Mount Kilimanjaro

The first recorded person to climb Mount Kilimanjaro was Hans Meyer, a German geology professor, accompanied by Austrian mountaineer Ludwig Purtscheller. They reached the summit on October 6, 1889, according to historical records. However, it is worth noting that local Chagga people had been living on and around the mountain for centuries before that and likely climbed to various parts of the mountain.

On Top of Africa: The First Conqueror of Mount Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro is the tallest peak located in Tanzania, Africa. The specialty of this mountain is that it stands free at a high altitude of 5895 meters above sea level. Many people have tried to conquer this peak, but not all have succeeded. Thousands of mountaineers try to climb Mount Kilimanjaro every year. As per the statistics, the success rate of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is about 70-80%.

Hans Meyer is the first person to reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. Previous climbers who attempted to climb the mountain, Abbott and Teleki, played an essential role in Hans Meyer’s journey. A person must be mentally and physically fit to succeed in this expedition. Mountaineers have to overcome numerous challenges to reach the top of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Uhuru Peak - Mount Kilimanjaro
Uhuru Peak, at 5,895 meters above sea level, is the highest free-standing peak in Africa. Located on the volcanic cone Kibo, as part of Mt. Kilimanjaro, reaching Uhuru Peak is the end goal of 20,000-35,000 hikers each year. With beautiful scenic views of Tanzania, Uhuru is a breathtaking hike.

First Person To Conquer Mount Kilimanjaro: Hans Meyer

Hans Meyer was born into a wealthy family from Leipzig. He was a geology professor, but he got retired a year before he conquered Mount Kilimanjaro. He made four attempts to climb this peak. His first attempt was partially successful as he reached a height of 5400 meters in 1887. Hans made his second attempt the following year, but the situation worsened this time.

During Meyer’s second attempt, the Abushiri war broke out on the East African coast. Sheikh Abushiri made Hans Meyer, along with his friend Baumann, hostages. Hans and his friend could only escape after they managed to pay a ransom of 10,000 rupees.

It was Meyer’s third attempt when he became the first man to reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in 1889. Even after the lack of food and supplies at the top, Meyer managed to conquer this peak with his skills and determination. He made several camps on his route to complete his mission.

Hans Meyer - First person to climb Mount Kilimanjaro
Hans Meyer (L) – First person to climb Mount Kilimanjaro accompanied by Ludwig Purtscheller (R) – reached the summit on October 6, 1889

Challenges Faced By Hans Meyer During The Climb

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is not that easy. Hans Meyer reached the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro after two unsuccessful attempts. His main difficulty was mountain sickness, commonly due to the lack of oxygen at high altitudes. The mountain sickness accompanies various other health problems, including extreme headaches and nausea.

During the journey, Hans had to take many breaks on the route to get used to climatic conditions at the high altitude. The freezing temperature at such a height was also a challenge for him. The mountaineers must pack all their supplies, including warm clothes, sleeping bags, and food, to protect themselves at the top of the peak. The uneven passage route consists of rocky terrain, narrow ridges, and steep inclines, which causes trouble for climbers. You have to be very careful while passing such a risky route.

Preparations Required To Climb The Mount Kilimanjaro

A climber has to go through training before he can climb Mount Kilimanjaro. Hans Meyer knew the importance of the training and prepared himself accordingly for this intricate journey. During training, climbers improve their strength, mental toughness, and endurance. They do numerous activities to strengthen their bodies, such as hiking, weight training, and running. They also do breathing exercises that help them adapt to the low oxygen level at high altitudes.

Besides getting months of training, climbers must also purchase the equipment and gear needed to climb the mountain. Mountaineers must buy sturdy boots to help them climb uneven terrain, warm clothes to tolerate freezing temperatures, and a strong backpack to carry the essential supplies. They must also take a satellite phone and first-aid kits to handle emergencies.

Climbing the tallest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro is not only about being physically fit. Mountaineers must also be mentally strong to tackle unexpected situations when they climb the mountain. Sometimes even a physically healthy climber fails to reach the top because of a lack of mental strength.

Preparation to climb Mount Kilimanjaro
Preparation to climb Mount Kilimanjaro

How Has Hans Meyer’s Climb To Mount Kilimanjaro Inspired Others?

Hans Meyer’s climb to Mount Kilimanjaro has inspired many other mountaineers. Many individuals around the globe have learned a lot from Meyer’s determination to climb the tallest peak. Meyer’s bravery in reaching the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro has become an example for many other climbers. People follow in the footsteps of Hans Meyer to climb this peak.

Climbers on Mount Kilimanjaro
Climbers on Mount Kilimanjaro

To Sum Up

Hans Meyer was the first person to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s tallest peak. He was a geology professor by occupation. Meyer retired from his job just before a year when he conquered Mount Kilimanjaro. He made about four attempts to complete this mission. In the first attempt, he reached a height of 5400 meters, and the second attempt was a complete failure because of the Abushiri War. He finally conquered the mountain during his third attempt.

Hans Meyer’s journey was filled with numerous challenges. But he overcame all the troubles and reached the top of the peak. His bravery has inspired many other climbers to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.


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