The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – On August 13, 2014, 33-year-old Swiss-Ecuadorian, Karl Egloff, broke the record for the fastest time to climb up and down Tanzania’s 19,340-foot-tall Mount Kilimanjaro. Usually, this takes between five and seven days, with climbers taking things slowly to overcome altitude sickness. Egloff ran without pausing. He took six hours, 56 minutes and 24 seconds, beating 22-year-old Spaniard, Kilian Jornet’s previous 2010 record of seven hours and 14 minutes.
Egloff ascended via the steep, scenic Umbwe route to the summit and returned via the Mweka gate. On the way down, he took off his coat despite the bitterly cold temperature so he was unencumbered by its weight.
Egloff has been climbing since he was a little boy and prepared for Kili with six months of high altitude training in the Ecuadorian Andes and four weeks in Tanzania. The cost of the venture was met by the Swiss tour firm, Aktivferien AG, for which he works and which he thanked. It has organised trekking tours of Mount Kilimanjaro for 23 years. Egloff has climbed the mountain more than 40 times.
There are other records for climbing Kilimanjaro. Simon Mtuy of Tanzania, who once held the record for the fastest ascent and descent, still holds the record for the fastest unaided climb – climbing while carrying his own food, water and clothing and taking nine hours and 19 minutes, which he accomplished in 2006. This was despite a severe bout of diarrhoea, with a three-minute break at the peak to video himself and another two breaks to vomit.
In 2011, 34-year-old Debbie Bachmann, who was born in Zimbabwe but now works as a guide on Kilimanjaro, became the fastest woman to tackle the mountain, which took her 18 hours and 31 minutes. There was a half hour delay at Mweka Gate because the warden was reluctant to allow her to continue owing to it being late in the day.
In 2008, seven-year-old Keats Boyd of Los Angeles became the youngest person to reach the top of Kilimanjaro. Regulations dictate a minimum age of 10.
Wheelchair-bound South African, Bernard Goosen, scaled Kili in 2007, taking six days.
The oldest people to climb Kili are recognised as Martin and Esther Kafar from Vancouver, who were 85 and 84-years-old, respectively. It is thought that 87-year-old Frenchman, Valtee Daniel reached the summit, but his feat went unacknowledged by the Guinness Book of Records because it requires independent witnesses and a photographic record.
But perhaps the most impressive Kilimanjaro record held to date is that of Kyle Maynard, who in 2012 crawled unassisted to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro on the stubs of his hands and knees. Kyle was born with a condition called congenital amputation and has no lower arms or legs. He has also recently announced that he is planning to climb South America’s highest mountain, Acongugua, a higher and more technical challenge than Kilimanjaro.
While he broke no official record, 18-year-old student, Ben Boleyn deserves note. This individual, from the West Midlands in the UK, assailed the mountain in comprehensive walking gear that included four layers of thermals before disrobing. The temperature was 10°F and he remained naked for 10 minutes. A friend had bet him 500 Tanzanian shillings – less than a UK penny – that he would not do what he did. He had previously raised £600 for Acorns Children’s Hospice in Worcester, where he works voluntarily, but his stunt prompted donations of further hundreds of pounds.
This article was written by Mark Whitman from the Climb Kilimanjaro Guide.
By: Jimmy Simond
The Costa Rica News (TCRN)
San Jose, Costa Rica