Mount Kenya Climb 2018

Mount Kenya Climb 2018

 

 

Mount Kenya

 

 

Introduction

 

Mount Kenya is Africa’s second highest mountain at 5,199m (17,058 feet) and the highest of all Kenya Mountains. Mount Kenya is roughly circular, about 60km across at the 200mm contour, where the steep font hills rise out of the gentler slopes of the centered highlands. At the centre of the massif, the main peaks rise sharply from around 4,500m to the main summit of Batian 5,199m, Nelion 5,188m and point Lenana 4,985m. Other major summits on the mountain include Point Piggott 4,957m, Point Dutton 4,885 and Point John 4,883m. Of the three main peaks (Batian, Lenana and Nelion), only point Lenana can be reached by trekkers and the other two being only for technical climbers.

 

Mount Kenya is the second highest peak in Africa and stands somewhat unjustly in the shadow of it’s taller neighbour Kilimanjaro, which lies some 320km away in the south and is visible on a clear day. Kili may see much more traffic – due to the possibility of summitting via several non-technical trekking routes and due to the sometimes dubious honour of being one of the Seven Summits – but Mount Kenya offers a wealth of excellent and diverse climbing possibilities on rock, snow and ice.

The rock on Mount Kenya can be of variable quality but is at it’s best high on the mountain where the syenite rock is similar to granite – rough, hard and well endowed with features.

 

 

Apart from the superb climbing potential on Mount Kenya, its tarns and alpine meadows; exotic, equatorial, high-altitude vegetation; sunbirds, hyrax and soaring eagles make the walk around the peaks one of the most beautiful expeditions in the East African mountains.

 

Mount Kenya – Chogoria Route

 

 

 

 

The magic of Mt Kenya comes to life on this spectacular route. With the steep faces of the ‘Gorges Valley’ and the beauty of the high altitude tarns, this is a route that will never be forgotten. This is a sample itinerary of the route to Point Lenana (4985m) via the scenic Chogoria route, that incorporates some of the most beautiful and scenic sites on the mountain.  All in all it takes 5 days with campsites set up by a team of trained local porters, who accompany you throughout your expedition.

Distance to the Summit – 29km

Altitude at the Start – 2,400m, 7,875 ft

Altitude at the Summit – 4985m, 16,355 ft

Summit- Point Lenana

 

The Climbing Itinerary

 

 

Day 1.  Chogoria Road Head to Chogoria Banda’s

 

Transfer from the solitude of Colobus Cottages to the Chogoria Route road head on the far eastern side of the Mountain. An early start is required as you travel round the mountain passing through Meru communities and the lush farm lands below the Montane Forest. Once through the bustling Chogoria town the journey enters the forest to the road head. The first days walk takes you up through the forest for approximately 5 hours to the Chogoria Banda’s. If it is a clear afternoon you can generally get a good sense of the landscape from this point; where the Afro alpine forest ends and the moorland begins. The area is paradise, with rolling hills and crystal clear rivers, and a good chance to see some wildlife with good high view points over waterholes. Elephant, Buffalo, Zebra and Eland are often spotted. After a very comfortable night in the Banda’s you will be prepared to go into mountain mode, itching for what’s to come and ultimately the summit.

Distance: 10 km

Hours walking: 5 hrs

Altitude gain: 700m, 2,295 ft

Overnight at Chogoria Banda’s (3,100m, 10,150 ft)

 

Day 2. Chogoria Banda’s to Lake Elice

 

Depart the Banda’s at a leisurely pace to enjoy the spectacular views of the rolling hills ahead and perhaps even a glimpse of the snow-capped peaks of Batian (5199m) and Nelion (5188m). Arrive at Lake Elice camp earlier than the previous day, giving you a great chance to sit back and relax and enjoy the views around the lake whilst having lunch. We go by the general rule of thumb to “climb high and sleep low” to allow for better acclimatisation.  You will head out on an evening walk to the nearby Mugi Hill for a great chance to have a good look at the main peaks and your ultimate goal. This is a very nice way to finish the day and enjoy the sun going down.

Distance: 8km

Hours walking: 5hrs

Altitude gain: 400m, 1,310 ft

Overnight at Lake Elice (3,480m, 11,420 ft

 

Day 3. Lake Elice to Halls Tarn Camp

 

Today begins by heading up the ridge that overlooks the Gorges Valley, which is possible the most stunning walk on Mt Kenya. Lake Michelson can be seen in the valley below, surrounded by the steep cliff faces on each side. Lunch is enjoyed with a great view of the Gorges Valley and of the main peaks ahead. This is followed by a gentle traverse into the Halls Tarns camp. Afternoon rest followed by a walk to the “Temple” view point and a summit brief.

Distance: 8km

Hours walking: 7hrs

Altitude gain: 800m, 2,625 ft

Overnight at Halls Tarn Camp (4,290m, 14,075 ft)

 

Day 4. Halls Tarn Camp to Austrian Hut

 

A beautiful day’s trek as you approach the massifs of Batian and Nelion over the rocky lunar landscape. The walk sees you traverse the summit of Point Lenana from the northern side to Austrian Hut on the south. The Hut is your high camp and is a major part of Mt Kenya’s history, full of mountaineering stories of exploration, bravery and rescue. Throughout the trek you pass several little tarns where lunch can be enjoyed and views of terrain passed enjoyed.

Distance: 10km

Hours walking: 8hrs

Altitude gain: 500m, 1,640 ft

Overnight at Austrian Hut (4,790m, 15,720 ft)

 

Day 5. Point Lenana and down to MET Station 

 

The short trek to the summit of Point Lenana starts at 4 am and is likely to be your toughest challenge of the expedition. Yet standing on the summit at sunrise is a great experience with uninterrupted views of the expanse of Africa. The descent takes you down the southern side along the Naro Moru route in the Teleki Valley an original route used in the famous story ‘No Picnic on Mt Kenya’. An early lunch is had before leaving the Valley and the view of the main peaks and other rock faces. The final walk takes you down through fields of Giant Groundsel, Cabbage Groundsel and other endemic flora in the Moorland Zone and ends at the MET station for collection.

Distance: 14km

Hours walking: 9hrs

Altitude gain: 195m, 640 ft

Overnight at Met Station (3,050m, 10,000 ft)

 

 

Mount Kenya