Optimal Route Selection on Kilimanjaro’s Western Breach;
introducing some of the team
John served with two British Army units before beginning life as an expeditioneer.
He has led various expeditions throughout the world. Complementary to his role with
TK he serves as a mountain safety consultant to Kilimanjaro National Park and was
responsible for determining the cause of the tragic accident of 4th January 2006
which resulted in the Western Breach assault route being closed.
He holds the verified British speed record for Kilimanjaro, has created a completely
new route on the north side of Kilimanjaro that ascends the Credner Glacier and traverses
the Crater, and has advised the National Parks authorities on environmental impact
John co-ordinates in excess of 200 Kilimanjaro expeditions annually and is currently
in training to attempt the world’s first continuous 5,000 metre vertical speed ascent
to Kilimanjaro’s summit.
Rebecca holds the woman’s world record as the fastest woman to climb Kilimanjaro,
and has participated in a number of groundbreaking expeditions, including an unsuccessful
speed ascent attempt on Everest’s North Face.
A mother of four, she is currently preparing for a new faster women’s world record
Until her mid-twenties Rebecca had no experience of expeditions or mountaineering.
As a relative new-comer to altitude, Rebecca has uniquely valuable insight into the
needs of, and challenges faced by, non-mountaineer clients. She has therefore been
able to provide the team with a very down to earth perspective and some critical
input that considers the needs of relative novices.
Rebecca is to be seen in many of the images on this site, has been integrally involved
with our research, but does not recommend the Western Breach as a preferred assault
Willy Shikuku Ooko
Willy has vast experience of mountaineering in East Africa and regularly co-ordinates
ascents of Mount Kenya. Having played a leading role in the National Outdoor Leadership
School’s Kenya programme, Willy has vast experience in training and leading people
from a wide array of backgrounds and levels of experience in wilderness environments.
Willy does not co-ordinate ascents of Kilimanjaro and was invited by Tanzania National
Parks to lead the Breach’s second accident research investigation and to present
the team’s findings to a specially assembled mountain safety board. Willy has brought
an impartial perspective to the matter of safety on the Breach.
On his third occasion to visit the face, encountering sub-surface ice formed from
glacial run-off, he expressed the view that the the risk of a fall was too high to
warrant recommendation of the route as a safe assault option on Kilimanjaro.
Imani is the Zonal Park Warden for all of Northern and Western Kilimanjaro and was
largely responsible for overseeing KINAPA’s rescue efforts and evacuation following
the tragic accident on the Western Breach on 4th January 2006. He continues to advise
TANAPA on safety matters on Kilimanjaro.
Very cautious by nature, Imani is apprehensive about the use of the Western Breach
as an assault route but continues to co-ordinate rescue teams to remain on stand-by
at Barranco Huts, 3.5 kilometres to the south-southwest of the Breach.
Imani also oversees registrations for all climbs approaching the Breach from the
Western Routes, Shira and Lemosho.