This was a once in a life time changing experience. Mt. Kenya is the 2nd highest mountain in Africa after Kilimanjaro with three main peaks (Batian, Lenana and Nelion). Lenana summit being 16359 feet, and has a temperature of -4 degrees. Among my peers, few have ventured into this expedition.
Extraordinarily, Batian Peak is 4000 feet above normal cruising height for a Cessna caravan! Its ragged series of peaks are crowned with snow, and its slopes are thick with forest. The mountain is best seen at dawn.
We started day 1 at Sirimon gate. The Sirimon route is an accessible and enjoyable hiking route on Mount Kenya and well within the capabilities of fit hill walkers, offering a varied trek from the cultivated lowlands, through unique glaciersculpted alpine heath and up to jagged volcanic peaks and glistening glaciers near the peak of Point Lenana. Below our itinerary
Day 1 – Nairobi – Sirimon 8727 feets (2,660m) Sirimon to Old Moses 10826.77feets (3,300m) covering 9Km 2230feets ascent. Spend the night at Old Moses Campsite.
Day 2 – Old Moses to Shipton Camp 13779.53feets (4,200m) 14Km, 2952 feet ascent.
Day 3 – Shipton to Lenana 16354.99 feet(4,985m) 6km , 2575 feet ascent. The trick and an interesting psychological concept is when from shipton to summit we had to arise at 1am for anyone not to see when climbing otherwise no one would attempt due to steepness which could have mentally challenged us.
I could only imagine the route when Descending and no one could believe we made it to that rocky steep climb. Almost to the peak there are nice natural lakes .
Day 4 – Old Moses to Sirimon Gate and depart for Nairobi with a stopover at Nanyuki Town. Interesting moments is taking a photo on the summit next to the well kept current constitution of Kenya and the National flag but the cold could only accommodate us for not more than 20 min at the summit.
I would say this was indeed a nice experience: four days without a shower, upward trekking covering around 60km. I look forward to trying Mt. Kilimanjaro!
EDWARD G. MUNGAI
Engineering Quality Manager
Airkenya Express Limited