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01-23-2017, 03:22 PM   #1
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Kilimanjaro

I've been invited on a trip to summit Kilimanjaro in September with a group of friends. I'm very seriously considering it and just need to get finances and logistics lined up. I Usually do more self-guided adventures but this sounds like a really neat opportunity in a very foreign environment so I'm willing to do the tour thing. We are looking at doing the Umbwe route which is the most direct and also the steepest. The summit will be about 5000 Ft higher than I have ever climbed but since I feel pretty good at 14,000 Ft. I'm hopeful 19,000 won't be too bad. I climb and ski 14ers.
Have any of you ever done this?

Now to the really important stuff, I'm already trying to figure out the best camera gear to bring.
No 645D, that's for sure. I'm thinking maybe my K-3 with a 18-135 and a couple of primes (DA15, A*300 maybe?). I'd choose the K-S2 but sadly I don't have mine anymore.
Also I'll need some kind of camera support for night star shots. I could probably get away with the Ultrapod II but I'm hoping I won't wish I had brought a real tripod once up there if I go that route.

We also may do a safari the day after we come off the mountain so I'd like to be prepared for that too.

Thoughts?


Last edited by mattb123; 01-23-2017 at 04:07 PM.
01-23-2017, 03:34 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattb123 Quote
I've been invited on a trip to summit Kilimanjaro in September with a group of friends. I'm very seriously considering it and just need to get finances and logistics lined up. I Usually do more self-guided adventures but this sounds like a really neat opportunity in a very foreign environment so I'm willing to do the tour thing. We are looking at doing the Umbwe route which is the most direct but also the steepest. The summit will be about 5000 Ft higher than I have ever climbed but since I feel pretty good at 14,000 Ft. I'm hopeful 19,000 won't be too bad. I climb and ski 14ers.
Have any of you ever done this?

Now to the really important stuff, I'm already trying to figure out the best camera gear to bring.
No 645D, that's for sure. I'm thinking maybe my K-3 with a 18-135 and a couple of primes (DA15, A*300 maybe?). I'd choose the K-S2 but sadly I don't have mine anymore.
We also may do a safari the day after we come off the mountain so I'd like to be prepared for that too.

Thoughts?
can't help you with the mountain but if you search for my photos you will find some that I took on a Northern Circuit Safari in late June/early July '16 starting in Arusha National Park (Mount Meru) then west Tarangire NP, Lake Manyara NP, the Ngorongoro Crater and ending in the Serengeti NP.

We flew KLM into KIA and flew out the same way. - http://www.kilimanjaroairport.co.tz/

A lot of the photos are in the Wild Life thread and the I Spy thread.

I used a K 5 II + Tamron 70 - 300 mm macro zoom ld 1:2 mostly and my wife and I also had Nikon Coolpix 610s.

Be advised that maximum speed limits when we travelled was 50 KPH, not MPH but KPH, distances are not great but with that speed limit and 2 lane roads, travel from point to point can take some time.

not sure if this helps or not but i though I would give it a try.

this is as close as we got to Kilimanjaro, a long range shot from the sides of Mount Meru Arusha National Park Tanzania
Attached Images
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PENTAX K-5 II  Photo 

Last edited by aslyfox; 01-23-2017 at 03:42 PM.
01-23-2017, 04:05 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattb123 Quote
The summit will be about 5000 Ft higher than I have ever climbed but since I feel pretty good at 14,000 Ft. I'm hopeful 19,000 won't be too bad. I climb and ski 14ers.
The air pressure at 14,000 ft at 0 C is about 0.57 atm. At 19,000 ft its 0.46 atm. Not a negligible drop.

Sounds like fun. Good luck. K-3 + 18-135 sounds a good option to me.
01-23-2017, 04:10 PM   #4
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Sounds like a really amazing opportunity Matt!

I think a K3 is a great hiking camera. With so much hiking to be done, you'll want to not bring too many lenses. I don't know about the A*300, seems weighty? The DA 15 is a good choice or something even wider if you have it?

01-23-2017, 04:15 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by bobbotron Quote
Sounds like a really amazing opportunity Matt!

I think a K3 is a great hiking camera. With so much hiking to be done, you'll want to not bring too many lenses. I don't know about the A*300, seems weighty? The DA 15 is a good choice or something even wider if you have it?
Yeah the 300 might just go on safari if there is secure storage for me while hiking. Or the 60-250 might be better so I don't have to change lenses as much and there's WR.
I also have a Rokinon 8/3.5 for the wide end. That lens is great for the right shot but the 15 is more versatile and much smaller.
01-23-2017, 06:33 PM   #6
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I don't have much to add other to agree to the 18-135 option for general purposes. However, you may want to opt for a small, quality P&S for the climb.

Go for it. I'm jealous, have been considering it the last few years myself. Sounds like you have good conditioning and it's a bonus you live at elevation.
01-23-2017, 08:38 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattb123 Quote
Yeah the 300 might just go on safari if there is secure storage for me while hiking. Or the 60-250 might be better so I don't have to change lenses as much and there's WR.
I also have a Rokinon 8/3.5 for the wide end. That lens is great for the right shot but the 15 is more versatile and much smaller.
I have the same two lenses, I totally know what you mean. :-) I am now pining for a 10mm rokinon (that is rectilinear) or one of the rectilinear 10-20(ish) zooms. That said, I've been finding the 8mm defishes pretty darn well in rawtherapee if needs be.

The 60-250 seems like a good call. I don't know the specifics of Kilimanjaro, but do you really need more than 135mm of zoom on such a huge mountain? Makes super sense to keep it on you if you're worried about it getting stolen!

I believe I "defished" this photo in rawtherapee with the 8mm.
01-23-2017, 11:16 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattb123 Quote
I've been invited on a trip to summit Kilimanjaro in September with a group of friends. I'm very seriously considering it and just need to get finances and logistics lined up. I Usually do more self-guided adventures but this sounds like a really neat opportunity in a very foreign environment so I'm willing to do the tour thing. We are looking at doing the Umbwe route which is the most direct and also the steepest. The summit will be about 5000 Ft higher than I have ever climbed but since I feel pretty good at 14,000 Ft. I'm hopeful 19,000 won't be too bad. I climb and ski 14ers.
Have any of you ever done this?

Now to the really important stuff, I'm already trying to figure out the best camera gear to bring.
No 645D, that's for sure. I'm thinking maybe my K-3 with a 18-135 and a couple of primes (DA15, A*300 maybe?). I'd choose the K-S2 but sadly I don't have mine anymore.
Also I'll need some kind of camera support for night star shots. I could probably get away with the Ultrapod II but I'm hoping I won't wish I had brought a real tripod once up there if I go that route.

We also may do a safari the day after we come off the mountain so I'd like to be prepared for that too.

Thoughts?
The hike up isn't bad. If you are in shape enough it's really just a good long hike up and down. It's not a day hike.... it's going to take a while to get up there, like a week...

And you don't have a choice as far as I know, you have to go with a tour company. You can't go it alone (at least not legally). You're required to book and go with a certified guide.

Another thing... it's not going to be cheap either. By the time you get out there and hire a guide and everything you're looking at a good chunk of change. That was one of the things that irritated me about Kenya was just how expensive it is to go do stuff. A hot air balloon ride was like several thousand bucks once you figured everything into it. Tanzania is no different.

As for gear take whatever you want. The hike/climb isn't horrible but you will be out there for a week so plan accordingly what you are going to haul around. I wouldn't even think about taking something that isn't WR.

Watch the video below so you can get an idea...there are a lot of youtube videos that people made so you can see what you're in for.





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