About Mount Kenya Climbing

Mount Kenya

Mount Kenya is not just a single peak; it is a massif consisting of a multitude spires, cliffs, complex ridges and peaks. These are the weathered remnants of a large extinct volcano that was active several million years ago. Mount Kenya straddles the equator but is high enough to receive significant snowfall and to support several glaciers.

The main summits are the twins Batian and Nelion, and these can only be reached by means of technical climbing via a variety of rock or ice routes. The third highest peak, Point Lenana, is a popular destination for trekking parties. Point John and some of the other subsidiary peaks also offer good rock climbing routes.

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 square km (240 square miles), and receives up to 15,000 visitors every year.

The Sirimon route is the least used of the three main routes, but features the most gradual ascent profile and best acclimatization options. The route passes through impressive Yellowwood forests in the lower reaches and features abundant wildlife and beautiful alpine scenery higher up.

The track climbs up through the forest. On the north side of the mountain there is a 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.

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.

Itinerary in Brief

  • DAY 1: Depature and hike to Old Moses Camp
  • DAY 2: Hike to Shipton’s Camp
  • DAY 3: Hike to Point Lenana
  • DAY 4: Descent, transfer to Nairobi

Highlights

  • Climb on the highest mountain in Kenya and 2nd highest massif in Africa
  • Reach Point Lenana at 16,355 ft (4,985 m)

Locations: Mount Kenya National Park

Activities: Mountain Trekking

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