It is necessary to start descending the margarita by 10:00 am (latest) as the weather has changed a lot and often even during the dryer season the mountain is closed in with heavy clouds and snow falls from 1 pm to 4 pm and this happens within a short period of 10 to 15 minutes as the clouds rise up from the extensive Congo rainforests.
During January and February 2017 clients were closed in and unable to walk during heavy snowstorms which previously were not heard of during the dryer season and arrived back at Margarita camp well after dark with one group arriving back at 11 pm totally exhausted. Due to this change in weather, we have set a strict turnaround time of 10 am so if you do not reach the peak before then you must turn around regardless of the disappointment in the interests of safety.
Margherita glacier has also suffered from global warming and as the outer edges of the glacier recede the ice is becoming steeper with one section of about 200 meters more than 60% grade. Combined with this much of the blacker has melted underneath causing caves under the ice and as it gets thinner eventually caves in. So is necessary that clients understand and take the advice of where the guides suggest passing.
For those clients with less mountaineering experience, we suggest that you stay on Stanley glacier and climb up to a good vantage point on a rocky outcrop on the southern edge of Alexandra Peak to enjoy fantastic views over Congo and the lower mountain ridges