As the tallest mountain in Africa and the second highest peak in the World, Mt. Kilimanjaro has been a famous destination for quest travelers for decades. Its home is Tanzania, the dead volcano rises some 19,341 feet (5895 meters) in height, although its untechnical hike makes it a considerable climb for anyone in sensibly good health and the determination to trek upwards through the thin air.
As it is more of an active hike than an actual workout in climbing, it is valued that Kilimanjaro attracts around 35,000 people (pre-pandemic) on a yearly basis. That can lead to some very busy hiking trails, particularly along Kili’s most popular and friendly routes. In an effort to shift some of that traffic elsewhere, a team of extremely experienced Nepali guides recently opened a new trekking route to this majestic Kilimanjaro summit. Now, they hope to use that route to lead climbers to the highest peak of Africa.
Legendary Sherpa on Kilimanjaro
The lead climber on the investigative expedition to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro was none other than Dawa Steven Sherpa, the CEO of Asian Trekking. The company leads tours on Ama Dablam, Manaslu, and Everest—a mountain that Dawa has summited on three distinct occasions. He has also positively climbed Lhotse, Cho Oyu, Manaslu, Kangchenjunga, and Pumor as well.
While Dawa is known as an expert climber and fruitful entrepreneur, he is also a staunch ecologist. At home in Nepal, he has worked to organize efforts to clean up some of the tallest peaks in the Himalayas, counting Everest. His Eco-Everest excursions have removed several tons of trash from the mountain, making it a cleaner environment for the current generation of alpinists and those to come.
Dawa has also observed first-hand the impact of climate change on the Himalayas and saw the same impact it was having on Kilimanjaro too. Located just off the Equator, the African peak has seen 90% of the glaciers on its summit vanish in recent years due to warming temperatures.
A New Trekking Route to Kilimanjaro Summit
The Sherpa guide fetched all of his climbing experience and respect for nature with him to Tanzania as he went in search of a new route to the summit. After investigative maps and images of the mountain, he dotted what looked like a possible option located along Kilimanjaro’s southern flank. To see if the trail was really practical, however, he had to travel to Africa—bringing several other Sherpa guides with him—to explore the route further.
On August 22, the team reached their goal of the summit, having used GPS devices to map a new path along the way. The route offers some unique challenges in the form of difficult scree fields and narrow cliffs that must carefully be navigated while en route. As with all other trails to Kilimanjaro’s summit, this one connects to Stella Point before proceeding up to Uhuru Peak—the true summit. On this exploratory first ascent, Dawa let the Tanzanian rangers go ahead of his Sherpa team, allowing them to be the first to reach the top.
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