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Thinking About Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro?

Updated: Aug 26, 2023

Eye Opener Press: Today Brenda is speaking with Mark Whitman, CEO of Mountain IQ. His Kilimanjaro guide book contains detailed information about each route on the mountain and offers information about weather, gear, costs and even acute mountain sickness. All this information is essential for people who want to climb the highest peak in Africa to know.

Eye Opener Press: So Brenda, I bet you wish you'd had a guide like Mark's when you climbed the mountain?

Brenda: For sure. So much has changed since I climbed this magical mountain 42 years ago. Back then, we just trusted our porters and followed where they went. In a few places, I couldn't believe we were even on a trail. Now there is much more information available to help climbers prepare for the climb. I've reached out to Mark to learn more about his company and his own experience climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

Brenda: Mark, what motivated you to start Mountain IQ?

Mark: Back in 2013, there wasn't much information on Kilimanjaro and other popular hiking routes like the Inca trail. I started Mountain IQ to create a central repository of independent advice and information for people planning one of these adventures.

Brenda: When did you first climb Mt. Kilimanjaro? With who? On what route?

Mark: I first climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in 2013. I went with my close friend, Brad, who is partially sighted. We took the six-day Machame route, and we both reached the summit.

Brenda: So, you took the same route I did back in 1981. When we climbed the mountain that route was rarely used, but I understand it's become the favorite route of climbers today. Do you have a favorite route?

Mark: I think the seven-day Machame or the eight-day Lemosho are the best routes on Kilimanjaro. They are both very scenic and offer the best acclimatization profiles. This means the incidence of altitude sickness is lower on these routes, and summit success rates are higher.

Brenda: What is your best memory of being on the mountain?

Mark: Undoubtedly, reaching the summit as the sun rose over the Tanzanian plains below was very memorable. But the entire experience, from start to finish, on Kilimanjaro is fantastic. I also particularly love interacting with the guides and porters, and hearing stories about their lives.

Brenda: Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro was just the start for you. The wanderlust bug bit you, too. Besides Africa, you've trekked in Asia, Europe, and South America?

Mark: Since then, we've expanded to cover hundreds of hiking routes and outdoor adventures. We have individual niche sites for destinations like Mount Kilimanjaro ( and Everest Base Camp (, and our flagship site called Mountain IQ (

Brenda: One last question. Is there any place on the planet you haven't been that you would love to visit?

Mark: I really would love to visit Antarctica.

Brenda: Somehow, I suspect that you'll make that happen. Thanks for creating such a great guidebook and sharing a few of your insights with us.

Mark Whitman

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