Mount Kilimanjaro – Fascinating Facts

By Doug Williams
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Mount Kilimanjaro – Fascinating Facts

Doug Williams
 
 
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Mount Kilimanjaro is one of the most amazing places in the world. It is classed as one of the ultimate human feats to climbing to the top (Summit). On a good day (and they usually are in Africa) the views are absolutely stunning.

Many people try to climb it and many of them succeed, despite its massive size and the physical challenge it presents.

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All this only makes people all the more fascinated and rise to the challenge of climbing it. Here are some great facts about Mount Kilimanjaro that you can talk about next time it comes up during a conversation (Or you bring it up now you know some facts!)

 

Mount Kilimanjaro is considered to be the easiest of the seven highest summits to climb because there is no technical skill or equipment required to do it.

On the African continent, Mount Kilimanjaro is the tallest. Anyone who wants to climb Mount Kilimanjaro does not need the supplies and all the equipment that’s needed to climb the other 6 summits around the world.

Mount Kilimanjaro’s glaciers have shrunk by about eighty-two percent since 1912, and some scientists propose that the glaciers may be completely gone within the next fifty years, mostly as a result of deforestation. There have been some efforts made to halt this decimation, such as planting five million trees around the base of the mountain in 2008 with the aim of restoring the environmental stability that will allow the mountain to thrive.

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Mount Kilimanjaro is 19,341 feet high (5,895 meters), making it the tallest free-standing mountain in the world. Many of the other tall mountains around the world are part of ranges, whereas many free standing mountains come about as the result of volcanic activity. Because of this it literally just pushes up into the sky from the flat land around it.

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Mount Kilimanjaro once had three volcanic cones named Kibo, Shira, and Mawenzi. The first is the tallest; the second no longer exists as a cone: it collapsed and created the Shira Plateau. The last one is 6,896 feet (5,149 meters) tall, which makes it the third highest peak in Africa right behind Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya.

 

Shira and Mawenzi are extinct volcanoes but Kibo is a dormant volcano, and it’s expected to erupt at some time, although not any time soon, Its last major eruption was three hundred and sixty thousand years ago and its most recent activity was two hundred thousand years ago, so it has been quite some time since it erupted.

The first people to climb Mount Kilimanjaro were Hans Meyer, a German geologist, Ludwig Purtscheller, an Austrian climber and a local guide called Yohani Kinyala Lauwo, in 1889. That was Hans Meyer’s third attempt to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, third time lucky!.

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Climbing has come a long way since then. Now about thirty thousand people climb Mount Kilimanjaro every year. While this is a significantly large number, only half complete the climb, most of whom fail as a result of altitude sickness which starts to be a consideration from about 8,000 feet and can get really bad over about 12,000 feet.

Karl Egloff holds the record for the fastest climb to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, completing it in just six hours and forty-two minutes in 2014.

When people first started exploring and climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, many people doubted its location as being so close to the equatorial sun, at just two hundred and five miles they could not believe that there could be ice on the mountain. Scientists who have studied it now say that the glaciers shrank and then regrew during the Earth’s Ice Ages, leaving it on the mountains peak.

The oldest person to climb Mount Kilimanjaro was Angela Vorobyova, a retired Russian school teacher; she 86 years old when she completed the climb in 2015. On the flip side, the youngest person to complete the climb of Mount Kilimanjaro was Keats Boyd in 2008, who was just seven years old.

Mount Kilimanjaro is an amazing mountain that many people attempt to climb each year and has long been a natural wonder that fascinates many people all around the world, if you would like to climb one of the big peaks then this could be a great one to start on, I know I’m tempted.

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