Nestled on the northwest slope of Kibo Peak on Mount Kilimanjaro, the Credner Glacier is a colossal remnant, preserving the legacy of the mountain’s bygone ice cap that once adorned its summit in splendor. A witness to the ever-changing landscape, this glacier stands as a testament to the enduring geological saga of Mount Kilimanjaro.

The Credner Glacier rests at an elevation ranging between 5,800 to 5,500 meters (19,000 to 18,000 ft). Originating from the Northern Ice Field, this once-majestic glacier, a testament to the mountain’s geological history, faces an uncertain fate. Recent research indicates a rapid decline in size, possibly leading to its disappearance within the next decade. The glacier’s vulnerability stems from its elevated and exposed position, highlighting the ongoing impact of environmental changes on Mount Kilimanjaro’s icy landscapes.

The Credner Glacier is among several outlet glaciers that derive from the expansive northern ice field, encompassing glaciers such as Drygalski, Penck (Great and Little), Uhlig, and two distinct glacier streams near the Western Breach area (Little and Great Barranco glaciers).

Fact about Credner Glacier

  • Situated in proximity to the Northern Icefield
  • Among the prominent glaciers on Mount Kilimanjaro, it shares the stature with the Furtwangler Glacier, albeit undergoing a rapid recession.
  • Projected Extinction: Anticipated disappearance by 2030, marking the end of the Credner Glacier’s existence.

Location of Credner Glacier

Nestled in the northwest region of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, the Credner Glacier basks in abundant sunlight, owing to its strategic location on Kibo’s summit. Over the past decade, this glacier has dwindled by half, raising concerns among researchers. If this alarming trend persists, the Credner Glacier might vanish within the next five years, with projections indicating its complete disappearance by 2030.

Nestled in Kilimanjaro’s arctic zone near the summit, the Credner Glacier gracefully descends along the mountain’s northwest flank.

A Challenging Ascent on Kilimanjaro’s Thomas Glacier Route.

The glacier, named after German Earth Scientist Carl Hermann Georg Credner, witnessed an exploration in 2009 led by Thomas Laemmle and guide Dismas Marika. The survey included challenging sections like a rock wall and ridge, where pitons and a 25-meter rope were utilized.

The ascent started from the 4650-meter Lava Tower Camp, commencing at 23:30 under the full moon. It took seven hours to reach the glacier’s tongue, with a break to navigate the challenging path of dried ice. The team continued towards the Northern Icefields’ ice massif, overcoming a ten-meter ice wall and a mixed couloir climb. They reached Kilimanjaro’s summit by 16:00.

After 22 hours, they arrived at Camp Millennium, and the National Park officially recognized their new route, named the “Thomas Glacier Route” in honor of its creator.


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