Kilimanjaro and its People

Dundas, Charles

1924 1st Edition

Book ID 71

See also

Dundas, Charles Kilimanjaro and its People, 1924 1st Edition
Page Number: 11
Extract Date: 10 Nov 1848

This morning we discerned the Mountains of Jagga

ON November 10th, 1848, the German Missionary Rebmann wrote in his diary: "This morning we discerned the Mountains of Jagga more distinctly than ever; and about ten o'clock I fancied I saw a dazzlingly white cloud. My Guide called the white which I saw merely 'Beredi,' cold; it was perfectly clear to me, however, that it could be nothing else but 'snow'".

That anyone who had once seen the great glittering dome of Kilimanjaro could doubt it to be ice capped is out of the question, yet even when Rebrnann had traversed the mountain flanks his accounts of the snow-covered summit were described by one writer (Cooley) as " a most delightful mental recognition, only not supported by the evidence of his senses." This sneer appeared in a publication of 1852 most inappropriately entitled " Inner Africa Laid Open," since it knew nothing of one of the most conspicuous marvels of Inner Africa. Perhaps the author of that work should be pardoned for doubting the existence of so remarkable a mountain which yet was unknown until Rebrnann saw it. In these days when one may have the closest view of the great mountain from a railway, it seems indeed difficult to conceive that it was unheard of seventy-three years ago.

Extract ID: 3134

See also

Dundas, Charles Kilimanjaro and its People, 1924 1st Edition
Page Number: 20a
Extract Date: 1861

next to visit Kilimanjaro was Von der Decken

After Rebrnann the next to visit Kilimanjaro was von der Decken in 1861, who got no farther than 8,200 feet owing to the inclemency of the weather. In the following year he went up to 14,200 feet in company with Dr. Kerston. His accounts were finally accepted as reliable by the Royal Geographical Society though not without opposition from Rebmann's critics.

Extract ID: 3135

See also

Dundas, Charles Kilimanjaro and its People, 1924 1st Edition
Page Number: 20b
Extract Date: 1871

Charles New attempted the ascent

In 1871 the Missionary, Charles New, attempted the ascent but was compelled to turn back on account of the bad weather. New, however, crossed the snow line to the South East of Kibo where it is particularly low. Two years later he made a second attempt, but was plundered by Rindi, the Chief of Moshi, and barely escaped with his life, only to die on the journey back to the coast.

Extract ID: 3136

See also

Dundas, Charles Kilimanjaro and its People, 1924 1st Edition
Page Number: 20c

next to attempt the ascent in 1883

Joseph Thomson was the next to attempt the ascent in 1883, and though he failed to penetrate higher than 9,000 feet, his observations gave the first geological study of the mountain.

Extract ID: 3540

See also

Dundas, Charles Kilimanjaro and its People, 1924 1st Edition
Page Number: 21
Extract Date: 1889

This first conquest of Kibo

In the following years several Missionaries and sportsmen visited various parts of the mountain, while Sir H. H. Johnston studied its flora and fauna. But not until 1887 was any serious attempt made to reach the top. In this year Count Teleki climbed to a height of 15,800 feet, and in August of the same year Dr. Hans Meyer, following the route taken by Count Teleki, attained the altitude of 18,000 feet. Here he came on an unscalable glacier wall, and was compelled to turn back. Renewing his attempt Meyer finally reached the summit in 1889 in company with Ludwig Purtscheller.

This first conquest of Kibo was the severest under-taking that has been, or is likely to be, required of anyone ascending the mountain. Meyer had then not discovered the notch in the ice wall of the crater rim, which by reason of the diminishing ice makes the ascent easier year by year. His ascent was therefore made over the Ratzel glacier which could only be scaled with ice axes. Every step required some twenty strokes of the axe, and the labour entailed for this purpose at such an altitude and whilst climbing at an angle of 35, must have been immense; added to this Meyer and his companion were in imminent danger, especially as Meyer himself had no climbing irons, and any step must inevitably have buried them down into the 3,000 feet abyss which yawns below the Western side of the glacier. A former traveller, Ehlers, who had alleged that he reached the North-western summit, reported that there was no trace of a crater. Meyer may have doubted this statement, but there could be no certainty on the point until he topped the rim and suddenly saw before him the huge crater with its frozen floor 600 feet below. It must have been a thrilling moment, and the consciousness that he and his companion stood there, the first men to behold this wonder and to reveal the secret Kilimanjaro had kept concealed through ages, must have been an inspiring thought.

Extract ID: 3137

See also

Dundas, Charles Kilimanjaro and its People, 1924 1st Edition
Page Number: 24

the actual height of Kibo's summit

There has been much dispute as to the actual height of Kibo's summit, which was measured by various travellers who all obtained different estimates. According to British topographers engaged on the boundary Commission the height was determined at 19,318, but as Meyer points out, they were never able to see the topmost peak which is invisible from below; German members of the Commission, however, arrived at an altitude of a little less than that. Meyer's own aneroid readings gave an altitude of 60 ms. more than the height observed of the British topographers. So far as I am aware the altitude was never ascertained by boiling point observations until 1921 when Mr. C. Gillman scaled the crater rim, and though I have not his figures, I believe that he found the correct measurement to be some 60 ms. or 105 feet less than Meyer's computation gave. Whatever the exact altitude may be, the highest point is over 19,000 feet above sea-level, and is thus the highest in Africa.

Extract ID: 3138