Climbing Mount Kenya

Climbing Mount Kenya  : Mount Kenya is a volcano in the central Kenya, lying immediately south of the Equator. Mount Kenya is the highest mountain in Kenya and the second-highest in Africa after Kilimanjaro. The highest peaks of the mountain are Batian peak (5,199 meters or 17,057 feet), Nelion peak (5,188 meters and 17,021 ft.) and point Lenana peak (4,985 meters or 16,355 ft.). Mount Kenya is located in the former Eastern and Central provinces of Kenya, its peak is now the intersection of Meru, Embu, Laikipia, Kirinyaga, Nyeri and Tharaka Nithi counties, about 9 kilometers (5 5/8 ) south of the equator, around 159 km (90mi) north-east of the capital Nairobi. Mount Kenya is the source of the name of the Republic of Kenya.

Mount Kenya is a volcano created approximately 3 million years after the opening of the East African Rift. Before glaciation, it was covered by an ice cap for the thousands of years, this has resulted in very eroded slopes and numerous valleys radiating from the peak. There are currently small glaciers which are shrinking rapidly, and may disappear by around 2050. The forested slopes are an important source of water for much of Kenya.

There are several vegetation bands from the base to the peak. The lower slopes are covered by the different types of forest, many alpine species are endemic to Mount Kenya, such as the giant lobelias and senecios and local sub species of rock hyrax. An area of 715km2 (276 sq. mi) around the center of the mountain was designated a National park and listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.  The park receives over 16,500 visitors per year.

Climbing Mount Kenya
Climbing Mount Kenya

Climbing Mount Kenya.

Mount Kenya has three main peaks and the two larger peaks of Batian (5199 meters) and Nelion (5188 meters) are both technical climbs, however the third peak, point Lenana (4,985 meters) is a trekking peak and although it is definitely a challenge and if your are new to trekking, camping and altitude then you may well struggle, however with the correct preparation and a good guide team, then the vast majority of the people will successfully summit.

If you regularly trek in hills and mountains then you will be already be well equipped to climb Mount Kenya, but it should not be underestimated as most people that have climbed both Mount Kenya and Kilimanjaro will know that the landscape and summit routes are more challenging on Mount Kenya so you need to attempt it with a good guide and support team, ensure that you have the correct equipment, eat well and drink a lot of fluids so that by the time you reach the higher camps you will be well acclimatized to the lower levels of oxygen in the air, hydrated and full of energy ready to summit.

How long does it take to climb Mount Kenya?

During your Kenya safari to climb Mount Kenya, a lot of companies offer 3 day climbs on Mount Kenya but this does not offer a safe acclimatisation plan, the preferred itinerary is 5 days on the shorter options of the Mount Kenya trek and Mount Kenya traverse to allow for a safe ascent and descent. If you plan to use the remote Burguret route then expect to be on the mountain for 6 days, similary if you include the summit circuit in your climbing plans.

Best time to climb Mount Kenya.

Mount Kenya can be climbed all year around if you don’t fancy trekking in the rainy season but it’s better to avoid mid- March to mid-May and October and November butit’s getting increasingly difficult to predict the rains so if you have no alternative but to climb in these months then do not let the rains hold you back, the rain tend to fall after lunch on the mountain so a lot of the time we can avoid trekking in heavy rain.

Equipments needed to climb Mount Kenya.

For Mount Kenya climbing there is recommended kit list (There is provision of the group equipment, particularly tents and cooking equipment, however if you need personal equipment, they also rent out kit like the sleeping bags, waterproof jackets, trekking poles and many more), when choosing your footwear the trekking boot guide will help you in the right direction as also the sleeping bag guide when deciding which weight/warmth bag suits you.

How hard is it to climb Mount Kenya?

The technical ascent of Nelion or Batian require good technical climbing experience but Point Lenana can be climbed by the most people, you just need to have good general fitness and the correct equipment, read up on health and altitude in the mountains, acclimatizing safely and the Mount Kenya advice.

How does it cost to climb Mount Kenya?

The cost varies depending on the Mount Kenya routes and the accommodation that you plan to use, camping rather than using the huts at the various camps is the cheaper option on a western ascent and decent, either on the Naro Moru, Sirimon route or a mix of both, a west to east traverse is a little more expensive as you need to use 4×4’s to get off/on to the mountain on the Chogoria route.

Climbing Mount Kenya
Climbing Mount Kenya

How to get to Mount Kenya.

Mount Kenya can be accessed from Nairobi that is there are number of options to get to Mount Kenya, most people will ascend on the western side and you can get a public matatu from Nairobi directly to Naro Moru/Nanyuki, which is the cheapest option. There are also matatu’s to Chogoria from Nairobi on the eastern side of the mountain. For those that do not fancy squeezing into the public transport, private transfer’s from ant where in Nairobi can be arranged.

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