51yr old Canadian parachuting tourist dies on top of Mt Kilimanjaro

NAIROBI, Sept 29 — A Canadian tourist died yesterday while parachuting from the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak and Tanzania’s top tourist attraction. Once you cross the altitude of 18,000 feet you enter the lower realm of the death zone.

Justin Kyllo, 51, was killed after his parachute failed to open, Tanzanian National Parks spokesman Pascal Shelutete said.Kyllo had arrived in the country on September 20, he said.

Around 50,000 people climb the nearly 6,000-metre mountain, located near the northeastern frontier with Kenya, every year and the reported number of tourists deaths is about 10 fatalities per year. That is a only 0.03% chance of death. Or 1 death per 3,333 climbers. Most die due to Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), also known as altitude sickness.

The prices for Kilimanjaro climbs vary wildly. To climb Kilimanjaro can cost you anything from $1000 to $4000 and above. (There are some operators advertising cheap Kilimanjaro climbs that cost below $1200. Don’t go there. Unfortunately it is not possible to climb Kilimanjaro without a guide. In 1991 the Tanzanian government and Kilimanjaro National Park Authority changed it’s policy towards unsupported treks on Mount Kilimanjaro.

In short the regulations require that all trekkers are accompanied by a registered and licensed guide. As tens of thousands people climb Mount Kilimanjaro every year to experience the incredible journey to the summit, it should be noted that it can be quite dangerous.

There are very high success rates for Kilimanjaro climbs and you only need to have an average level of fitness to make it to the top, but if you’re thinking about taking on the challenging trek, then you need to be aware of all the risks.

About Caroline Zawedde

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