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Uhuru Peak, Rombo, Kilimanjaro, Northern Zone, Tanzania (-3.07641 37.35400)
Mount Kilimanjaro or just Kilimanjaro (/ˌkɪlɪmənˈdʒɑːroʊ/), with its three volcanic cones, Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira, is a dormant volcano in Tanzania. It is the highest mountain in Africa and the highest single free-standing mountain in the world, with its summit of 5,895 metres (19,341 ft) above sea level and at about 4,900 metres (16,100 ft) high from its plateau base. Kilimanjaro is also the fourth most topographically prominent peak on Earth. The first people known to have reached the summit of the mountain were Hans Meyer and Ludwig Purtscheller, in 1889. The mountain is part of Kilimanjaro National Park and is a major climbing destination. Because of its shrinking glacers and disappearing ice fields, the mountain has been the subject of many scientific studies.
Both Mawenzi and Kibo began erupting about 1 million years ago. They are separated by the Saddle Plateau at 4,400 metres (14,400 ft) elevation.:3
In August 1871, missionary Charles New became the "first European to reach the equatorial snows" on Kilimanjaro at an elevation of slightly more than 4,000 metres (13,000 ft).:11 In June 1887, the Hungarian Count Sámuel Teleki and the Austrian Lieutenant Ludwig von Höhnel made an attempt to climb the mountain. Approaching from the saddle between Mawenzi and Kibo, Höhnel stopped at 4,950 metres (16,240 ft), but Teleki continued until he reached the snow at 5,300 metres (17,400 ft). Later in 1887, the German geology professor Hans Meyer reached the lower edge of the ice cap on Kibo, where he was forced to turn back because he lacked the equipment needed to progress across the ice.:81 The following year, Meyer planned another attempt with Oscar Baumann, a cartographer, but the mission was aborted after the pair were held hostage and ransomed during the Abushiri Revolt.:82 In the autumn of 1888, the American naturalist Dr. Abbott and the German explorer Otto Ehrenfried Ehlers approached the summit from the northwest. While Abbott turned back earlier, Ehlers at first claimed to have reached the summit rim, but after severe criticism of the claim, withdrew it.:17–19
A continuous ice cap covering approximately 400 square kilometres (150 sq mi) down to an elevation of 3,200 metres (10,500 ft) covered Kilimanjaro during the Last Glacial Maximum in the Pleistocene epoch (the Main glacial episode), extending across the summits of Kibo and Mawenzi. Because of the exceptionally prolonged dry conditions during the subsequent Younger Dryas stadial, the ice fields on Kilimanjaro may have become extinct around 11,500 years BP. Ice cores taken from Kilimanjaro's Northern Ice Field (NIF) indicates that the glaciers there have a basal age of about 11,700 years, although an analysis of ice taken in 2011 from exposed vertical cliffs in the NIF supports an age extending only to 800 years BP. Higher precipitation rates at the beginning of the Holocene epoch (11,500 years BP) allowed the ice cap to reform. The glaciers survived a widespread drought during a three century period beginning around 4,000 years BP.
In contrast to the persistent slope glaciers, the glaciers on Kilimanjaro's crater plateau have appeared and disappeared repeatedly during the Holocene epoch, with each cycle lasting a few hundred years.:1088 It appears that decreasing specific humidity instead of temperature changes has caused the shrinkage of the slope glaciers since the late 19th century. No clear warming trend at the elevation of those glaciers occurred between 1948 and 2005. Although air temperatures at that elevation are always below freezing, solar radiation causes melting on vertical faces. Vertical ice margin walls are a unique characteristic of the summit glaciers and a major place of the shrinkage of the glaciers. They manifest stratifications, calving, and other ice features. "There is no pathway for the plateau glaciers other than to continuously retreat once their vertical margins are exposed to solar radiation." The Kilimanjaro glaciers have been used for deriving ice core records, including two from the southern icefield. Based on this data, this icefield formed between 1,250 and 1,450 years BP.
Though the climb is not technically as challenging as the Himalayas or Andes, the high elevation, low temperature, and occasional high winds can make Kilimanjaro a difficult trek. Acclimatization is required, and even experienced and physically fit trekkers may suffer some degree of altitude sickness.