How Fit Do You Need To Be To Climb Kilimanjaro? Before beginning a Kilimanjaro climb, you should be in good physical condition and have experience with multi-day trekking or walking trips due to the mountain’s strenuousness. A typical day at altitude involves 4 to 7 hours of walking, and the summit day is particularly taxing, requiring most participants to walk for 14 to 18 hours. The effects of altitude can make the climb extremely difficult, even for fit people.
Regardless of the Kilimanjaro route you choose, the summit day will be the hardest day of your climb. Due to the short amount of time for acclimatization, the majority of people experience mild acute mountain sickness, which, when coupled with a very long day of walking, makes it one of the hardest days of their lives. Although they can be slippery lower down and you will be walking over shale closer to the summit, the trails on Kilimanjaro are generally clear and well-maintained.
On the Machame and Lemosho routes, the Barranco Wall entails a straightforward 1.5-hour scramble, and the final ascent to the summit is made on loose scree and rock and may be snowy or icy. Since the climb is a hike, special climbing skills are not required. In the months leading up to your Kilimanjaro climb, you must have engaged in a lot of hill walking or aerobic activity. If you don’t already exercise regularly, it might take you several months of training to get in shape enough to enjoy the walk. It’s crucial to start out slowly and build up your fitness over time. Try to get in between 30 and 45 minutes of exercise (walking, running, cycling, or swimming) three times per week. On the weekends, go for long walks that should include some hills.
If your response to any of the following questions is YES, you must speak with your doctor before beginning a fitness program or taking this Mount Kilimanjaro climbing trip:
- Have you ever had a heart condition disclosed to you by your doctor?
- Have you ever experienced heart or chest pain?
- Do you frequently feel dizzy or lose your balance? Do you ever feel faint?
- Has your doctor ever advised you to lower your blood pressure?
- Do you have a bone or joint condition that could get worse if your physical activity changes?
- Do you take any prescription medications, such as those for diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or heart issues?
- Do you have any additional knowledge that would prevent you from exercising?
- Are you pregnant?
HOW FIT DO I NEED TO BE TO CLIMB MOUNT KILIMANJARO?
Your climb will be easier and more enjoyable if you are physically fit, but you don’t have to go to the gym every day. Numerous individuals who are not at their physical best have scaled this mountain. Additionally, you don’t need any prior experience because, despite being difficult and lengthy, the routes are not technical.
If you are comfortable hillwalking for six to seven hours with an ascent of 1000m (the height of Mount Snowdon in Wales), you should be able to trek Kilimanjaro, according to a general rule of thumb. You’re well on your way to achieving your fitness goal if you’re an avid walker who already logs regular miles and can keep up during an hour-long cardio class at the gym.
Local porters are hired to carry your gear, so you won’t have to worry about it getting in the way of the trek. However, you will be expected to carry a 30- to 40-liter daypack, so make sure to pack lightly. The majority of the trails are clearly marked, but they can be hazardous when it’s raining. Only scree and loose rocks make up the final ascent. You’ll notice a huge difference with a good pair of walking boots, but you should prepare for sore ankles and knees.
Your mental preparedness is just as important to your success as your physical fitness. An “eat, walk, sleep, repeat” routine is necessary when walking for up to seven hours per day, seven days per week. While eating habits are impacted by altitude, it’s important to maintain a healthy level of energy and hydration. Your mental toughness will be put to the test on this hike.
KILIMANJARO CLIMB TRAINING PROGRAM
In reality, climbing Kilimanjaro is just one long hike, and the best way to get ready for one is to go on a few of them yourself. Long-distance walking uphill or downhill is made simpler by strong, in-shape legs.
If at all possible, preparing by strengthening your cardiovascular system will help you feel much less stressed. Get moving, hop on a bike, go for a run—do whatever makes you feel good and raises your heart rate.
The best course of action for you is to put on your hiking boots and start walking. You might find it difficult at first, but you’ll appreciate it later.
In order to prevent painful blisters during your hike up Mount Kilimanjaro, it is imperative that you train in the boots you intend to use for the climb by wearing them frequently.
KILIMANJARO CLIMB TRAINING TIPS
Unsurprisingly, having a positive outlook can do wonders. Even though you may always be optimistic, climbing to the top is not easy, and this is when fatigue and doubts begin to set in.
The final mile of this marathon is always the hardest mentally. You will be well-prepared for the final push up the slopes if you can, at least once before climbing Kilimanjaro, get into the marathon frame of mind.
We’re not advocating that you train for Kilimanjaro by running a marathon, but it’s crucial to understand the value of using your mental fortitude to keep going.
ALTITUDE TRAINING FOR KILIMANJARO
The Kilimanjaro climbing success rates demonstrate that while some hikers still fail to reach the summit within 8 or 9 days, others can climb Kilimanjaro in as little as 5 days (not advised). Until you climb Kilimanjaro, it is impossible to predict how well a climber will do in an oxygen-deprived environment.
Yes, climbers can pre-acclimate at home thanks to high-altitude training systems. However, if you don’t have access to these resources, one of the best ways to get ready for your hike is to:
- To allow ample time to acclimate during the start of your trek
- To take the journey one step at a time.
WHICH ROUTE SHOULD I CHOOSE?
The Marangu route, also known as the “Coca-Cola” route, The Machame route, The Lemosho route and the Northern circuit Route, all are frequently considered the simplest ascent of Kilimanjaro. Marangu is incorrectly referred to as the tourist trail, even though it is best known for being the only place that provides hut lodging. It’s actually the route with the lowest success rate because too many trekkers attempt to summit in the minimum five days necessary for this route, and many underestimate its physical challenge.
The Lemosho route has the best chance of being successful. According to estimates, 90% of hikers who use this route succeed in reaching the summit. This particularly beautiful path on Mount Kilimanjaro is one of the more recent routes and one of the longest, taking up to eight days to complete. It’s the best option for anyone who is unfamiliar with high-altitude environments because it gives them plenty of time to acclimate.
Kilimanjaro is a popular climb; do not let the preparation and difficulties deter you. The summit of Kilimanjaro is within your reach with the right preparation, a positive outlook, and adequate support.