Mount Kilimanjaro Evacuations & Rescue

What is an evacuation on Kilimanjaro?

– An evacuation refers to bringing a climber down and off the mountain for medical or safety reasons. This is done when a climber can no longer safely descend on their own.

Common reasons for evacuation:

– Severe cases of altitude sickness or Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)
– Injuries from falls or other accidents
– Exhaustion, hypothermia or lack of oxygen
– Sudden onset of medical conditions like appendicitis

Evacuation methods:

– Walking assisted evacuation – Climber walks short distances supported by crew
– Stretcher carry – Climbers carried down on a stretcher by crew
– Vehicle evacuation – Climber transported by park vehicle where possible
– Helicopter airlift – Used for severe cases where climber cannot walk or be carried

Challenges of evacuation:

– Remote terrain makes access difficult and dangerous
– Poor weather can prevent helicopter evacuation
– Long distances mean evacuations can take days
– Lack of quality medical facilities on the mountain

Cost considerations:

– Walking evacuations – No cost beyond crew tips
– Helicopter evacuations – Can cost $5,000 to $15,000+ per incident
– Medical treatment – Evacuees must cover all medical costs

Preventing need for evacuation:

– Choose a reputable guide company with safety protocols
– Ensure proper acclimatization schedule is followed
– Monitor health closely and descend at first signs of illness
– Turn back if weather deteriorates or conditions become unsafe
– Carry adequate gear, clothing, supplies for safety and emergency response

Overall, evacuations on Kilimanjaro present many challenges, but can be a life-saving necessity in cases of serious illness or injury. Being well-prepared is key to avoiding needing an evacuation.

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