A new, independent path to Africa’s highest peak was opened by a group of German mountaineers from the firm DAV Summit Club. In 2008, one of the company’s top guides, Thomas Laemmle, conducted a route reconnaissance and looked at aerial photographs. Thomas Glacier Route was inaugurated at the end of October 2009 by him, eight guests, three local guides, and a national park official. The Credner glacier connects the west side of Kilimanjaro to the mountain’s crater.
There were only two access points to Kilimanjaro’s crater: Barafu and Kibo Hut, following the closure of Route Western Breach Route in 2005.
Thomas Laemmle, a German tour guide, made the smart business decision to create a third route. Thomas thoroughly researched aerial photographs and maps before taking a quick tour of the route. The DAV Summit Club thereafter started assembling a clientele. There were three Tanzanian guides, Thomas, and eight customers in the group. The head ecologist of the National Park Kilimanjaro, Ephraim Mvangomo, joined them at camp Barranco after they had traveled to the top of Meru to acclimate.
On October 27, 2009, Thomas Laemmle conducted reconnaissance of the route’s rocky wall and ridge leading to the Credner glacier with the help of a local guide named Dismas Marika.
There, two pitons and a 25-meter rope were fastened. The next day, the entire party ascended to 4650-meter-high Lava Tower Camp. They are well-rested here and started climbing at 23:30 when the moon was full. It took seven hours to go reach the Credner Glacier’s tongue. The glacier’s path was difficult to follow since the dried ice was in the shape of calgaspor. The crew took a short break after climbing the glacier for two hours before moving on to journey to the Northern Icefields’ ice massif. It was climbed by a ten-meter ice wall.
At around 16:00, climbers reached the top of Kilimanjaro after completing the final section, which involved a climb up a mixed couloir from the crater to Uhuru Peak.
The team arrived at the Millenium Camp on Mount Kilimanjaro around 9 p.m. after working for 22 hours. The climbers made their way the next day to the Marangu gate, where the Kilimanjaro National Park officially recognized their ascent as a new route. “Thomas Glacier Route” was the name given to it in honor of the founder.
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