Why Climb Kilimanjaro with Alpine Ascents?
Alpine Ascents on Kilimanjaro
Ascending Kilimanjaro with a mountain climbing organization and a professional mountain guide will greatly improve your chances of success. In addition to the recent recognition in National Geographic Adventure, our Kilimanjaro expedition was selected as "The Millennium Climb" by Men’s Journal and has been highlighted in the New York Times, Travel & Leisure, MSNBC.com, Business Week.
- Lead Guide. We are one of the only outfitters to send an international mountain guide with medical training on each expedition. All of our guides are well versed in high altitude medicine and are WFR (Wilderness First Responder) or EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) certified.
- Knowledge. Alpine Ascents has been guiding Kilimanjaro for over 20 years.
- Expertise. Alpine Ascents is continually a resource for media and the press on Kilimanjaro related articles.
- Success. Likely the highest success rate of any guide service with about 90% success over the past 20 years.
- Safety. We carry Oxygen, med kit, satellite phone and local communications equipment on each expedition. After 20+ years we have a superb safety record and you are traveling with a medically trained mountain guides who has assisted climbers the world over (as opposed to a 1 time training most African guides receive). Our guides are all WFR certified (this is very rare for local guides)
- Local Staff. Separate handpicked African staff for the both the climb and safari. With a full team of climbers we can have a staff of over 50 guides, assistants, porters and cooks with 5-6 senior guides along with our Alpine Ascents guide. Climber to guide ratio: Along with our lead guide (Alpine Ascents Professional Guide) we employ local guides and generally have a 3:1 climber to guide ratio and often add Sr. staff to summit day bringing us to 2:1 (or near)
- Preparation. Comprehensive gear list with on-staff gear manager in our Seattle office.
- Food. We offer carefully planned, highly nutritious meals, prepared by trained chefs on the mountain and in the safari lodges. We are happy to give you an outline of our menu plan.
- Cybercasts. Regular updates are posted to our web site so friends and families can follow the expeditions.
- Camps. Outstanding tent locations on the mountain (one of the most frequent kudos we receive).
- Dining and Toilet Tents. We use high quality dining tents and provide toilet tents with commode at each of our camps.
- Recognized Leadership. We are noted as the top trip among guide services in national magazines and climbing books.
- 7-Day Climb. We offer a full 7 days on our climb for acclimatization (and ultimately higher summit success).
- Safari. Our safari includes 3 national parks: Tarangire, Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti. We also fly back (weather permitting) upon the last day, greatly reducing the return trip.
- Quality. We lodge in the finest hotels and travel privately by Land Cruisers.
- Experience. Over 2,000 people have climbed Kilimanjaro with Alpine Ascents.
- Quality. Superlatives like '5-Star', 'Luxurious', and 'Incredible' are often used to describe our Kilimanjaro climbing experience by our climbers.
We are proud partners of the Kilimanjaro Porters Program http://www.kiliporters.org/
As part of this project we can guarantee our porters are paid among the highest wages, foster our relationship with the local Tanzanian community and assisting local schools.
Why Climb the Machame Route?
We have chosen the Machame (aka “the Whiskey Route”) route over the Marangu and Arrow Glacier/Western Breach routes as it offers some distinct advantages. At Alpine Ascents we look for the route that will give us the most interesting wilderness experience, great acclimatization and all around enjoyment and beauty for our climbers.
- It is a far less traveled route. Most of the 15,000 yearly attempts on the mountain are made by the more direct Marangu and similar routes. The challenge and isolation of the Machame Route results in a more pristine wilderness experience.
- Other routes, (Lemosho, Arrow, Western Breach, Shira Plateau) only differ on the lower part of the mountain and all eventually (1/2 way up or less) join the Western Breach, Mweke or Machame.
- The Machame Route has extremely well maintained trails, contributing to a more environmentally friendly route and far less time in the mud.
- It offers a safer and more comfortable acclimatization schedule than other routes. The majority of Kilimanjaro climbs are attempted on other routes using a 5 or 6 day itinerary resulting in an overall success rate of only 40%. The Alpine Ascents approach on the Machame Route offers an ideal 7 day schedule and our success rate is over 95%!
- We spend 5 nights between 10,000 and 15,000 before attempting the summit which has greatly contributed to our amazing summit success.
- Our high camp is just under 16,000 ft in a private area where only a few groups are allowed to camp because we carry special environmental toilets. This gives us a nice, moderately challenging, 7-hour summit climb while getting much better rest sleeping at the lower altitude.
- The Arrow Glacier/Western Breach Route is beautiful but we do not guide this route as there is rock fall hazard on the approach to high camp (18,500 ft.) that has caused accidents in the past and that while sleeping on the crater rim can be a unique experience, it can result in climbers having a lower success rate because of attempting to sleep so high (only an hour away from the summit) while defying the mountaineering credo, “Climb High, Sleep Low”.
- The Machame Route is the most ecologically diverse route on the mountain. Our exceptional camp selection exposes climbers to the area’s remote and pristine environment via no less than 5 distinct ecological zones.
For those who may which to climb another route we are happy to arrange private climbs. Contact our office for details.
We also offer the Lemosho Route (8 days) as a private climb itinerary.
For those who want to spend more time on the mountain we also offer the lesser-traveled Lemosho Route. This route adds one day to the ascent and has far fewer climbers on the early part of the trail. (This trail eventually joins the Machame route before summit.)
Our Guiding Team
Alpine Ascents is known worldwide for the unparalleled quality of its guide staff and we send one of our world-class guides on every Kilimanjaro departure. Recent Kili guides include Todd Burleson, Eric Murphy, John Hauf, Ben Jones, and Don & Sarah Carpenter. While many other outfitters are little more than a "one man show," all of our trips are led by professional mountaineers with great flexibility in guide staff, full-time office support, logistics and access and information for other great climbs around the world.
Perhaps the most underestimated of the seven summits, Kilimanjaro at 19,340ft, is an extreme, high altitude climb. Your greatest chance of a successful summit is climbing with an experienced mountaineer and an organization that specializes in mountaineering. Our small team of guides rank among the world's best climbers and have assisted climbers in reaching technical and non-technical summits around the world. Not only do highly experienced guides increase your chances of standing on top, but of doing so in a healthy and safe manner. Alpine Ascents has the finest safety record in the industry. African experts and Himalayan veterans, our guides are familiar with the problems associated with altitude and are skilled at helping you maintain good physical health.
Our entrance into the African wilds begins as we climb Kilimanjaro via the less traveled Machame and Lemosho routes. Climbing these routes is of great importance for those wishing to fully experience Africa's vast wilderness. This highly unique path affords climbers excellent exposure to the area's remote and pristine environment. The climb takes us through rapidly changing environments while unveiling stunning views of east Africa's mountains and plains. Our success rate over the past twenty years is one of the highest in the industry.
The Kilimanjaro climb is both physically and mentally demanding. Most organizations attempt to complete the climb in six days or less while Alpine Ascents spends seven days on the mountain. This allows climbers to properly rest, acclimatize and meet our goal of maximizing chances to reach the summit. To promote full exploration of the region, we use porters to carry gear and food. For our teams of 15 climbers we employ 60-65 Tanzanian staff, including well trained and highly experienced African guides, assistant guides, camp managers, cooks, tent crew, and toilet crew. We overnight in high-quality tents, while healthy meals including fresh food, fruits and vegetables are prepared by our cook staff. (Options are available for vegetarians or those with specific dietary needs/preferences).
Success on Kilimanjaro
We have been guiding Kilimanjaro for over 20 years with over 90% success, touting one of the highest success and safety records in the industry.
We were just named one of the Top 40 Adventure Tour Outfitters in the world by Travel + Leisure Magazine, who highlighted our Kilimanjaro Trip. We are proud to be the only climbing company chosen!
Ascending Kilimanjaro with a mountain climbing organization will greatly improve your chances of success and we provide one of our Seattle-based guides to lead every scheduled expedition. Every trip is organized with the utmost care and quality - from our lead Western guide, to chef-prepared meals, to dining and toilet tents we look to take care of all elements with great attention to detail.
Alpine Ascents provides family and friends the opportunity to follow our climbs as they proceed. Utilizing state-of-the art technology, we receive regular audio dispatches from the climbers and post them on our web site. Not only does one feel the excitement of watching a team as it moves up the mountain, the archived cybercasts provide an excellent resource and learning tool when researching expeditions. Enjoy the show!