Mount Kenya has a complex shape with many peaks. The tallest two, Batian and Nelion, give Mount Kenya the distinction of being the second tallest mountain in Africa, after Kilmanjaro in Tanzania. Batian and Nelion rise precipitously and require a technical ascent. Most of those who claim the distinction of climbing Mount Kenya actually summit the third highest peak, Point Lenana. To further demean the accomplishment, there are actually mountains in Africa (such as Elgon) which are intermediate in elevation between Lenana and the highest points in Kenya.
That being said, Lenana is a true peak and reaching it is no small accomplishment. It required several days of hiking and acclimatization. It is well above, many of the equatorial glaciers. And the route we took from Austrian Hut required a final early morning scramble. This was a bit unexpected for me since the rest of the ascent was pretty much of a steady hike.
We took Chogoria route up and Suramin route down
Night 1: The Bandas
Night 2: A cave near the trailhead of the Mintos trail
Night 3: Mintos camp
Night 4: Austrian hut
Night 5: Old Moses huts
The Chogoria route is breath-takingly beautiful - filled with valleys and vistas and waterfalls and glaciers.
It was hard to resist the allure of descending by a different route.
Suramin began with a long descent into a beautiful valley, but ended up as a long slog through a watery bog.
The weather was quite changable and produced a wide variety of moods from foggy to bright sun and clear skies to hail.
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Modified: August 17, 2008
Created: August 8, 2008