Tuesday 12th, March, 2019
Mawenzi Technical Climbing
If you are an adventurer on mountain climbing, then probably this is one of your best places to visit in this third tallest peaks in Africa. Mawenzi is the second highest peak on Kilimanjaro seen from Kibo, Mawenzi looks less like a crater than a single lump of rough, rocky emerging from the Saddle.
This is merely because its western side also happens to be it is highest and hides everything behind it. Mawenzi’s highest point is Hans Meyer Peak at 5149m but so rumpled is this summit, and fragmented with gullies and fractures, that there are a number of other distinctive peaks including Purtscheller Peak (5120m) and South Peak (4958m).
There are also two deep gorges, the Great Barranco and the Lesser Barranco, scarring its north-eastern face.
Walking around Mawenzi, however, and you’ll realize that this peak is actually a horseshoe shape, with only the northern side of the crater having been eroded away. Its sides too steep to hold glaciers, there is no permanent snow on Mawenzi, and the gradients are enough to dissuade all but the bravest and most technically accomplished climbers.
The route descriptions and their climbing grades have changed in the 30 years since they were described Caution must be taken by climbers due to loose rocks and changing weather patterns that could turn the dry rock face into a mix of snow, ice, and rock. On January 2nd, 2018 TANAPA and KINAPA opened Doors Mountain for climbers, however, it is recommended that climbers should apply for a special permit as well as provide a climbing CV. Mawenzi is not a mountain for “tourist climbers” but require skills and a serious attitude to climbing (i.e. not “peak bagging”)
Equipment used during climbing is done when the gullies are filled with snow are ice-axe and crampons will be needed together with other tools such as;
- 5 Long Slings
- 5 Medium length slings
- 5 Karabiners/carabineers
- Rappel device
- 60m8.5mm rope
- Alpine harness
- 2 locking biners
- Climbing boots (with ice cleat)
- Approx. 6m of 6mm cord for the first rappel down Route