7 July, 2017
Kilimanjaro World Records
Kilimanjaro being the beast that it is has of course over the years attracted many people in search of setting or breaking a world record climb. The records span age, speed, disabilities, and method, each one worthy of appreciation for the challenge that was overcome.
Oldest Successful Ascent
The oldest person to reach the summit of Kilimanjaro is a record that has been surpassed on several occasions. The current record holder is unique in that it is a dual record held by a husband and wife – both the oldest man and the oldest woman to successfully reach the summit. The couple accomplished their record in September 2012 at the ages of 85 for Martin Kafer and 84 for Esther Kafer. The pair hail from the Canadian city of Vancouver. The previous oldest woman to reach the top of Kilimanjaro was 83 year old Bernice Buum in 2010. 84 year old American Richard Byerley held the record from October 2011 for the oldest man. Worth noting is a man by the name of Valtee Daniel who is said to have made the climb at the ago of 87. However, his attempt was not verified according to the Guinness Book of World Records rules.
Youngest Record Holder
At the ripe old age of seven Keats Boyd from California made it to the top of Kilimanjaro on 21 January, 2008. Even though Keats’ record is acknowledged and verified he broke one major rule to achieve it – the minimum age allowed for climbers is 10! The youngest person to make this incredible achievement following all the rules is Jordan Romero, also of California, who achieved his record when he was just 10 years and 11 days old.
Quickest Woman Up
Zimbabwe born Debbie Bachmann became the quickest woman to make the ascent of Kilimanjaro when she reached the summit in an impressive 11-hours and 51-minutes. She made the climb along the Umbwe Route and was 34 years old at the time. This climb wasn’t her first however, Debbie had already made it to the top of Kilimanjaro an amazing 26 times previously. Today, Debbie lives in Tanzania working as a guide on the mountain.
Quickest Man Up
If Debbie Bachmann’s world record is inspiring the record for the fastest man up and overall is currently held by 22 year old Kilian Jornet. Kilian is a specialist mountain runner from Spain and reached Kilimanjaro’s summit in an amazing 5-hours and 23-minutes, smashing the previous record by a whole minute in 2010.
Quickest Up and Down
Kilian Jornet doesn’t only hold the record for the fastest ascent but he also broke the record for the quickest total time to reach the top and come back down in a total of 7-hours and 14-minutes. However, in August 2014 he was beaten by Karl Egloff who made the round trip in an astonishing 6-hours, 56-minutes, and 24-seconds going up the Umbwe Route and down the Mweka Route.
The world record holder for the quickest ascent and descent without any help is Simon Mtuy. Carrying his own gear and food supplies for his 9-hour and 19-minute journey up and down Kilimanjaro Simon’s record is one of the most impressive.
First Paraplegic and Amputee
The team of Christopher Waddle, a paraplegic, and Tajiri Mungaya, an amputee were the first two people with their specific disabilities to reach Kilimanjaro’s summit. Tajiri was previously a Kilimanjaro porter for 15 years before an unfortunate accident while climbing the mountain resulted in the loss of his leg. Christopher became paraplegic after breaking his back in a skiing accident. A special mountaineering vehicle was created for Christopher that could handle the terrain and be pedalled by hand. The pair reached the summit in eight days.
These wonderful achievements will certainly be overtaken at some point, but nothing will take away from the amazing feats each of these world record holders accomplished. In fact, every person who attempts to climb Africa’s great mountain achieves something pretty special.