The easiest routes to the highest peaks, Batian and Nelion, are IV (Uiaa grading). Few parties reach Batian summit and descend before nightfall. There are more than 25 routes to the main summits of which 8 are ice routes concentrated on the south and west sides. There is little scope for new routes. 90% of visiting climbers underestimate Mt. Kenya and it is unlikely that more than one route to the summits will be made in any one visit to the mountain. There are good shorter climbs on outlying smaller peaks.
Day 1: Nairobi - Nanyuki - Old Moses Camp (3400 m). After pick up we drive North, along the Western side of Mt Kenya crossing the Equator en route to Nanyuki town for lunch. After lunch a further drive takes us to the Sirimon Park gate (2660 m). From the gate, we trek up through magnificent mountain forest, bamboo and giant heather zone before reaching the high altitude moorland and to our first hut (Old Moses camp) for dinner and overnight. This is a gentle trek that takes 3 - 4 hrs gaining an elevation of 680 m.
Day 2: Old Moses - Shipton Camp (4236 m). Early morning start through Ontulili River up the spectacular Mackinders valley via Liki North ridge with picnic lunch en route arriving in Shipton camp in 7 hrs. This camp is a surreal setting below the towering peaks and glacier. Resident population is of Rock Hyrax and sunbirds. Dinner and overnight at the camp.
Day 3: Shipton - Mackinder's Camp (4200 m). For better acclimatization we kick off our peak circuit trek stretching 2 days. Today we go anticlockwise, first through Hausberg Col at 4591m, and then pass between Oblong and Hausberg Tarns. Then we climb up to Nanyuki and Two Tarns before descending to Mackinder's Camp on the South Western side of the peak, at about 4300 meters for dinner and overnight.
Day 4: Mackinder's Camp - Point Lenana (4985 m) - Shipton's Camp (4236 m). We rise early and continue our trek up to Top Hut (Austrian Hut) 4800 m. From this Hut we make a final short ascent of Point Lenana, 4985 m. Point Lenana is the common trekker's Mount Kenya "Summit". From this summit we then go straight down the Northwest side back to Shipton's Camp, passing Harris Tarn.
Day 5: Shipton's Camp. On our 5th day we have the option of either taking a rest day or of climbing a short route on either Point Peter or Point Dutton. In either case we also prepare for the climb of Batian the following morning.
Day 6: Shipton - Batian (5199 m) - Shipton. Ascent of Batian by the North Face Standard Route. Starting in the early morning dark, usually between 4 and 5 am, we may climb the first couple of pitches by headlamp. The route initially follows a wide couloir which we ascend for some 7 pitches, never harder than 5.7. A bit of easy scrambling brings us to the Amphitheater a small basin of easy rock part way up the route. Ideally we arrive here by about 7:30 or thereabouts, enjoying a late "breakfast" and a short break. Above this is the crux of the route, Firmin's Tower. There are about 3 difficult pitches, all fairly short, but all in the 5.8 to 5.9 range. Above this, easier terrain leads to a few more pitches and, finally, the west ridge. From this point, we continue on easy, but still exposed, rock to Shipton's Notch, a prominent gash in the summit ridge. Another pitch, then mixed 4th and easy 5th class rock leads to the airy summit of Batian. We descend by the same route. The lower amphitheater may be reached by direct abseils from Firmin's Tower. Variation: Firmin's Tower may be avoided on the right by traversing along a ledge above the Northey Glacier and then climbing a short wall to easier ground and the top of the tower. Difficult if icy. If we maintain a good pace we can hopefully hit Shipton's Camp before evening dusk.
Day 7: Shipton' s Camp - Meru Mt Kenya Bandas Lodge. After breakfast our trek out begins and we hike down by the Scenic Chogoria Route. Our trek out begins with a climb up to Simba Col (where porters once swore they saw a lion, hence the name) then a quick descent to the halls Tarns. From here we follow the backbone of a ridge, overlooking the spectacular Gorges Valley. Loosing elevation fast we leave the high moorlands and enter into the forest belt that surrounds Mount Kenya. As we approach the cabins of Meru Mount Kenya Bandas (our destination for the night) we are most likely to spot Cape buffalo, Bush Buck, and tracks of other wild animals. The Bandas are a welcome luxury. With hot showers, a fine evening log fire, a bed, without mentioning a cold beer.
Day 8: Bandas Lodge - Chogoria - Nairobi. After breakfast we hike the first hour or so enjoying the bamboo forest. We often see Elephant tracks, and signs of many other wild animals. We continue further down up to the 10 kilometer mark where we are picked up by a 4 by 4 wheel drive vehicle and continue the drive to Chogoria town and switch to another comfortable vehicle for transfer back to the Hotel/other destination.
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Africa Kenya Outdoor: Mountain Ranger Mountain/Rock Climbing Hiking & Trekking