Mount Stanley locally known as Ngaliema is a mountain located in the Rwenzori Mountains. With an elevation of 5,109 m (16,763 ft), it is the highest mountain of both the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda, and the third highest in Africa, after Mount Kilimanjaro (5,895 m) and Mount Kenya (5,199 m). The peak and several other surrounding peaks are high enough to support glaciers. Mount Stanley is named for the journalist and explorer, Sir Henry Morton Stanley. It is part of the Rwenzori Mountains National Park, a UNESCO world Heritage Site and is also a high chain of some 11 summits that rise from variety of glaciers that include the Stanley Plateau that is the largest mass of ice within the Rwenzori Mountains and is also over one kilometer in length. The highest of the summits the Margherita peak, is hiked from the Elena hut (4,541m asl) via the Central circuit trail, Margherita camp (4,485m asl) via the Kilembe trail or Irene Lakes Camp (4,495m asl) via the Bukurungu trail to the first rocks and then cross the snow and ice Stanley Plateau towards Alexandra peak, the second highest summit in the Massif.
Along the eastern ridge of the peak, the normal route for the Margherita slopes a steep gully and then hike the dramatic Margherita glacier to the col which is between Margherita peak and Alexandra peak. Just from here, one can hike north to a short and steep rock wall which is also climbed to the summit. The rope will be needed for the widely crevassed glacier and the summit rocks. The peak also forms the boundary between Uganda and the DRC. The eastern ridge of the Alexandra peak at 4990m is also an excellent climb as well.
Towards the south, there is another collection of peaks that are topped by Savoia peak at 4977m.
The Ascent of any of these peaks across the great topical glaciers is something strange and an experience that will be enjoyed by most fans of the exotic.
Mt. Stanley consists of two (twin) summits and several lower peaks:
Peak metres feet
Margherita Peak 5,109 16,763
Alexandra 5,091 16,703
Albert 5,087 16,690
Savoia 4,977 16,330
Ellena 4,968 16,300
Elizabeth 4,929 16,170
Phillip 4,920 16,140
Moebius 4,916 16,130
Great Tooth 4,603 15,100
The first recorded ascent of Mt. Stanley was in 1906 on 18th June by Luigi Amedeo, J. Petigax, C. Ollier, and J. Brocherel. Margherita Peak is named after Queen Margherita of Italy.
Mount Stanley can be accessed through all the Rwenzori mountains climbing routes in Uganda and to some extent from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
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