Mawenzie Add On


Please note: As of 2013, this route is off limits and cannot be legally climbed. I am unable to operate climbs on Mawenzie until the National Park authorities change their position on this.

Mawenzi is a spectacular and jagged mountaineering peak that rises to a series of serrated summits. It’s highest point, Hans Meyers Peak, is Africa’s third highest mountain at 5149M.

Although less than 6 km of alpine desert separates Mawenzi from Kibo only a handful of mountaineers climb to it’s vertiginous summit each year.

There are no walking routes on Mawenzie, it can only be climbed by rock climbers who are comfortable on exposed, and loose multi-pitch climbing routes. We climb by the Oehler Couloir. The route is 400m in length, grade II (mostly scrambling on lose rock with climbing pitches at UK Moderate, occasionally icy).

It can be climbed in 5hrs on day 6 of an extended ascent of Kilimanjaro by the Rongai Route from the Mawenzie Tarn Camp

It’s an excellent objective for mountaineers en-route to Kibo by the Rongai Route and an opportunity to climb a peak that see’s fewer ascents each year than Everest.

Typical climbing programme:

Day 1. Arrive in Arusha. Transfer to the hotel. It's a 1hr drive from Kilimanjaro International Airport.

Day 2. Drive from the hotel in Arusha to Nale More village at 1990M, 4 hrs in a 4 x 4 vehicle. The path starts at Nale More and heads to the Simba Camp at 2625M, 2.5hrs. Good paths, easy gradient. 635m of ascent.

Day 3. Trek from Simba Camp to Kikelewa Camp at 3630M, 6 - 7hrs. Good, easy angled paths. 1005m of ascent.

Day 4. Trek from Kikelewa Camp to Mawenzie Tarn Camp at 4310M, 3.5hrs. Good paths, short and steep. 680m of ascent.

Day 5. Rest and acclimatise at the Mawenzie Tarn Camp - day walks and scrambles around Mawenzie

Day 6. Rock climbing to Hans Meyers peak. Descend to Mawenzie Tarn Camp.

Day 7. Trek through the Alpine Desert from the Mawenzie Tarn to the Kibo Hut at 4700M. Good paths, mostly easy angled which join the standard Marangu Route just before the Kibo Hut. 4hrs. 390m of ascent.

Day 8. Set off to Uhuru Peak at midnight. Steep frozen scree, snow and ice  to Gilmans Point at 5681M - 5hrs, followed by an easy angled 2hr walk around the crater rim to Uhuru Peak at 5895M. Retrace your steps back down to the Kibo Hut (break for an hour), then join Marangu route and stagger to the Horombo Huts at 3700M, 7hrs. This is a hard 14hr day. 1195m of ascent, 2195m of descent.

Day 9. An easy 4 hr walk to the Marangu gate at 1860M. Good paths, 1840m of descent.Hotel transfer.

Day 10. Depart

Route Description:

Oehler Couloir by North-West Corrie variation 400m II* 5h. R E Caukwell, P A Campbell, D Bell, G Low, L Benito, 1951.

Start at top left corner of scree in the north-west corrie, in the left-hand of two gullies. Follow this, going left if in doubt, till the ridge is reached. A short scramble gains a small gully which leads into the Oehler Couloir some 60m below an icefall which can be tackled from the right or avoided completely by climbing a gully to the right of it. Above, a col is reached. Hans Meyer Peak is a short distance to the south. In good snow conditions the route is straightforward, otherwise icy rocks may be met. Descent is best done early to avoid melting snow and falling rock.

Rotten Rock on the Oehler Couloir