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Gilman’s Point and other milestones on Kilimanjaro

Kilimanjaro is one of those mountains that seem to be infinite.

As you get higher up the mountain and closer to Uhuru Peak, you will arrive at Gilman’s Point and Stella Point, which for many climbers, serve as important milestones during the journey.

Sometimes, when you make your way up this majestic mountain, there may come a time when you think you’ve reached the peak, only to discover that there is still a little way to go.

However, once you’ve made it to these summit points, you are close to achieving your dream of climbing the rooftop of Africa.

We discuss this in further detail below.

Gilman’s Point

Gilman's Point is one of three summit points on Mount Kilimanjaro, next to Stella Point and the actual summit – Uhuru Peak.  Situated at the edge of the crater rim, at an altitude of 5,756 meters (18,885 feet), climbers who reach Gilman's Point will receive the official Kilimanjaro climbing certificate and can proudly claim that they have reached the top of the tallest mountain in Africa.

The sense of satisfaction you are likely to feel when you’ve finally made your way to Gilman’s Point is likely to be immense.

This is because you will have conquered the altitude, the rocks and the scree that climbers encounter before they approach the top of Kilimanjaro.

While on Gilman’s Point, you will see a vast open crater at the top of Kibo, where you can enjoy the spectacular views of the authentic wilderness which surrounds you.

As you continue to make your way to the very top of Kilimanjaro, the path becomes slightly easier and more manageable as you continue along the crater rim to Stella Point.

Even though both Gilman’s Point and Stella Point are not yet the summit, they are still exciting milestones in your journey that you can be proud of.

Stella Point

Gilman's point, Gilman’s Point and other milestones on Kilimanjaro

Stella Point is one of three summit points on Mount Kilimanjaro, next to Gilman's Point and the actual summit – Uhuru Peak.  Situated at the edge of the crater rim, at an altitude of 5,756 meters (18,885 feet), climbers who reach Stella Point will receive the official Kilimanjaro climbing certificate and can proudly claim that they have reached the top of the tallest mountain in Africa.

Uhuru Peak

Gilman's point, Gilman’s Point and other milestones on Kilimanjaro

Uhuru Peak is the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. With an altitude of 5,895 meters (19,341 feet), Uhuru Peak is also the highest point in Africa and this makes Mount Kilimanjaro the tallest free-standing mountain in the world.

Safety considerations when climbing Kilimanjaro

Before you climb Kilimanjaro, it is important to prepare for the high altitude. One of the main barriers to reaching the top of the mountain is altitude sickness, which can potentially be fatal if you ignore the safety consideration.

A common question that many new climbers ask is 'what is altitude sickness?'

Altitude sickness is the side effect caused by exposure to high altitudes. As a person reaches higher altitudes, the air contains less oxygen which begins to negatively affect the human body.

Symptoms usually develop from around 2,500 meters of altitude.

First signs of altitude sickness include headache, nausea or shortness of breath. More severe symptoms include dry cough, fever, vomiting or retinal haemorrhage.

Extreme cases can include fluid build up in the brain characterized by loss of coordination, confusion, inability to walk and even coma. If left untreated, AMS can be lethal.

What are the 3 golden rules of altitude acclimatization?

Gilman's point, Gilman’s Point and other milestones on Kilimanjaro

The so-called 3 golden rules of altitude acclimatization will help you acclimatize naturally in order to reduce the discomforts and risks associated with altitude sickness. The golden rules are:

  1. Take your time: Choose a route that allows you to ascend slowly over multiple days, and walk slowly during the day.
  2. Stay hydrated: Drink at least 2-3 liters of water every day, or more if in combination with dehydrating substances such as diamox or caffeine.
  3. Walk high, sleep low: Sleep at a lower altitude at night than you've climbed during the day. Some routes offers such a beneficial altitude profile.

Never be tempted to continue your ascent if you notice your symptoms of altitude sickness getting worse.

If you are in any doubt, it is always better to err on the side of caution and descend if you are feeling unwell or your condition is growing worse on Kilimanjaro.

The key thing to remember is that even if altitude sickness prevents you from making it to the very top of Kilimanjaro or even to Gilman’s Point, it is still a monumental achievement that you can be proud of.

Conclusion

Gilman's point, Gilman’s Point and other milestones on Kilimanjaro

If you’ve made it as far as Gilman’s Point, then your journey has already been a successful one. To get to this point, you will have made your way up despite the high altitude, scree and temperature.

So this is something to celebrate and be proud of. Of course, the real prize for many people, is to make their way to Stella Point and then continue climbing right to the top of Kilimanjaro when they will arrive at Uhuru Peak.

However, the number one priority should always be your health. This means that if at any point you feel severely unwell, or your symptoms of altitude sickness start to decline, then the safest thing to do is to descend. Moreover, following the 3 golden rules of altitude acclimatization will help to ensure you have a safer journey.

If you would like to learn more about how to stay safe on Kilimanjaro or you need more information ahead of your journey, be sure to visit our Climb Kilimanjaro Experience Page.

About the author

Janine is a travel content writer and blogger, with a background in marketing and journalism. She loves travelling and uses her writing to share her passion for responsible travel with others.
Gilman's point, Gilman’s Point and other milestones on Kilimanjaro

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