Lemosho Route via Western Breach: 11 Days

Lemosho Route via Western Breach: 11 Days



Climb the steep scree and rock of the Western Breach, past Arrow Glacier to the crater rim

Tanzania Holiday Guide

My name is Idda – I’m your Adventure Planner.

Idda Oakes

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    Day 1: Arrival – Moshi
    Arrive at Kilimanjaro International airport. Meet Massawe Adventures at Kilimanjaro International Airport and transfer to Moshi Lodge. Overnight Massawe Adventure Lodge.

    Day 2: Local Tour
    After breakfast, you will be met by Massawe Adventures staff with a private vehicle and taken to the beautiful Materuni waterfalls. You will then explore the indigenous Chagga culture and village. Followed by a coffee production tour. Afterwards, you will be driven back to the Moshi Lodge. Overnight Massawe Adventure Lodge.

    Day 3: Lemosho Trailhead (2,000m/6,600ft) to Big Tree Camp (2,800m/9,100ft)
    Elevation Gain: 800 metres / 2,500 feet
    In the morning you will drive from Moshi to the Londorossi Gate, taking approximately 3 hours. Here you will complete entry formalities. From Londorossi your drive continues for around 1 hour to the Lemosho trailhead along a 4WD track. Upon arrival at the trailhead, you will eat lunch and then commence trekking through the lush undisturbed forest where you may be lucky enough to see Colobus monkeys. The path undulates, steeply in places, to arrive at the first camp after 3-4 hours of trekking. Overnight at Big Tree Camp (Mti Mkubwa Camp).

    Day 4: Big Tree Camp (2,800m/9,100ft) to Shira 1 Camp (3,500m/11,500ft)
    Elevation Gain: 700 metres / 2,400 feet
    Today your trek will begin in the forest; however, you will soon leave this ecosystem behind taking a steep track into a zone of giant heather and volcanic rock. This is a full day ascending through the lush rolling hills below the Shira Plateau. Shira is the third of Kilimanjaro’s volcanic cones. It is filled with the lava flow from Kibo and its rim has eroded and has been blasted away by the weather and volcanic action. Finally, the trail begins to ease as you reach the edge of the plateau. You will camp at Shira One after 5-6 hours of trekking. The view of Kibo from across the plateau is incredible.

    Day 5: Shira 1 Camp (3,500m/11,500ft) to Shira 2 Camp (3,800m/12,500ft)
    Elevation Gain: 300 metres / 1,000 feet
    Your third day on the mountain consists of a trek across the Shira Plateau with an optional climb to Shira Cathedral (3,880m). Shira is one of the highest plateaus on earth. The day finishes with a gradual climb to Shira 2 Camp. Trekking time without the optional excursion is approximately 3 hours. Including the optional acclimatisation trek to the peak of Shira Cathedral will add approximately 1 hour to your trekking day.

    Day 6: Shira 2 Camp (3,800m/12,500ft) to Lava Tower Camp (4,550m/14,900ft)
    Elevation Gain: 750 metres / 2,400 feet
    Your climb today will take you steadily up and over the expansive ridgelines of the high desert to Lava Tower. The trek to the base of Lava Tower is about 4 hours. This tower is a 300-foot-high volcanic plug. If energy allows, you can scramble to the top of Lava Tower for fabulous panoramic views.

    Day 7: Lava Tower (4,550m/14,900ft) to Arrow Glacier Camp (4,800m/15,700ft)
    Elevation Gain: 250 metres / 800 feet
    Today you will continue the climb towards the Western Breach ascent route. Rather than traversing farther around the southern slopes of the mountain, you ascend up and slightly westward, climbing easy terrain through scree and rocky ridges. The ascent gives stunning views of the Western Breach Wall and the Breach Icicle. This climb will take between two and three hours. As you near Arrow Glacier and the campsite, the views open towards the west and the entire Shira plateau lies below. This camp is renowned for its spectacular sunsets casting a red glow on the wall above. This afternoon you can rest in camp in preparation for the challenging day ahead.

    Day 8: Arrow Glacier Camp (4,800m/15,700ft) to Crater Camp (5,650m/18,500ft)
    Elevation Gain: 850 metres / 2,800 feet
    In the morning you will climb the steep scree and boulders of the Western Breach that lead up past Arrow Glacier to the crater rim. There are several sections scrambling over the top of incredible lava formations. Following the crater rim, you cross the foot of the tiny Furtwangler Glacier. 6 to 7 hours of trekking will take you to your camp, set in soft sands near the retreating vertical ice walls of the Furtwangler Glacier. Rest and enjoy snacks and hot drinks in the mess tent. Afterwards opt to explore the strange lunar-like landscape of the inner crater, including a visit to Reusch Crater, the ash pit, and the glaciers. Only a few visitors that trek Kilimanjaro ever experiences the summit zone in this way.

    Day 9: Crater Camp (5,650m/18,500ft) to Uhuru Peak (5,895m/19,300ft) then descending to Mweka Camp (3,110m/10,200ft)
    Elevation Gain: 245 metres / 800 feet
    Elevation Loss: 2,785 metres / 9,100 feet
    Rise early to watch the sunrise from the summit. The climb from camp will take about one and a half hours. After a short celebration at the summit, descend along the gently sloping crater rim to Stella Point. From here descend the Mweka Route down a steep scree slope to Barafu Camp (4,600m/15,100ft) for lunch. In the afternoon continue the descent into the heather zone to Mweka Camp for the night. The trekking time from Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp will be around 6 hours. Total trekking time is around 8 hours.

    Day 10: Mweka Camp (3,110m/10,200ft) to Mweka Gate (1,830m/6,000ft)
    Elevation Loss: 1,280 metres / 4,220 feet
    Descend straight to the gate through the lush forest (2-3 hours), looking for monkeys along the way. Return to Moshi from Mweka Village.

    Day 11: Departure – Moshi

    Optional exploration of the town/souvenir shopping trip and other experiences are available depending on the client’s areas of interest.
    Massawe Adventures will ensure the client is transported to Kilimanjaro International airport in time for departure.


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