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When is the snow of Kilimanjaro at its worst? This is the one question that many explorers and mountain adventurers are dying to know, since snow is the one thing that can make or break your climb. This is because when you are at high altitudes and dealing with extreme climates, your body takes more strain than normal, making the climb potentially very difficult. Unless you are an experienced mountaineer, the recommendation is to stay away from these types of conditions.
The worst time to climb Kilimanjaro is considered to be between the months of April and June, as there are heavy rains and the nights are bitterly cold. This, of course, increases the chance of thick snow and heavy clouds which means reduced visibility, as well as difficulty in climbing the mountain. With the rains and snow during the day and the icy temperatures at night, it is not the best time to be on the mountain, simply because if you get soaked through during the day, the chances of your clothes and equipment freezing over at night increase.
Although the weather conditions on Kilimanjaro do vary, the general consensus about the snow is that it is at its worst during the months of heavy precipitation and heavy clouding.
Ramifications of heavy snow on a mountain
So, why is it not a good idea to climb Kilimanjaro when the snow is heavy? Apart from the fact that the air is much thinner during bad weather (thus making it harder to sustain your strength during the climb), there are several other factors that can also result in severe ramifications.
First off, in heavy snow that is constantly shifting and accumulating, you run the risk of coming face to face with an avalanche. It is not uncommon for mountaineers to lose their lives in an avalanche, and climbing a slope that is encountering heavy snow puts you at risk of this.
Glaciers are common on Kilimanjaro, and the one thing that you need to be careful of when you are around them is to make sure that you do not fall into a crevasse. These can sometimes be hidden beneath heavy snow. This is another reason why it is not a good idea for you to climb when the snow is at its worst.
Another thing to watch out for is altitude sickness. This happens as you ascend Kilimanjaro, but can be aggravated by extreme temperatures, brought about by the snow falls. Make sure that you plan your trip accordingly, so that you can minimize the unpleasantness that you will experience on the mountain.
If you choose to climb Kilimanjaro when the snow is not at its worst, you will find it to be a very rewarding experience. They say that there is nothing quite like summiting on the mountain - and this could not be more true!