womens black ugg boots How hard is it to climb Mount Kilimanjaro
But while it’s fair to say that climbing the nearly 6,000m Kilimanjaro is not akin to climbing Everest or K2, it’s still something to be approached with care.
Altitude is the key, says Simon Mtuy, who as well as leading trips up the mountain holds the record for the quickest ascent and descent, managing in eight and a half hours what takes the tourists six days.
The essence is not bounding ahead enthusiastically, says Jon Garside, training officer of the British Mountaineering Council, who led a party of teenagers up the mountain in 2002.
“It is nothing that a reasonably fit person shouldn’t be able to do. The path is a pretty gentle gradient. It is not technically challenging.
“But you get very high very quickly. That affects the body. You have got to walk so incredibly slowly. Imagine an arthritic 90 year old walking backwards that’s probably too fast.
“If you exert your body at altitude the body will find it really hard to get its breath back.”
Some people take aspirin or diamox, a drug to treat the symptoms of altitude sickness, although this is not always recommended. People must always drink plenty of water.
“Chris Moyles is probably used to drinking lots of beer,” says Mr Garside. “If he drinks water to the same amount he will be fine.”
The Comic Relief party are doing the ascent and descent in eight days meaning they are likely to find it a bit easier than the tourists who try to do it in five and struggle to acclimatise.
On Kilimanjaro there’s none of what mountaineers call “technical climbing” moments where you find yourself rummaging for an ice axe as you cling on to an overhang. But despite this many of the tourists fail to complete the ascent.
Mr Mtuy runs expeditions using the Lemosho trail which take seven days up and four days down and says with this gentle programme he manages to achieve a 95% success rate.
And whichever route you’re doing whether it’s the touristy Marangu route, the more scenic Machame, the longer Lemosho or any of the others the key thing is mental strength. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.
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