Western Breach route section

The Western Breach is a pass over the top of Kibo crater to the south west. This is just a section of a route and is an option for the final days of your ascent of Kilimanjaro.

This is an exciting and difficult route to get to the top, but it is a dangerous path that winds up a steep slope by the Arrow Glacier. The glaciers on Kilimanjaro are sadly diminishing and as they do so they expose loose rocks. This path is known for rock falls and there have been some tragic accidents here.

There are short sections of scrambling at high altitude and the possibility of increased snow and ice and therefore of slipping. Climbing helmets and extra equipment is taken if you are going via this route. If you are suffering from altitude sickness you will not be permitted to ascend the Western Breach. It is also possible that the park authorities close the path if there is perceived to be imminent unreasonable risk.

There are two options on this route. One is more direct and you ascend and descend quite quickly. The longer option gives you a night in the Crater itself before making the short final push to the highest point – Uhuru Peak. Crater Camp is at a very high altitude and you need to be aware that this puts you at a higher risk of altitude sickness.

This section fits with the Lemosho or Umbwe routes. If you get to Lava Tower and are unable to tackle the Western Breach for any reason, it is still possible to change your route to go via Stella Point instead. So you will still be able to summit Kilimanjaro!

Western Breach Route Map and Itinerary

This is the last section of a longer itinerary and shows the last few days of your ascent via the Western Breach and descent via Mweka.

  • 1st Day
    From the camp at Lava Tower (4,637m) there is leisurely ascent to arrow glacier this morning and plenty of time just to let your bodies get used to the thin air. You can also hike the area with your guides to keep the blood flowing. A very dramatic part of the mountain, it is also known to be quite dangerous for rock falls and so extreme care must be taken when walking up towards the breach. There is a very early dinner and then time for some rest. Dinner and overnight Arrow Glacier Camp. 4,871m
  • 2nd Day
    This is it – summit day! There is a very early ascent up the breach at 1am. It takes around 4 hours to reach the crater rim and then time for a quick refuel and then the final push to the summit arriving at Uhuru Peak around dawn. The hike then heads down via Stella Point to Barafu camp. Here there is a short rest before continuing to Millenium camp for the evening. Overnight Millenium Camp. 4,871m – 5,895m -3,760m
  • 3rd Day
    After breakfast you descend once again through montane forest and around mid day after saying farewell to your crew, you are picked up and transfer back to the base hotel. Have a shower and a celebratory drink or two!

Western Breach with Crater Route Map and Itinerary

This is the last section of a longer itinerary and shows the last few days of your ascent via the Western Breach and descent via Mweka.

1st Day
From Lava Tower camp (4,637m) there is leisurely ascent to arrow glacier this morning and plenty of time just to let your bodies get used to the thin air. You can also hike the area with your guides to keep the blood flowing. A very dramatic part of the mountain, it is also known to be quite dangerous for rock falls and so extreme care must be taken when walking up towards the breach. There is an early dinner and then time for some rest. Dinner and overnight Arrow Glacier Camp – 4,871m

2nd Day
There is a very early ascent up the breach at 4am. It takes around 4 to 6 hours to reach the crater rim and then you head into camp. In the afternoon there is a chance to visit the ash pit and Furtwangler glacier. Dinner and overnight Crater Camp – 5,750m

3rd Day
This is it – summit day! Your start is timed to reach the summit at the break of dawn which only takes around 1 hour. Sunrise here is truly spectacular with stunning views of the crater, Mt Meru and the Southern Icefields. You then descend to Mweka camp arriving mid afternoon for your final evening on Kilimanjaro. Dinner and overnight Mweka Camp – 5,750m – 5,895m – 3,100m

4th Day
After breakfast you descend once again through montane forest and around mid day after saying farewell to your crew, you are picked up and transfer back to the base hotel. Have a shower and a celebratory drink or two!

L

Amanda Marks

Managing Director
Self confessed Africa-lover, but keen on all new travel experiences, Amanda is passionate about getting to know different cultures.

L

Tracy Edwards

Travel Consultant
Tracy was been born and spent her youth in South Africa, the draw of the animals, the people and wilds of Africa have always run through her veins.

L

Sinead Bailey

Travel Consultant
Sinead caught the travel bug following a year out after university. She has worked in the travel industry ever since, and visited many countries including South Africa, Tanzania, Botswana and Namibia.

L

Christine MacDougall

Travel Consultant
The African dust is firmly planted in Chris’s heart. Born in Tanzania she spent much of her childhood in and around Ruaha. Travel and safari was part of life and through into adulthood fun and travel has never left her.