Category: Information

January 6, 2006

Three climbers die on Kilimanjaro

An interesting story just before we fly off to Kilimanjaro. Its comforting to know that this incident occurred on the Western Breach of the mountain which we are not climbing on as we’re doing the Rongai Route which approaches the peak from the North side of the mountain.

According to the BBC news story:

Three tourists have been killed in a rockslide on Mount Kilimanjaro - Africa’s highest mountain - in the north of Tanzania.
It is reported that at least one of the dead climbers is American.

One more climber and four guides were seriously injured as strong winds prompted a rock slide.

“A rapid change of weather forced several rocks to tumble and slide down the gradient,” chief game warden James Wakibara told AFP news agency.

“The rocks hit a group of tourists who were en route to the peak and three were killed.”

The accident took place at an altitude of nearly 5,000m, close to Arrow Glacier base camp.

This year entry prices were doubled for climbers, in an attempt to restrict numbers on the mountain to protect the environment.

Around 25,000 visitors climb Mount Kilimanjaro each year, compared to 15,000 visitors 10 years ago.

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December 21, 2005

Kilimanjaro Travel Insurance with the British Mountaineering Council (BMC)

I’ve just taken out my travel insurance with the British Mountaineering Council for our Kilimanjaro Climb. This was recommended to us by one of the more experienced climbers in our group, Rick van der Merwe, who had a friend who claimed on it for alititude sickness and emergency repatriation.

The policy type I took out was trek which covers you as follows:

Includes all activities in Travel plus:
Hill walking, trekking, backpacking and scrambling.

In Britain this includes year round mountain walking (including the use of crampons and ice-axes) but not ascents of graded climbs. In Europe and worldwide Trek includes easy trekking summits and via ferrata.
All walking trips in the mountains are covered including adventurous treks in the Alps and Himalayas. Recognised trekking routes with simple glacier crossings and scrambles are included. So, in Europe the Tour du Mont Blanc and easy alpine hut tours including via ferrata are included, but Alpine & Ski is required for technical and high altitude alpine peaks and tours such as the Haute Route between Chamonix and Zermatt.
For worldwide cover, Trek covers the trek to Everest base camp (including the scramble up Kala Pattar) and the trek along the Baltoro Glacier to Concordia, but Alpine & Ski is required for the crossing of high-altitude passes with snow covered crevasses (such as the Biafo-Hispar trek). Trek only includes journeys where the purpose is non technical ascents of easy trekking routes on peaks that do not require the use of technical climbing equipment. So, the normal trekking routes on peaks like Stok Kangri, Island Peak, Aconcagua, Kinabalu and Kilimanjaro are included but harder ascents require Alpine & Ski or Expedition.

To take out the policy you have to become a member of the BMC at an additional cost of GBP27.50.The Membership benefits are:

The nice thing about this policy is that there is no altitude limit which is ideal for Kilimanjaro, this policy schedule provides you with a pretty good analysis of the benefits. A summary of the cover is as follows:

  • Medical Expenses £10 million
  • Rescue/Recovery £50,000
  • Hospital Inconvenience £1,000
  • Personal Accident up to £25,000
  • Personal Liability £2 million
  • Baggage/Personal Possessions (incl cameras/watches) £1,500
  • Loss of Passport £250
  • Money & Documents £500
  • Cancellation/Curtailment £3,000
  • Delayed Departure £100
  • Missed Departure £500
  • Legal Expenses and Advice £25,000

Alpine & Ski and Expedition policies only:

  • Avalanche Closure £500
  • Piste Closure £300
  • Ski Pack £250
  • Equipment Hire £250

As can be seen, the cover is fairly comprehensive, let’s hope I don’t have to make use of it!

Update - 23rd December 2005

I received my BMC membership letter in the post this morning. My membership card is illustrated below:


Also received was the BMC Insurance Certificate and Policy Summary.

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