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Will I Die When Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro? The REAL Facts That You Should Know

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Will I Die When Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro? This was a genuine question that I had prior to commencing my ascent. Perhaps it’s because I’m a mum now, or maybe it’s because I’m getting older and ‘wiser’, I don’t know. Either way, I was a little bit concerned. In this article I share with you the real statistics about climbing this mountain and give insight into answering the question ‘Will I die when climbing Mount Kilimanjaro?’ Ready to learn more? Read on…

Will I die when climbing Mount Kilimanjaro? The facts.

Climbing the highest mountain in Africa is an experience of a lifetime, and something that many adventure-seekers dream of achieving. But, like with any extreme activity, there are risks associated with scaling Mount Kilimanjaro.

If you, like me, are asking yourself the question ‘Will I die when climbing Mount Kilimanjaro?’ then this article will help to educate you on the dangerous that are associated with climbing this mountain and dispel some truths that may be worrying you.

So, without further ado, lets answer the question ‘Will I die when climbing Mount Kilimanjaro?’….

How many people die climbing Mount Kilimanjaro?

There are around 30,000 people who attempt to Climb Mount Kilimanjaro each year and most of them do not die! In fact the average number of deaths each year 3 to 10, which is a lot lower than most people think. But why do these people die climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and what can be done to reduce the risk of death? Read on to learn more…

Causes of deaths on Mount Kilimanjaro

There are many reasons why climbers may succumb to death on Mount Kilimanjaro. The most common cause of death on Kilimanjaro is altitude sickness, which is caused by the rapid ascent to high altitudes.

Other causes include hypothermia, weather conditions, inexperienced guides, inadequate equipment, and inadequate preparation.

The dangers of altitude sickness on Kilimanjaro

Altitude sickness is a major risk factor on Mount Kilimanjaro. It is caused by the rapid ascent to high altitudes, and can cause symptoms such as nausea, headaches, dizziness, fatigue, and shortness of breath.

If not treated promptly, it can lead to more serious conditions such as pulmonary edema and cerebral edema, which can be fatal.

The best way to prevent altitude sickness is to ascend at a slow and steady pace, and to monitor your body for any signs of illness.

Mount Kilimanjaro packing list. Will I Die When Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro?

Weather conditions and its risks on Kilimanjaro

When asking yourself the question ‘Will I die when climbing Mount Kilimanjaro?’ it is also important to consider the weather.

The weather on Kilimanjaro can be unpredictable and can change rapidly. Temperatures can drop below freezing during the night, and sudden storms can cause strong winds and heavy rain.

These weather conditions can be dangerous, especially for inexperienced climbers, who may not be prepared for the sudden changes in temperature. This is why it is essential that you consult a Kilimanjaro packing guide.

The danger of inexperienced guides

Will I die when climbing Mount Kilimanjaro? Well, part of the answer to this question id down to your guide.

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is no easy feat, and it is important to have experienced guides who know the terrain and can provide guidance and assistance.

Unfortunately, there have been cases of inexperienced guides leading climbers up the mountain, which can be very dangerous. It is important to do your research and make sure you choose an experienced guide who is familiar with the terrain and can provide assistance in case of an emergency.

The danger of inadequate equipment

Will I die when climbing Mount Kilimanjaro? Well, maybe if you don’t have the right equipment!

Having the right equipment is essential for a safe climb on Kilimanjaro. It is important to make sure you have the right clothing and gear for the conditions, as well as a good quality tent and sleeping bag.

It is also important to make sure your equipment is suitable for the terrain and altitude. Without the right equipment, you are at risk of suffering from hypothermia or other conditions caused by the cold weather.

The dangers of inadequate preparation

Having a good level of fitness is essential for a safe climb on Kilimanjaro. It is important to make sure you have the right level of fitness and strength to be able to handle the climb.

Without proper preparation, it is easy to become exhausted or suffer from altitude sickness, which can be fatal, meaning the answer the your question ‘Will I die when climbing Mount Kilimanjaro’ could sadly be yes.

The importance of safety training

Safety training is essential for a safe climb on Kilimanjaro.

It is important to make sure you have the right knowledge and skills to be able to handle the climb. Safety training should include information on the terrain, climate, and altitude, as well as tips on how to prepare for the climb.

Tips for a safe climb on Kilimanjaro

For the vast majority of people the answer to the question ‘will I die when climbing Mount Kilimanjaro’ is no. This is because they follow the safety advice, do adequate training and are well-prepared.

Here are some tips for a safe climb on Kilimanjaro:

  • Choose an experienced guide who is familiar with the terrain and can provide assistance in case of an emergency.
  • Make sure you have the right clothing and gear for the conditions.
  • Make sure your equipment is suitable for the terrain and altitude.
  • Make sure you have a good level of fitness and strength to be able to handle the climb.
  • Make sure you are adequately prepared for the climb.
  • Ascend at a slow and steady pace, and monitor your body for any signs of illness.
  • Take regular breaks and drink plenty of fluids.
  • Stay aware of the changing weather conditions.

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is an amazing experience, but it is important to be aware of the dangers and take the necessary precautions to ensure a safe climb.

By understanding the causes of deaths on Kilimanjaro, you can be better prepared and have a much safer climb- keep these tips in mind and make sure you are adequately prepared. With proper safety training, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable climb on Mount Kilimanjaro and the answer to your question ‘Will I die when climbing Mount Kilimanjaro’ will be no!

Deaths on Mount Kilimanjaro- my personal experience

Will I Die When Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro?

Will I die when climbing Mount Kilimanjaro was a question I asked myself a lot. And to my horror, somebody DID die whilst I was on the mountain….

That’s right, it’s not only tourists who die on the mountain, it’s the workers too. In fact, back in the early noughties the Tanzanian government was so concerned about the number of worker deaths that they imposed strict regulations on working conditions.

I know this because my husband climbed the mountain back in 2001 when things were very different, and far more dangerous. Back then you carried all of your bags- wow, if I had to carry all of my luggage I did I WOULD have died! The porters also carried extremely heavy amounts, which is very dangerous when your body is already probably struggling as a result of the additional pressures of working at high altitudes.

Nowadays, your porter will carry your luggage up to a maximum of 15kg (and they have weighing scales at all of the major camps where this is monitored). This requires some careful packing on the tourist’s part.

So lets put it into perspective. According to UltimateKilimajaro.com there are approximately 1,000 people evacuated from the mountain every year and approximately 10 deaths are reported, although the actual number of deaths is believed to be two to three times higher. This is generally due to altitude sickness, which can strike anybody regardless of physical abilities and health.

Nobody knew exactly why the cook died on the mountain when I was there. We were extremely lucky on our ascent as the weather took a turn for the better after several days of intense snow and freezing conditions. This caused some of the snow to melt and for the body of the cook to be seen.

The cook had gone missing 11 days before and his colleagues had been searching for him on the mountain. His body was found inside the crater close to Gilman’s Point, just a few minute’s walk from the peak. Nobody knows why he had ascended to the top of the mountain, he had obviously gone alone, perhaps in a delirious state resulting from altitude sickness?

Risks of Mountain Climbing

This isn’t the first time I’ve seen death on the top of a mountain. When I climbed Mount Toubkal I saw the ruins from the 1972 Atlas Mountains air crash– we could even see the skeletons buried beneath the rocks!

When you see things like this it really brings home how dangerous mountain climbing can be- deaths are not just statistics, they are a reality…

Will I Die When Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro?

Knowing how dangerous the mountain can be definitely contributed to my love-hate relationship with Kilimanjaro, but I guess in a way it did make it a bit more of an adventure and a challenge.

I was fairly confident I wouldn’t die because I’d done my research, packed everything I needed to survive the cold nights etc and I booked with a great tour operator. Tro-Peaks Adventures really took care of us and it was reassuring that they would periodically check our pulses and oxygen levels etc to ensure that we were fit and well.

Will I Die Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro?

So in answer to the questions ‘will I die when climbing Kilimanjaro?’, the answer is probably not. BUT you do need to take the right precautions and be sensible. There are a lot of rogue companies who offer cheap climbing packages who do not take safety as seriously so it is important that you research your company first. RIP to the poor cook who sadly lost his life on Kilimanjaro 6/04/18.

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