Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro isn’t exactly a new phenomenon. But scaling Africa’s highest peak in less than 35 hours is currently the new record which has just been set in Tanzania.
Mr Igor Kucherenko, a 42-year-old Russia-born American investor, who set out for a climbing expedition over the weekend, using the toughest route through the Umbwe gate, accomplished the record peak by conquering the summit in just that time.
”The Umbwe passage happens to be the steepest thus toughest of the eight routes used to scale Kilimanjaro and people trekking through Umbwe gate normally spend between six and eight days,” explained Mr Elias Daniel Mwalaba, the guide who accompanied Mr Kucherenko on the expedition.
The American investor, who has just established mining operations in Geita, started his climb last Saturday morning of July 2, at 7.25 am.
He was back at the base the following day, in the evening of Sunday, July 3, at 6.45 pm, earning himself a Tanzania National Parks’ certificate Number 133002.
Mr Kidana Lupande, a Mount Kilimanjaro specialist who currently lives in Mwanza, said initially the Investor had targeted to use 48 hours for his climb, which should still have been a record in itself.
But, said Mr Lupande, Mr Kucherenko beat that by using 13 hours less than the time he originally intended to use in reaching the summit, peaking at 5,895 metres or 19,341 from base.
The trip was his third, having previously climbed the Mountain last year when he spent Seven days. Then he returned with an expedition team from USA last February and they spent six days.
This time around, along with a partner, Mr Klyn Yuriy, he did it in 35 hours. Their guide was the only other person who accompanied them to the summit, choosing to carry their own food supplies and relied on water which they drew from a number of streams on the Mountain.
”When you set out to break a record you don’t use porters,” he explained. ”I intend to break my own record next year (2012) when I plan to conquer the summit in just 26 hours,” he boasted.
Mr Kucherenko became an Investor in Tanzania last December 2010 by establishing the OPG-Global Mining operations at Geita. The firm which also has offices in Dar-es-Salaam is a division of the US based MPG-Global.
By MARC NKWAME, Tanzania Daily News