Hiking Mount Kenya Climbing

HIKING MOUNT KENYA CLIMBING

Mount Kenya Climbing

MOUNT KENYA NATURAL HISTORY

Mount Kenya is Africa's second highest mountain at 5,199m and the highest of all Kenya Mountains. Mount Kenya trek 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 of Mount Kenya. 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.

After the Mount Kenya cultivated farmlands on the lower slopes the trails pass through the rain forest, rich in trees of many species but noticeably camphors, then onto a bamboo zone growing to heights of more than 12m or more up through open moor land before reaching the moonscape of higher slopes. The Mount Kenya forests are rich in wildlife including elephant, buffalo and monkeys with even the moor lands offering a long list of mammals including the rock hyrax, the nearest living relative of the elephant.

Mt. Kenya hiking is an ancient volcanic mountain much older than Mt. Kilimanjaro. It's believed to have once reached well above 600m. What is left today is volcanic plug which erosion has fashioned into the complex jagged outline of the central peaks.

When to Trek Mount Kenya & Climb Mt Kenya

Although, Mount Kenya can be climbed all year round, it's safest to climb Mt. Kenya during the dry seasons: January-February and August to September off the most reliably fine weather. The main Mount Kenya climbing routes are likely to be more crowded at this time of the year. If you favor complete solitude over the sunny skies, try going slightly off the peak season. It’s best to avoid the two rainy seasons from mid March until June and from late October to the end of December.

Mount Kenya climbing Routes/Itineraries:

There are three main Mt Kenya trekking routes, which penetrate the forest and the moorland. The Mount Kenya Climbing routes are Naromoru Route trek, Sirimon Route hiking and Chogoria Route walking and each of which has something different to offer. Mount Kenya Naromoru Route is the fastest route to point Lenana but not as scenic as the other two. Mt Kenya Trekking through Chogoria Route hike is the most scenic and Mt Kenya hiking Sirimon Route the most interesting because it is on the drier side of Mount Mount Kenya.

Note: The normal pattern of weather on Mount Kenya climbing is for clear mornings with mist closing in from 10:00am although this can clear by evening. Therefore, early morning starts are the order of the day with a 2am start for the final ascent to point Lenana at Mount Kenya, if you want to catch the sunrise.

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Mount Kenya climbing routes and itineraries:

4 Days Naro Moru route Trekking Mount Kenya
4 Days Mt Kenya Trekking Sirimon Route
5 Days Mt Kenya Hiking Sirimon Route Down Chogoria Route
5 Days Trekking Mt Kenya Chogoria Route down Naro Moru Route
6 Days Mount Kenya Trekking Chogoria Route
6 Days Mt Kenya Trek Sirimon - Naro Moru peak circuit route
11 Days Mount Kenya Climbing Combined with Masai Mara Safari
15 Days Mount Kenya and Mt Kilimanjaro Climbing

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Mt Kenya Hiking Point Lenana, Batian Peak Tour, Mount Kenya Climbing, Hiking, Trekking & Walking Mt Kenya, Mt Kenya climbing routes and best months to trek, Sirimon Route, Naro Moru Route, Chogoria Route

Mount Kenya:

Mount Kenya is the highest mountain in Kenya, and the second highest in Africa (after Mount Kilimanjaro). The highest peaks of the mountain are Batian (5,199 m - 17,058 ft), Nelion (5,188 m - 17,022 ft) and Lenana (4,985 m - 16,355 ft). Mount Kenya is located in central Kenya, just south of the equator, around 150 km (95 miles) north-northeast of Nairobi. The area around the mountain is protected in the Mount Kenya National Park, which is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. The National Park is around 620 km² (240 square miles), and receives up to 15,000 visitors every year.

The mountain is an extinct (dead) volcano standing alone, which last erupted between 2.6 and 3.1 million years ago. Its slopes include several different biomes; the lowest parts are dry upland forest, changing to montane forest of juniper and podocarpus at about 2,000 metres (6,600 ft), with a belt of bamboo at 2,500 m (about 8,000 ft) that changes to an upper forest of smaller trees covered with moss and "goat's beard" lichen. Above a distinct timberline at about 3,500 m (11,500 ft), there is an afroalpine zone, with its characteristic giant rosette plants. Twelve small (and rapidly shrinking) glaciers may be found scattered among the complex of peaks, of which Batian and Nelion are the highest.

The missionary Johann Ludwig Krapf was the first European to report a sighting of Mount Kenya, in 1849. The first recorded ascent of Mount Kenya was made by Halford John Mackinder, Cesar Ollier and Josef Brocherel on 13 September 1899. The highest point (Batian) is a technical climb; the classic Diamond Couloir climbing route is a Grade IV of about 20 pitches, up to YDS 5.9 in difficulty. Nelion was first climbed by Eric Shipton in 1929, and Shipton and Bill Tilman completed the traverse of the ridge between the two highest peaks. Point Lenana, at 4,985 m (16,355 ft), can be reached by a hiking trail. Mount Kenya is best climbed in January or February on the south side and August or September on the north side.

Sirimon Route

This route starts 15 km (9 miles) east around the Mount Kenya Ring Road from Nanyuki. The gate is 10 km (6 miles) further along the track, which can be walked or driven by two-wheel drives.

The track climbs up through the forest. On the north side of the mountain there is no bamboo zone, so the forest gradually turns into moorland covered with giant heather. The track ends at Old Moses Hut and becomes a path. This continues up the hill before splitting into two routes. To the left, the least used path goes around the side of the Barrow, to Liki North Hut. The vegetation becomes more sparse, with giant lobelia and groundsels dotted around. The path climbs over a ridge, before rejoining the main path ascending the Mackinder Valley. Shipton's Cave can be found in the rock wall to the left of the steep path just before reaching Shipton's Camp.

From Shipton's Camp, it is possible to ascend the ridge directly in front of the camp to the site of Kami Hut, which no longer exists, or follow the river up to Lower Simba Tarn and eventually to Simba Col. These are both on the Peak Circuit Path

Naro Moru Route

This route is taken by many of the trekkers who try to reach Point Lenana. It can be ascended in only 3 days and has bunkhouses at each camp so a tent is not necessary. The terrain is usually good, although one section is called the Vertical Bog.

The track starts in Naro Moru town and heads past the Park Headquarters up the ridge between the Northern and Southern Naro Moru Rivers. At the roadhead is the Meteorological Station, to which it is possible to drive in the dry season. The route drops down into the Northern Naro Moru Valley to Mackinder's Camp on the Peak Circuit Path.

Chogoria Route

The Gorges Valley is a major feature on the Chogoria Route. This route leads from Chogoria town up to the peaks circuit. The 32 km (20 miles) from the forest gate to the park gate are often done by vehicle, but it is also possible to walk. There is much wildlife in the forest, with safari ant columns crossing the track, monkeys in the trees, and the potential for seeing elephant, buffalo and leopard. The road is not in good condition, and requires careful driving and walking. Near the park gate the bamboo zone starts, with grasses growing to 12 m high (40 ft).

Once in the park the track passes through rosewood forests, with lichens hanging from the branches. At one point the path splits, with the smaller track leading to a path up the nearby Mugi Hill and across to Lake Ellis.

Top of large overhanging buttress overlooking Lake Michaelson, close to Hall Tarns.Near the trackhead a small bridge crosses the Nithi stream. Following the stream downriver a few hundred metres (yards) leads to The Gates Waterfall. The path heads up a ridge above the Gorges Valley, with views to the peaks, Lake Michaelson, The Temple, and across the valley to Delamere and Macmillan Peaks. Hall Tarns are situated right on the path and above a 200 m (700 ft) cliff directly above Lake Michaelson.

As the path carries on it crosses the flat head of the Nithi River and then the slope steepens. The path splits, heading west to Simba Col, and south west to Square Tarn. These are both on the Peak Circuit Route.