Bucking Barranco!

Climbing the Barranco lava wall of Kilimanjaro was by far the highlight of our week-long ascent up Africa’s tallest volcano – that is, after the final leg up to the summit via Stella Artois Point. It’s the bucking bronco of Kili – as it’s easy to get thrown off it as it’s so steep (!) : a 300-meter sheer wall (or so it seems at first)…

Here she is:



When I first saw it I was, like, ‘WHAT? Up THAT?’ I mean, I’m no mountaineer, so, how were we gonna manage THAT? Then we were told how thousands of tourists get up it every year, so I calmed down a bit. But only a bit. Still wasn’t sure. My gut feelings were persistently: ‘no way; impossible; can’t; won’t’ etc., etc.

BUT! If you look closer, you see it’s not all just one sheer cliff: there are reasonably gentle slopes to the sides – easily navigable without special climbing skills or kit:


So next morning, after a wash and a very large breakfast, we headed out to those there slopes for a spot of climbing clambering, under the expert guidance of our super guides. He we clamber:

Most of the ‘roads’ are easily doable with just ‘rear wheel drive’, but in places we had to engage the AWD, just in case.

All the way up: super views! Especially that of the valley down below.

We slowly move up the slopes in a straight line one-by-one, while the speedy Olympic athletes porters overtake us or take special off-piste routes to magically always be at the next rest-stop before us!

On we 4WD…:

A little further…

And here we are! We made it!



I’m a big fan of good paths. And this is a firm favorite now. Not too difficult, amazing views, not too rocky or shaky underfoot. I already want to get back there for a repeat trek (on the way to the overnight stop before exploring the ‘new’ cone inside the caldera). Like wondrous walks along premium paths? Get to the path that sneaks up the side of Barranco!

The rest of the photos from our Kili-trip are here.

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