Rwenzori Mountains Videos
About the Rwenzori Mountain Range - Mt Stanley & Mt Baker
Height: 5,109 m | Altitude Gain: 1,828 m | Duration: 8 days/7 nights | 2 Peaks
As early as the time of the Ancient Greeks, there were tales of mountains of snow and ice forming the source of the Nile River. Aeschylus talked of “Egypt nurtured by snows” and Arstotle noted ‘Mountains of Silver, the source of the Nile’ in the fourth century B.C. Ptolemy labeled these mountains in the correct location as “Lunae Montes” (The Mountains of the Moon) in his map published some 1800 years ago. According to the expedition account of the Duke of Abruzzi, this was actually a translation error from the name “white mountains”, but the name has stuck through the millennia.
Despite the legends, the existence of these mountains was not confirmed outside of Central Africa until the arrival of Henry Morton Stanley. In 1876 he first glimpsed the range, then in 1888 he noticed what he first thought to be a cloud then later realized was the slopes of a mountain covered with snow.
For a number of years explorers attempted to reach the peaks but were always turned back by the thick vegetation, bad weather, disease, or lack of time. However, in 1906, the Duke of Abruzzi led an expedition replete with six scientists, four alpine guides and the phenomenal photographer Vittorio Sella. With the help of over 300 porters, they climbed to the highest points of the six massifs in the range that at that time contained glaciers, including the highest peaks of Mt. Stanley.
Mount Stanley, Mount Speke and Mount Baker, form a triangle enclosing the upper Bujuku Valley. All mountains in this range consist of multiple jagged peaks.
Mt. Stanley is a fault block mountain rising between two rifts in the African Rift System. They were formed within the past 10 million years and contain gneiss and quartzite. The mountains are nearly perpetually covered in mists, rains with frequent thunder and lightning. Nowhere else in the world is there such an astonishing collection of bog, moss, and forests looking more like those from the Lord of the Rings than Earth.