Kilimanjaro Millennium Climb Breaks Records

Millennium expedition accounts for record amount of climbers on Mt. Kilimanjaro

(Everything2000) They called it a "Millennium Expedition" and people came from around the world to take part in the historic climb of Africa's highest mountain. With the Expedition, Mount Kilimanjaro broke all previous climbing records and previous financial ones as well.

This season 1,180 people trekked up Mount Kilimanjaro, that's almost double the normal amount for this time of year. Mount Kilimanjaro usually sees about 700 climbers from November-January. Most of the climbers came specifically for the "Millennium Expedition". Only 19 Tanzanians attempted the climb while 1,161 non-Tanzanians came to Africa to make the New Year climb.

The Tanzania National Parks Authority expected the "Millennium Expedition" to attract a lot of people so it hiked up its climbing fees from December 22 to January 5. With the higher rates and increased number of climbers the Parks Authority brought in $892,194 this season alone. That's more than the Park earns in an entire year.

The climb was a financial success for the park, but it had its share of tragedy as well. Two climbers died while trying to make to Kibo Summit, the rim of one of three extinct volcanoes. Stevens Lambelet, 54, of Los Angeles, California, and Werner Hoain, 55, of Germany, died after falling during the expedition.

Thirty-six other climbers were treated for illness during the Millennium Expedition. And, as expected there were no Y2K glitches in this man versus mountain Millennium event.

There are success stories also. Of those taking part in the Millennium Expedition, 120 reached Uhuru Peak, the highest at 19,443 feet, and 463 more reached Gliman's Point, at 18,747 feet.

An average of 11,000 people climb Mount Kilamanjaro each year, generating approximately $600,000 for the entire season. This year the park made that money and more because of the Millennium Expedition.

(Source: Associated Press)

DATE: 1/7/2000

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