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The Rwenzoris Mountains
by Rob Colbourn

The Rwenzori Mountains sit directly on Uganda’s border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and encompasses three peaks, Mount Baker 4843 metres, Mount Speke 4890 metres and Mount Stanley 5109 metres. Mount Stanley is Africa’s third highest peak and compared to Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya the Rwenzoris are like a wild frontier.

Less than six hundred people attempt Mount Stanley every year compared to approximately thirty thousand who attempt to reach the summit of Kilimanjaro. Uganda and DRC have both had more than their fair share of trouble over the last few decades, and this has put many people off visiting the Rwenzori Mountains. Thousands of tourists still visit Uganda every year and most of the country is still relatively safe for sensible and seasoned travellers. The Rwenzoris are considered safe and any groups visiting rarely experience any trouble.

The trek in to Mount Stanley can be miserable in the rain with overflowing rivers and walking though bogs for hours on end. This is the main reason it is important to visit during the dry season and not the wet season.

Summit day on Mount Stanley has changed considerably over the last few years due to the increased amount of crevasses that have to be navigated. There are now around 80 crevasses which have to be slowly skirted on the ascent and descent. The old time frame used to predict around 4 – 5 hours from Elena Hut to the summit. The increase in the number of crevasses has added on considerable time to summit day and extra danger at every turn. One of the best ways to describe the glaciers are like a World War One battle field scarred by shell craters.

The next obstacles encountered are the very steep but not overlay technical rock pitches. An abundance of fixed protection is available as are some fixed ropes, but it is advisable not to use these unless they have been fitted by your guide. There are also two rope ladders which should only be used if you have a safety line attached as these are renowned for giving way at the worst of moments.

Any successful expedition comes down to the guide and a good guide is a definite essential in the Rwenzori Mountains. A good guide can save hours on finding a route to through the crevasse field and a good guide will know the best way through the rock pitches.

The Mount Stanley climb should only be attempted by those who have climbing experience and experience climbing at altitude. For those who want to visit the Rwenzori Mountains without climbing Mount Stanley the Summit Circuit Path is a great trek that takes 6 days and covers 30 miles.

For more information about climbing in the Rwenzoris visit larvaexpeditions.com/Exp_rwenzori.html

More Information:

The Kilimanjaro Climb is mentally and physically challenging and the Kilimanjaro trek long and arduous, but the sense of achievement once completed is immense.

Source: http://www.PopularArticles.com/article347865.html

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