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Why We Recommend Crampons For Every Kilimanjaro Trekker

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    Why We Recommend Crampons

    As of June 2018, Mount Kilimanjaro has been receiving some unseasonably heavy snowfall on its slopes. This makes for a stunning, white-wintery approach to the Roof of Africa, but it also means slippery, icy trail conditions.

    Crampons are considered essential kilimanjaro footwear in Tanzania. They will assist you with every step you take into the extreme altitudes, and will prove useful for any climb you undertake in the future.

    How Do I Use Crampons?

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    Crampons are fairly straightforward. Some are quick-strap cinches that fasten around your pair of boots at their toes and heel, while others with more minimal spikes (“microspikes”) act merely as additional traction that you stretch onto the sole of your outer boot. Each crampon style is different; talk to your local gear shop, especially if you have little mountaineering experience.. They are the popular option when it comes packing essentials.

    Not all Crampons are Created Equal.
    Most crampons can only fit on semi or fully stiff, heavy boots, not casual, flexible walking sneakers or hikers. There’s a boot grading system you’ll find for crampons (C1-C3) and boots (B0-B3). Basically, the higher the number, the higher the technical mountaineering. There are inexpensive and expensive options, too. Take a look: click here

    Other Alternatives

    If you choose to only wear semi-firm hiking shoes (B0), you might consider lighter traction like microspikes. Two brands we know and love are Kahtoola and Yaktrax. Under ideal conditions, you can normally reach Kilimanjaro’s summit wearing modest hiking shoes, but we advise also packing a sturdy pair of trekking boots for the final days. In recent events of increased snowfall, Easy Travel is recommending all trekkers arrive with crampons (which only work with sturdy boots).

    Here’s a short video to get your oriented on how to use crampons for walking up mountains:

    But I Thought June-August is a Great Time to Climb Kilimanjaro?

    True. According to meteorological patterns, the long rains typically occur in Northern Tanzania between March and late May, followed by a dry and cool season June through August. These favorable months correspond with summer holiday in the Northern Hemisphere, which results in Kilimanjaro’s high season.

    But as the largest freestanding mountain on the planet, Kili creates its own weather patterns on its own time. And like any high elevation trek, you must be fully prepared mentally, physically, and gear-wise. Easy Travel will be fully prepared to guide you every step of the way, but as the trekker you must be prepared with the appropriate gear, prepared for any and all conditions.

    Are you looking at climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and still unsure when the best time to visit is? Take a look at our recent post which includes the top 3 things to consider when choosing when to climb Mt Kili.

    What If I Don’t Have Crampons?

    If you don’t have crampons, your chances of successfully reaching the summit will be reduced. The success rates of climbing kilimanjaro are already against you. The final summit day is steep and challenging (even without ice conditions) and crampons or alternative traction points will assist with each step. And believe me, when you’re trekking at an extreme altitude of 19,000 feet, any assistance is welcome.

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    Bottom Line?

    These days, crampons are being manufactured lighter and more economical than ever, and while climbing such a difficult route, it would be wise to minimize any inherent risk. With the recent heavy snowfall on Mount Kilimanjaro, we are recommending you pack a pair of crampons and sturdy boots for your trek. Additionally, your level of fitness will be more important than the gear you decide to use. Remember: there will be no option to rent or purchase crampons in Arusha. Here are some crampons to consider.

    Getting You There?

    Award winning Tanzania Trekking Tour Operators, Easy Travel pride themselves on their 30+ years of experience providing amazing encounters climbing Africa’s Highest Peak. Easy Travel can organize your dream Kilimanjaro trek, starting today.

    Have specific questions? Contact us