Karl Egloff, a veteran tour guide from Switzerland, last week set a new and astounding world record of climbing up and down Mount Kilimanjaro, in six hours and some minutes.
Under normal trekking it usually takes more than six days to scale and descend Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest peak summiting at 5895 metres above sea level, but Mr Egloff, who climbed to the peak without a guide or porter, spent 6 hours, 42 minutes and 24 seconds.
"I did not pause to acclimatize and only ate chocolates, drank water and juice at resting stations along the way so as not to waste a single moment," said the climber who pointed out that upon reaching the peak he even took off the coat despite the chilly weather so that he could speed down unhampered by additional weight.
Mr Egloff, who was brought to Tanzania by Aktivferian AG, a Swiss Tour firm that has been organising trekking tours to Kilimanjaro and Northern Circuit for the last 23 years, said he was happy to set this new world record this year. "I am from Switzerland but my mother is from Ecuador (South America) where I grew up," he said.
Mr Abdul Haldey the Aktivferian Tanzania Manager said his company worked with the Arusha-Based, Leopards Tours to accomplish the feat, adding that the champion, Mr Egloff, is a veteran tour guide who has been climbing Kili as well as other peaks for years.
Previously the fastest record on Kilimanjaro was being held by Spanish mountain runner Mr Kilian Jornet, who did that in September 2010 using 7 hours and 14 minutes and before that, the fastest solo unsupported ascent-descent of Mount Kilimanjaro was completed in a time of 9:21.47, by Mr Simon Mtui a Tanzanian on 22 Feb 2006.
Egloff, Jornet and Mtui both started at the Umbwe entrance gate to Kilimanjaro National Park at 1,661 meters, ran up the Umbwe Route to Uhuru Peak at 5,895 meters and descended via the Mweka Route to the Mweka Gate.
The fasted lady to scale Africa's highest peak, managed the ascent on the 4 th September 2011. She is Ms Debbie Bachmann, originally from Zimbabwe but now a resident of Moshi where she works as a guide on Kilimanjaro, recorded a time of 11 hours and 51 minutes on reaching Uhuru Peak via the Umbwe Route and Western Breach.
Debbie, a mother of two, was aged 34 at the time and it was her 27th time at the summit.