As its name suggests, the Western Breach is a gap, formed by lava flow, on the western outer rim of Mount
Kilimanjaro main summit, Kibo.
The Western Breach offers one of the shortest climbing routes to the summit. The core of this route, stretching from Arrow Glacier Camp to Crater Camp, involves sections of relative steepness and a high degree of exposure depending on route variation. It was temporarily closed after a rock slide accident in January 2006 killed three people.
Despite its moderate inherent risks, among experienced climbers the Western Breach is still a popular ascent route because it is very direct and more interesting than the two heavily frequented standard routes on the southeast face of Kibo.
Alternatively, it is possible for trekkers on most other routes to stay one night in the crater at the Crater Camp, allowing for extended time to explore the peak without the added risk of an assault via the Western Breach.
It may be advisable to spend an additional night at Lava Tower Camp (4600m) to aid acclimatization before positioning to Arrow Glacier Camp (4800m) the day after, in preparation for the final night-time climb to the summit.
Avoid being in the breach in windy conditions, as well as daylight hours, which may both increase the probability of rock fall. Ensure sufficient acclimatization and rest before entering the breach, so as to be able to move through it swiftly, minimizing exposure time to rock fall.