Kibo, Kilimanjaro's summit cone
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Recommendations concerning the use of the Western Breach of Kilimanjaro

 

As already discussed elsewhere, we believe that with the continued recession of the prominent r-shaped glacier beneath the crater wall, the incidence of rockfall that will affect the exposed section of the route at 5,080 metres, will increase.

 

We also believe that opening the southern (right hand) side of the Stone Train exposes climbers to an unacceptably high risk of falling, when considering that an alternative assault route may instead be used. This comment is now redundant, as the authorities now concur with us and have discontinued this option. We keep this recommendation detailed here in the event of any change in leadership within the relevant governing authorities.

 

Climbers invited to consider whether risks outweigh benefits on Western Breach

While the Western Breach affords a uniquely dramatic vantage over the Shira Plateau and offers the best views westwards of any route that is publicly accessible and sanctioned by the authorities, we nonetheless consider that these benefits may be outweighed by the route’s considerable risks and the many complications associated with evacuations from the Western Breach, and therefore advise climbers wanting to see the Western Breach and enjoy views over the Shira Plateau to instead incorporate a crater excursion into one of the other available routes on Kilimanjaro, such as Team Kilimanjaro’s Excel Series.

 

For those wishing to spend a night in the crater alternative options to the Western Breach exist

Prior to what appears to have become an increased rate of de-glaciation on the Western Breach and the resultant increased incidence of rockfall, climbers would often combine the Western Breach with the Lemosho or Machame Routes in order to gain access to the crater, from where dramatic and fascinating excursions to the Reusch Ash Pit and Northern and Eastern Ice Fields can be launched. Climbers should however be aware that it is not necessary to assault via the Western Breach in order to spend a night in the crater and that this option is easily and considerably more safely available on the following routes when assaulting via Barafu or School Hut.

 

Support offered to climbers wishing to attempt Kilimanjaro via the Western Breach

While we feel unable to recommend the Western Breach as a safe ascent route to the summit it is recognised that the nature of adventurous expeditions to hostile wilderness environments is such that a number of climbers, despite familiarising themselves with the contents of this website,  will nonetheless continue to opt to attempt to summit Kilimanjaro via the Western Breach assault route. Where this choice is made, we would request that climbers ensure that all published material pertaining to the route be carefully considered and that the accident investigation report be read thoroughly. Once a climber is able to satisfy us that they understand the substantially elevated level of risk to which they are knowingly and willingly proposing that they subject themselves, we are on hand to offer full and unreserved logistical support, preparatory advice, and leadership.

 

 

The exposed traverse that would have been necessary to attain the right hand side of the Stone Train.
The section between the top of the Stone Train and the base of the Crater Wall.

It is no longer necessary for climbers to traverse diagonally across this steep and exposed slope pictured above, a component of one of the proposed routes that we have always contended is very dangerous for inexperienced climbers to undertake.