible after lunch as you will be woken at around 2300-0000 to begin your assault. Don’t worry about waking yourself for meals – your staff will wake you for these. You probably won’t feel like eating but please endeavour to do so as you’ll need the energy reserves. You are advised to get all your gear ready for the summit bid before you go to sleep, as you may feel disoriented when awoken for the assault.
Barafu Camp 4673
Around midnight (your guide will judge the time that is optimal for you based on your pace thus far) quit camp for the assault via Stella Point (5756m) to the summit. Tonight is very difficult – particularly the final 500m – and you’ll need to commit to fight for the summit. You will inevitably feel like giving up and going to sleep. This is normal and can be overcome with perseverance. When resting please ensure you only stand or sit and do not lie down or close your eyes.
Please trust your guide; he is very adept at judging whether your condition will allow safe progress or whether you have succumbed to a potentially dangerous condition and to proceed will not be safe. Nausea and headaches are normal and around a quarter of climbers will vomit at or near Stella Point. While very uncomfortable, these are not symptoms that are indicative of being at risk, per se. The onset of cerebral and pulmonary oedema are marked by distinctive early warning symptoms that your guide is capable of identifying. Please maintain regular dialogue with him and frequently update him on how you are feeling.
When you reach Stella Point you will sit and rest. At this point the body often thinks you have finished your uphill fight and will be trying to coerce you into giving up and turning around. While you may genuinely believe that you have already exhausted your reserves in reaching this point, this is actually very unlikely to be so. Remember that you are only 143 vertical metres short of thesummit, the journey from here is much less steep, and you have plenty of time for further pauses.
If you do feel the need to give up at Stella Point please proceed towards the summit for just two minutes before making your final decision. In most cases this act of re-establishing momentum is enough to persuade the mind and body to co-operate with your intentions and you will ordinarily find hidden reserves for a final push, reserves that you were not aware you still had. Almost there!
Keep your thoughts positive, as your thoughts become your words,
Keep your words positive, as your words become your actions,
Keep your actions positive; as your actions become your destiny you can do it!
On the summit your guide will advise how much time you can spend there in consideration of your condition, your timings, and the weather. The brain does not function very intelligently at this altitude so please remember to take many photographs in all directions or you will probably regret not having done so at a later stage.
From the summit you will descend to Stella Point and from here your guide may opt to switch left onto the loose scree, a departure from the ridge up which you ascended. On arrival at Barafu your tents will still be erected and ready for you to rest an hour or so before continuing the descent after some refreshments.
From Barafu you will usually descend to Mweka Camp (3100m) for overnight. If your guide judges that a shorter day will benefit you and preserve sore knees and ankles, he may decide to stop short at Millennium Camp (3950m) instead.
Your last night in the mountain is spent at Mweka Camp.
Distances on summit day
Barafu to Stella Point: 4.3km
Stella Point to Summit: 700mtrs
Summit to Barafu: 5km
Barafu to Mweka Camp: 7.5km
Total = 17.5km
Descend from Mweka Camp (or Millennium) to Mweka Gate (1640m).
Distance from Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate is 10km.
Transfer from the gate back to Arusha, overnight at Naura Apartment (Bed & Breakfast).