Accidents on Kilimanjaro

Published: 15th April 2007
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Accidents on Mount Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro at 5964 m is the highest mountain in Africa and highest free standing mountain in the world and one of the few peaks of this height that is non-technical (i.e. you do not need ropes and pitons to climb it). As a consequence of this a significant number of tourists climb Killi every year.

Having technical experience is not necessary, however, at 5875m there is a very serious risk of altitude sickness. The founder of the Game chain stores, Barry Clements, 57, collapsed four hours into the summit push and died of a heart attack while climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

Kili is one of the popular "Seven Summits" (highest summit on each continent).

Kili is one of the easier 7 summit mountains, and suffers a rapidly melting glacier. Over 82% of it has disappeared since it was first surveyed in 1912.

On January the 5, 2006 park officials confirmed that 3 Americans were killed and another was seriously wounded along with four porters in a rockslide. The climbers and their porters were part of two expeditions, and were hit early on Wednesday by a rock avalanche, believed triggered by a combination of strong wind and melting ice, above the Arrow Glacier at about 4,877m. Park rangers ensured that the seriously injured were evacuated to a hospital in Nairobi. The climbers had been asleep in their tent before an early start for the summit of Africa's highest peak when boulders rained down on their camp. The climbers died when large rocks crushed the tent where they were sleeping Wednesday. Two of the hikers who died were found alive but did not survive the flight to Nairobi, Kenya's capital, for treatment, the acting Chief Park Warden James Wakibara said.

Kilimanjaro is one of the world's most underestimated mountains. Every year this leads to accidents and dramatic rescues on its slopes. Kili is a strenuous climb, suitable for beginners yet the mountain must be respected for size, and variety of phjysical hazards. Anyone attempting to climb Kilimanjaro should red up about mountain sickness and go with a registered company. About 30,000 tourist hikers, mostly Americans and Europeans, travel the mountainous rocky paths every year. With its diverse ecological microclimates and stunning scenery, Kilimanjaro is the most popular mountain in East Africa, vanquishing Mount Kenya, which attracts less than half the number of tourists.

Kilimanjaro is one of the safest of the Severn Sumits. Climbing with a good operater such as Mountain Kingdom Safaris gives your the best chance of enjoying your trip safely.
Roy J. Hinde M.Sc. Is a former research scientist who is a director of Wild Things Safaris and is is an environmental consultant for Mountain Kingdom Safaris.

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