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10 Reasons Why You Can and Should Climb Kilimanjaro versus Mount Rainier

10 Reasons Why You Can and Should Climb Kilimanjaro versus Mount Rainier

A volcano is a volcano right? WRONG! Kilimanjaro is quite a different mountain than Mount Rainier. Here are 10 reasons why you can and should climb Kilimanjaro with Wildland Adventures instead of Mount Rainier on your own:

10) Climbing Kilmanjaro is non-technical – Kili requires no technical climbing gear. Warm clothes, a good sleeping bag and pad and a sturdy pair of hiking or mountaineering boots are as technical as it gets. Contrast that with Rainier where you’ll need ropes, harnesses, helmets, crampons, ice axes and full set of mountaineering skills and training including glacier travel and crevasse rescue. If that doesn’t convince you, the oldest person to climb Kili was 84. A regular exercise routine and time spent hiking uphill are all that you’ll need to do to get in shape for Kili.

9) Kili is in a spectacular setting – Kili is surrounded by some of the greatest places in Africa for a safari. From Amboseli to the North, to the Maasai Mara and Serengeti to the West, and the exotic spice island of Zanzibar off the East coast, this is a mountain situated unlike any other! Combining a climb of Kili with one of these extensions will make for an adventure of a lifetime. You won’t see lions, elephants, buffalo or monkeys on Rainier but you certainly might on Kili, especially on one of the remote Western routes where you might even need an armed guide as an escort through the jungle!

8) Kilimanjaro is higher – At 19,034 feet to Rainier’s mere 14,418 feet, Kili stands more than 4,500 feet higher and is one of the seven summits (the highest peak on each continent)! Rainier may be the highest point in Washington state, but is not the highest in the USA or North America. The summit of Kilimanjaro is truly the roof of Africa. Because of Kili’s height yet (very) gentle gradient, the biggest threat to climbers is too rapid of an ascent. Guides the mountain over, will encourage guests to walk “Pole, Pole” (slowly, slowly). They have to remind guests of this because the trails are so mellow, it’s easy to walk too quickly, gain elevation too fast and get altitude sickness.

7) Kili has a better summit success rate - Only about half of those who attempt Rainier make it to the top. Contrast that with Kili where our lead guide boasts a success rate of 98%.


6) Kilimanjaro is safer - Our guides are trained Wilderness First Responders (WFR’s) specifically trained in the identification and treatment of altitude illnesses like Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), High Altitude Pulmonary and Cerebral Edema (HAPE and HACE). The guides also bring supplemental Oxygen, a portable hyperbaric chamber (Gamow Bag), and pule-oximetry devices to measure blood oxygen levels and know how to use all of these tools.

5) Kili has a longer climbing season - The only months not recommended for climbing Kilimanjaro are April, May and November (the rainiest months of the year in Tanzania). January-February and July-October are prime time to climb. On Rainier, July to early September is your best bet for a summit. Outside of that time, it’s bound to be extremely harsh and unfavorable climbing conditions.

4) Kilimanjaro has a better nickname - “Kili” versus “Ron-yay” (a spoof on the French spelling). No contest!

3) You get a personal certificate for summiting Kilimanjaro - You climbed Rainier? Great, but no certificate for you.

2) You’ll have a real toilet at every camp on Kili – Not just one overused outhouse shared by climbers from all different groups like at high camp on Rainier, but a real, private, portable flushing toilet at every campsite that you stay at along the way.

1) On Kilimanjaro you won’t carry a heavy pack - Climbing Mount Rainier means heavy packs, upwards of 70 pounds (!) with all of your camping gear like sleeping bags, tent, clothing, climbing gear, ropes, food, water, stove and fuel. On Kilimanjaro, your porters will carry all of that gear and all you’ll need is to carry your daypack with some layers, snacks, water and a camera. You will arrive at camp with your tent already setup and you’ll wake up in the morning with tea and coffee already made. Much simpler than having to plan all of your own meals and try to cook them in the dark and cold on a camping stove!


Check out our trips to climb Mount Kilimanjaro hen you are ready to book your climb to the roof of Africa, let me know.


Your friendly safari expert,

Chris Moriarty


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