The Most Challenging Route To The Roof Of Africa

The Most Challenging Route To The Roof Of Africa : The most difficult ascent route on Mount Kilimanjaro is via the Western Breach. The Western Breach, as its name suggests, is a breach to the summit that was created hundreds of thousands of years ago by volcanic eruptions and lava flows from Kibo’s Crater. It is located on the western side of Kibo. The Western Breach is considered a perilous and dangerous route because of its steep and rocky slopes. But because it is the quickest ascent of Mount Kilimanjaro, it is very well-liked by seasoned mountaineers. Here is our comprehensive guide to the Western Breach route of Kilimanjaro.

Western Breach Kilimanjaro Route Map: Many of Kilimanjaro’s routes, including the Machame and Umbwe Routes in the South and the Lemosho and Shira Routes in the West, lead to the Western Breach. Due to its popularity and difficulty, the Umbwe Route is the most common and direct ascent of Mount Kilimanjaro.


Typically, the Western Breach approach begins at Umbwe Gate, 1,600 meters up, and ascends quickly to Barranco Camp, 3,900 meters up, via Umbwe Camp (2,850 meters). The Southern Circuit, which leads from here to Karanga and then onto Barafu base camp, is the route that the majority of hikers take in order to approach Kilimanjaro’s summit from the south-east. Instead, the Western Breach approach continues north, ascending to Lava Tower for the night, before continuing into Arrow’s Glacier to connect with the Western Breach route.

On the fourth day, hikers must ascend steeply to the Reutsch Crater (5,800 meters), where they spend the night close to Furtwangler Glacier, one of Kilimanjaro’s last remaining glaciers. For seasoned hikers and climbers, the possibility of spending the night in Crater Camp makes the Western Breach quite alluring. The Western Breach has a lot of exposure, depending on the route variation chosen.

On Day 5, hikers make a quick ascent to Uhuru Peak at the top of Kilimanjaro from the Reutsch Crater (5,895 meters). Typically, hikers descend the southern slopes of Kibo to the camps of Barafu (4,680 meters) and Mweka (3,100 meters), where they spend their final night on Kilimanjaro. In order to speed up the process of acclimatization and lower the danger of altitude sickness, we advise staying an extra night at Lava Tower.

As the path is often finished in six days, there is little opportunity for trekkers to acclimatize. Due to this, only experienced high-altitude trekkers should take the Western Breach into account. The Western Breach wall served as the starting point for Valery Rozov’s successful base leap off of Kilimanjaro in 2015.


Is the Western Breach dangerous?

Yes, the Western Breach is the riskiest path up Mount Kilimanjaro in comparison to the other approaches. There are steep and exposed areas in it. You must feel at ease with exposure, simple rope work, and rock climbing. The route is vulnerable to rock falls in strong winds, which have killed hikers in the past.

The Most Challenging Route To The Roof Of Africa
Shira Route

Do I need technical climbing skills for the Western Breach on Kilimanjaro?

Although you don’t need to have any technical climbing skills, we wouldn’t recommend completing the Western Breach if you’ve never been on a high-exposure hike with a fixed rope, The Most Challenging Route To The Roof Of Africa

What equipment do I need for the Western Breach?

A climbing helmet, an ice axe for cutting steps and providing assistance in snowy circumstances, and a fixed rope with carabiners are among the technical items used on the Western Breach. Your trip operator typically provides all of this gear.

What accidents have happened on the Western Breach?

A tragic incident happened in 2006 when a rock fall on the trail killed three hikers. Authorities on Mount Kilimanjaro momentarily shut down the route, but it was reopened in late 2007. Internet entrepreneur Scott Dinsmore perished in 2015 when a rock fell on him close to Arrow Glacier. Most tour companies do not conduct hikes using the Western Breach to the top due to its high risk profile.

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