September 24, 2015 | Discover Adventure
Guide attempts to break World Record on Mount Kilimanjaro
Professional mountaineer and Discover Adventure leader, Julio Ludago, will aim to climb to the roof of Africa (and back again) in less than six hours and 42 minutes
Rising from cultivated farmlands through lush rainforest and alpine meadows to a barren, moon-like landscape, Mount Kilimanjaro (5,896m) is a dormant volcano, the highest peak on the African continent and also the tallest freestanding mountain in the world.
Featured as a firm favourite on countless bucket lists, about 35,000 travellers start the ascent each year, but about half turn back due to altitude sickness.
The first recorded ascent of Mount Kilimanjaro was made by Hans Meyer (a German geologist) in October 1889 – it took him almost six weeks.
Nowadays, the climb to the top (Uhuru Peak) takes most people between four and seven days, with treks lasting up to 12 hours each day. However, in the last decade, a few climbers have been determined to speed things up…
On 22 February 2006, Simon Mtuy (a local) made it to the summit and back in nine hours and 19 minutes and, four years later, in September 2010, Kílian Jornet (a Spanish mountain runner) managed the feat in seven hours and 14 minutes.
The World Kilimanjaro Record is currently held by Karl Egloff, a Swiss mountain runner who completed the challenge in six hours and 42 minutes on 13 August 2014. But, if Julio Ludago has his way, Egloff won’t be the record holder for much longer.
Working as one of Discover Adventure’s ground crew in Tanzania with Ahsante Tours (a family-owned local tour operator), Ludago has helped hundreds of people to achieve their dream of summiting Mount Kilimanjaro.
On 27 September 2015, Ludago will embark on his own challenge: attempting to ascend and descend the mountain in less than six hours and 42 minutes, to create a brand-new World Record.
Ludago says: “Ever since 1999 I’ve loved hiking. I’ve climbed five mountains, but Kilimanjaro is my favourite. It has allowed me to meet new people and see different things. I thought about breaking the world record a year ago – for my country, Tanzania, for my family and friends, and for myself.”
Jo Bradshaw, who attempted to become the first British woman to climb Everest and Lhotse earlier this year, has climbed Kilimanjaro with Ludago more than 15 times (each time with Discover Adventure).
Bradshaw says: “When I first met Julio over five years ago, he was an assistant guide working his way up the ladder. He was a quiet individual, not one of the big characters you see on the mountain. He was watching, learning, listening and observing, and all of that hard work has made him into the first-class lead guide that he is today. I know that he is rock solid and that he really knows his stuff, and I wish him all the very best for a successful World Kilimanjaro Record attempt. Go for it Julio!”
Discover Adventure offers a range of exciting trekking and cycling challenges worldwide, including a Mount Kilimanjaro trek, an Everest Base Camp trek and the Ladakh and Stok Kangri trek, which features one of the only peaks in the world over 6,000m that it’s possible to scale without technical climbing experience.