The Western Breach Alternate Finish is the most direct route to the summit, which isn’t necessarily a good thing at this altitude! It is however, the adventurer’s choice. Instead of following the crowds to Barafu and up to Stella’s Point to the summit, the route heads up a break in Kibo’s south face up to Crater Camp. Difficult, loose, steep climbing persists. This route was closed for sometime since 2006 due to deaths caused by rockfall from melting glaciers, but has recently reopened. Route variations have been established in an attempt to avoid hazardous rock fall sections.
The Western Breach does pose dangers from rock fall and altitude sickness. Evacuation off the route or from Crater Camp is extremely difficult compounded by the mandatory bold altitude gain. An altitude gain is actually required before descent can occur. All this over difficult ground and at a very challenging altitude for the rescue team. As such, special rescue equipment will be taken, and critical consideration must be made when attempting this summit route.
Western Breach can be done via Lemosho, Machame or Northern Circuit Counter-Clockwise routes in 7, 8 or 9 days.
Sample Route (8 Days):
- Day 1: Start at Rongai Gate (1950m) and hike 7km for ~3 to 4 hours with an altitude gain of 650m to Simba Camp (2650m).
- Day 2: Hike from Simba Camp (2650m) 12km for ~6 to 8 hours with an altitude gain of 1285m to Third Cave Camp (3935m).
- Day 3: Hike from Third Cave Camp (3935m) 8km for ~6 to 7 hours with an altitude gain of 90m to Pofu Camp (4025m).
- Day 4: Hike from Pofu Camp (4025m) 9km for ~7 to 8 hours with an altitude gain of 150m to Moir Camp (4175m).
- Day 5: Hike from Moir Camp (4175m) 5km for ~3 to 4 hours with an altitude gain of 465m to Lava Tower Camp (4640m).
- Day 6: Hike from Lava Tower Camp (4640m) 2km for ~3 to 4 hours with an altitude gain of 190m to Arrow Glacier Camp (4830m).
- Day 7: Hike Arrow Glacier Camp (4830m) 4km for ~7 to 8 hours with an altitude gain of 1065m to Uhuru Summit (5895m) then descend 18km for ~5 to 6 hours with an altitude loss of 2105m to Millennium Camp (3790m).
- Day 8: Descend from Millennium Camp (3790m) 13km for ~5 to 6 hours with an altitude loss of 2160m to Mweka Gate (1630m).
- For pricing of this route, see 8 day Northern Circuit Counter-Clockwise Route.
There is no additional cost to choose this variation.