Climbing Mount Kenya
Mount Kenya is the highest mountain in Kenya and the second-highest in Africa, after Mount Kilimanjaro. The Mountain has several peaks but the highest peaks are Batian peak (5,199 meters (17,057 ft)), Nelion Peak (5,188 meters (17,021 ft)), and Point Lenana (4,985 meters (16,355 ft)). Batian and Nelion are permanently iced with snow and small glaciers, and home to an array of technical alpine climbs.
Mount Kenya is located in central Kenya, just south of the equator, around 150 kilometers (94 miles) north-northeast of Kenya’s Capital City, Nairobi. Mount Kenya is the source of the name of the Republic of Kenya.
Mount Kenya is an extinct volcano created approximately 3 million years after the opening of the East African Rift. Before glaciations, it was 7,000 m (23,000 ft) high. It was covered by an ice cap for thousands of years. This has resulted in much-eroded slopes and numerous valleys radiating from the center. There are currently eleven small glaciers. The forested slopes are an important source of water for Kenya.
Mount Kenya is close to the equator ad therefore the season for climbing the mountain depends on which side of the peak you want to take. Batian peak is most commonly climbed by the “North Face Standard Route” and the season for this is typically July to September. Nelson’s peak is commonly done by the MacKinder’s Route. The climb faces southeast and the season is normally December to February when the south side of the peak receives more sun. The famous ice routes of the Diamond Couloirs and Ice Window face south, and their best season is June to October.
Our trekking safaris to Mt. Kenya covers a broad spectrum of possibilities. We have designed many new itineraries to meet a variety of demands from all types of individuals. We cater to the needs of a range of visitors, from the nature admirer who simply wants to have a leisurely day around the Mt. Kenya National Park or a day hike to explore the unique lower forest of the Mt. Kenya slopes – hoping to have a glimpse of the summits. To the more ambitious, who wishes to summit Point Lenana, we feel that the suggested itineraries offer the best value. However, because the mountain is so large and offers such a diversity of trekking and climbing routes, should there be a need for a special itinerary that you require, please let us know and we will assist you in every way. We will be only too glad to tailor-make the itinerary suited to you.
Preparing for your trek.
The very best way to prepare for climbing to high altitudes is to climb to high altitudes. Although this is difficult for most people, remember that the higher the altitude you can reach and the longer the hikes you do for training, the better. This also allows you to get used to your backpack and boots. You should be hiking with everything in your day pack that you anticipate carrying when climbing Mount Kenya on Mount Kilimanjaro.
Running and biking are also very good and at least take you outdoors so you can test your equipment. Stair masters and climbing machines at the gym will work if outdoor hiking isn’t an option. Try not to go for short hard blasts of exercise but long sustained workouts instead. An adequate training regime is to maintain 75% of your max heart rate (220 minus your age) for an hour, three to four days a week. Remember high altitude mountain climbing requires acclimatization and that a strong mind is as important as a strong body. If you are fairly fit and choose a climbing itinerary that allows plenty of time to acclimatize you have the formula for success.
What to pack.
Items on this list have been chosen to maximize your comfort and safety while hiking on the mountain. The item can be hired from our mountain store as listed on the hiring charges – you are required to book in advance.