Kilimanjaro - Rongai Route in March/April 2012

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Kilimanjaro - Rongai Route in March/April 2012

Postby wicklore » Wed Jul 06, 2011 5:48 pm

Hi all. I am considering joining the Gap Adventures Kilimanjaro Rongai Route in March/April 2012. However it is the rainy season. Has anyone done this route in April and can you describe what it might be like weatherwise?
I don't mind some rain, but I want to know will it be trek-ruining constant rain or occasional showers? Also what will underfoot conditions be like at this time? I can only travel in March/April 2012, so changing to another time is not an option. Final question - is it possible to get above the rain clouds at some point and leave the rain behind?!!
Thanks,
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Re: Kilimanjaro - Rongai Route in March/April 2012

Postby thecakeisalie » Thu Jul 07, 2011 9:58 am

The Rongai route is typically drier than other parts of the mountain (something about wind patterns, can't remember exactly why), so you may be better of on Rongai than the other routes at that time of year. I came up that direction in late August/early September, and it was dry, rocky, and barren terrain, but my group was enveloped in fog for much of one day. And while the chance to get above the clouds certainly exists, the chance to get rained/snowed on at the top also exists. How else do you think those glaciers got there? :wink:
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Re: Kilimanjaro - Rongai Route in March/April 2012

Postby wicklore » Mon Aug 15, 2011 1:53 am

Thanks for the reply thecakeisalie. I've decided to postpone climbing Kilimanjaro until I can travel in a more favourable month in the future.
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Re: Kilimanjaro - Rongai Route in March/April 2012

Postby damianc » Tue Aug 23, 2011 5:00 pm

The Rongai route takes you up the other side of Kili which is known to be much drier. It would still get wet in the rainy season until you get above the clouds. Believe me, you do not want to climb in the rain. I took the Machame route and it rained hard on the first day of the climb. I don't think I ever did completely dry out. So even in the suggested seasons, it can still rain on you on the lower portion as you trek through the forested sections.
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Re: Kilimanjaro - Rongai Route in March/April 2012

Postby jasonatl » Tue Dec 27, 2011 2:29 am

I'd pay more attention to your socks than shoes. Good double layer hiking socks are a must to prevent blisters. Given the amount of hiking you're going to have to do to get to the summit, blisters are pretty much a given if you wear standard athletic socks.

As far as shoes go, I wore a pair of Simple brand trail shoes (think they were called Planet Walkers). Many will suggest hiking boots for ankle support. If you are prone to rolling your ankle, you might want to do that but I found trail shoes to be much more comfortable. I did use a pair of insulated boots for summit night combined with a pair of mountaineering socks. It gets really cold climbing to the summit but my feel never felt a bit cold with this combo. Also after the summit, you'll spend several hours (three or four depending on the individual) more or less sliding down scree. Boots and gaitors are nice to keep the rocks out though I have to admit my feet got a bit warm. Despite that, I kept the boots on for the rest of the day since going downhill is where you're most likely to roll an ankle.
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