So you think that climbing Mount Kilimanjaro might not be quite difficult enough. Want to get away from all the crowds on some of the busier rates. Well if you have experience of trekking at altitude already and have the time to acclimatise properly then sleeping in crater camp may be just what you are looking for. This is one sure way to experience the ultimate adventure and bring your Kilimanjaro climbing expedition to a spectacular close.
So why opt to stay in crater camp. First as I say above you really do get away from everyone else. Whenever we have had clients stay in crater camp they have always been the only one’s there and this is the most amazing wilderness experience.
Most trekkers think being in the crater is what it would feel like if you were walking on the moon! Ignore the zero gravity part, but the entire atmosphere and ambience that is created in the region is really quite similar to what it would be like on the moon.
Second you have time to tour the crater and visit the still smoking fumarole at the heart of the crater.The ash pit will definitely remind you of the Star Wars barbed hole in the desert sand. Most people don’t know that Kilimanjaro is dormant not extinct and at the centre of the crater the volcano still smokes.
Third if you go to the Western rim at sunset the views watching the sun go down are amazing. Nearly as good as the views you get the next morning at the east rim watching the sun rise. And of course you won’t have to join the midnight scramble to reach the rim for dawn as you are already on the roof of Africa waiting.
And that brings me to the fourth great reason to stay in the crater which is that you can do the summit climb in the day having had a full nights sleep.
So what are the downsides of this option. Well most importantly you will be sleeping at nearly 5600m so the risk of altitude sickness is quite high. This is why we only offer this option on 9 day climbs following the Machame route with lots of time to let your body adjust.
Then there is the fact that temperatures in the crater vary greatly during the day. While in the daytime it can range from pleasantly warm to swelteringly hot, as soon as dusk falls, temperatures plummet down well below freezing (-15 to -25 degrees C).
But if you are up to facing these problems and can bear the rigors of climbing Kilimanjaroto this height, you are really in for a treat. Climbing Kilimanjaro is a fantastic challenge. Sleeping in the Crater on Kilimanjaro is the ultimate challenge.
About The Author Paul is founder and Jt Managing Director of Private Expeditions, the high altitude trekking experts who specialise in taking clients safely to the world’s iconic trekking destinations: Kilimanjaro, Everest base camp and Machu Picchu. For more articles visit – http://www.privateexpeditions.co/blog/.