The Kilimanjaro Barranco Wall : Everything To Know About This Exciting Trek : Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak, is known for its exclusive jaw-dropping scenery, perilous trails, and the infamous Barranco Wall. If you’re climbing this mountain, you’re probably wondering how to approach this intimidating yet impressive wall and have a successful climb. Even the most experienced trekkers have had to reconsider going on an adventure on this seemingly sheer cliff, which elicits fear in trekkers’ minds. Regardless, several climbers have successfully completed it, so why can’t you? Here’s what you should know:

What is the Barranco Wall?

The Barranco Wall is a steep ridge about a half hour up Mt. Kilimanjaro‘s mountainside. The Barranco Wall appears to be a rock wall from a distance, hence its name. The Barranco Wall, however, is much easier to climb than you might think. It even has a well-worn, zigzag path that leads up to it. The Barranco Wall is not a vertical wall or cliff face but rather a steeply sloped, solidified tumble of rocks dotted with bits of earth and vegetation. In many places, you can simply walk the path, but in others, you’ll need to scramble up with your hands and possibly your knees.

Height of the Barranco Wall

The elevation of the wall is 257 meters (843 feet) above the Barranco Valley. Many climbers with a fear of heights perceive the wall to be higher than it is.

Origin of the Barranco Wall

The Barranco Wall formed a long time ago when Kilimanjaro was an active volcano. A massive landslide deposited a jumble of large rocks on the Barranco Wall portion of the mountain. Mount Kilimanjaro’s turbulent volcanic past resulted in the formation of the Barranco Wall. When Mount Kilimanjaro went dormant between 150,000 and 200,000 years ago, the Kibo crater at the summit formed. The area was held up by the pressure of the lava beneath the summit. However, without it, the mountain top collapsed within, forming the caldera. As a result, a less dramatic collapse occurred, resulting in the Barranco wall’s current form. About 100,000 years ago, one of these collapses resulted in a massive landslide down the southern face, shearing away what was thought to be more forgiving terrain. As a result of this violent event, the rocky slopes of the dramatic Barranco wall, which differ greatly from the gentle Kilimanjaro slopes, were formed.

Technical Skills Needed to Climb the Barranco Wall

The Barranco wall, classified as a class 4 scramble in the Yosemite decimal system, does not require any specialized equipment or mountaineering skills to climb. To successfully climb the wall, you will need to use all four limbs. The Barranco Wall is a difficult section of the mountain due to the steep, narrow path that cuts back and forth along the rock face. You must exercise extreme caution when positioning your hands and legs.

Is the Barranco Wall dangerous?

The Barranco Wall is not as dangerous as some may believe after viewing photos from various angles. You’ll be fine if you take it pole by pole (slowly, slowly) and focus solely on your own progress, as your Kilimanjaro guides will advise.

The trail continues to Karanga Camp, which is located in the Karanga Valley at the top of the Barranco Wall. The Karanga Valley, located at 13,000 feet with a mountain backdrop, has a place to enjoy a lunch break. Some people sleep at Karanga Camp before moving on to the next camp, Barafu Camp, depending on how many days they have on the mountain.

The Kilimanjaro Barranco Wall
The Kilimanjaro Barranco Wall

Do you need trekking poles?

While trekking poles are useful for other treks, they aren’t necessary for your ascent of the Barranco Wall. Because of the way the Barranco wall is formed, using a trekking pole will make your ascent uncomfortable and time-consuming. You must abandon the trekking poles and scramble up the wall on all four limbs. You’ll be able to make significant progress on your journey this way.

How Long Does It Take to Scale Up the Barranco Wall?

It takes about 1–2 hours to scramble up the Barranco wall. You’ll need to be patient, especially with slower climbers, because the passage is narrow and you’ll be waiting for people ahead of you. Hikers and potters practically step on each other’s feet to reach the summit. It’s always a frantic progression, and it’s also not a typical path. Some sections necessitate scrambling and boulder climbing. You can also admire the view whenever you need to take a break while waiting for people ahead of you.

Kilimanjaro Routes That Include the Barranco Wall

The Barranco wall is located in Lemosho, Machame, Shira, and Umbwe routes. Among these routes, The Lemosho and Machame routes are recommended. The Machame (Whiskey) route is considered the busiest route on Kilimanjaro, so traffic is unavoidable. The Lemosho route is the best option for avoiding traffic. The Lemosho routes are less crowded and have a high success rate for your climb. The Lemosho route is also regarded as having the most scenic route on Kilimanjaro. The Shira and Umbwe routes are more difficult and have a lower success rate.

Is it dangerous to climb the Barranco Wall?

Although the Barranco wall appears to be dangerous, there is little or no risk of falling. Trekkers are always excited to participate in the adventure. To complete the climb, you do not need to make any dangerous moves. Furthermore, there are guides strategically placed throughout the route to ensure a safe ascent. The view from the top of the Barranco wall is also spectacular.

At the Top of the Barranco Wall

The Karanga valley and the Barranco valley below can be seen in all their beauty once you have successfully ascended to the top of the wall. At one of the most beautiful camps on the mountain, Karanga Camp, you’ve also earned yourself a chance to unwind a little and enjoy some special moments beneath the magnificent night sky.

 Regardless of the route you take, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is unquestionably an unforgettable experience. Therefore, if you intend to visit Africa in the near future, think about including it on your itinerary.

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