Mount Kenya has three main peaks and the two larger peaks of Batian (5199m) and Nelion (5188m) are both technical climbs, however the third peak, Point Lenana (4,985m) is a trekking peak and although it is definitely a challenge and if you’re 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 people will successfully summit.

7 Day Mt Kenya Rock climbing via the North Face Standard Route.

The North Face itinerary is suitable for the summer to fall (June – Sept) climbing season when the North Face of the peak is relatively snow-free and climbing conditions are best.

Day 1: Nairobi- Mt Kenya Bandas (2,900m)
Depart from Nairobi at 0800hrs, driving through agricultural country up to Chogoria town for lunch. After lunch, we take 4×4 and drive up to the edge of the bamboo forest where we start our trekking through the dense bamboo forest for a distance of 10 km up to the Mt Kenya Bandas.

Mount Kenya technical climbing

Dinner and overnight at the Mount Kenya Bandas.

Day 2:  Mt Kenya Bandas – Lake Ellis Campsite ( 3,600m) .
After breakfast and sorting of porter loads we set off up the mountain at a nice and easy pace A slightly longer walk via Lake Ellis gives scenic views of Mugi, Ithanguni, and the Giants Billiards Table, whilst if we follow the river near road head, upstream for about 3 km, the foreground scenery and flora is particularly beautiful.

Lunch on the banks of a stream, then it`s time to cut up the left-hand hillside to our camp at about 3,600m, well away from any of the more touristy areas.

Day 3: Lake Ellis- Minto`s Camp. ( 4,200m) .

Similar early start. Again well off the beaten track to follow a ridge up the mountain for about 3 hours to eventually join the tourist track on the normal Chogoria route at an altitude of about 4,100m. Breathtaking views over the Gorges Valley and back over towards Ithanguni and the Northern Moorland

Lunch is served at a small stream crossing, before continuing for a further hour to the Mintos Hut area at 4200m and our night rest. Mount Kenya technical climbing

Afternoon is spent relaxing at camp, though a 10-minute walk to the Temple is well worth the effort. This is a 150 meters vertical cliff that gets its name from the position visitors often adopt when peering over the edge they look as if they are praying.

Day 4: Minto`s -Shipton Camp (4,200m)

You rise early and continue your trek up to Top Hut (Austrian Hut) 4800m. From this Hut you make a final short ascent of Point Lenana, 4985m,. Point Lenana is the common trekkers Mount Kenya Summit. From this summit you then go straight down the Northwest side to Shipton`s Camp, passing Harris Tarn.

Day 5: Shipton – Batian (5199m) – Shipton (Climbing Day)
Ascent of Batian by the North Face Standard Route. Starting in the early morning dark, usually between 4 and 5 am, you may climb the first couple of pitches by headlamp.
The route initially follows a wide couloir which you 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 partway up the route. Ideally we arrive here by about 7:30 or so, enjoying 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 V grade. 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. Mount Kenya technical climbing

You’ll then descend via the same route hopefully hitting Shipton’s Camp before evening dusk for dinner and overnight.

Day 6: Shipton camp. Spare day in case of bad weather.

Day 7: Shiptons – Nairobi: After breakfast begins a 5-hour descent via Mackinder`s valley to the Old Moses camp for lunch. After lunch transfer back to Nairobi arriving late afternoon. The descent is gentle and it offers ample time to enjoy fascinating scenery which includes the moorlands before reaching the camp.

Mt. Kenya Technical Climbing

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