It was on a sunday morning when we arrived at the airport together with my friend after a 8 hours flight from europe,David was ready to pick us up at the airport.as soon as we arrived we parked in the car and headed up straight away for another 4 hours drive to Nanyuki town and to remember this was still the way to samburu national reserve on the north,we had a brief stop at the equator,for a short photo session,at this point we could see mountkenya horizons with its standing peaks covered by a smoke of clouds from far.
In Nanyuki my guide and porter/cook”all with smiling and happy faces and greeting every one of us with their swahili verb “Jambo and karibu kenya” did some last minute preparations before we changed to another matatu and drove about 13 km uphill ,mostly on a dirt road, to Sirimon Gate 2650 m. above sea level. This is the entrance gate for the Sirimon Route up into the mountain. From here you can actually see the peaks of Nelion and Batian in the far distance.
just before starting our cook wilson had to preapare some light lunch which he termed it “wakamore” this is avocando mixed with tomatoes and onions mashed together and a slice of bread separately,remember you have to take care of very brave baboons of mountkenya,they easily come to eat with you,climbing on your dining tables
Ready to start after the mountkenya park entry clearance we proceed to our first leg of walking led by David the guide to a comfortable dirt road 9 km up to our first camp at The Old Moses Hut 3300 m. above,The walk here is a beautiful densed forest and on the way you may encounter wild elephants and buffalos as they inhabit these areas. I was told that the buffalos would sometimes walk up as far as The Old Moses Hut, but we never saw anything except their poo.At Old Moses Hut the forest is overtaken by heathland and the views are spectacular. It is easy to understand why the Sirimon Route is considered to be one of the most popular routes up the mountain, Soon after when we arrived wilson welcomed us with a cup of tea,biscuits and popcorns,little did we know how he preapred all this with the shortest time possible.The sun was going down and it was time to put on some warm jackets as it was getting colder and windy, our delicious dinner of fish and mashed potatoes was on the table before going to my warm sleeping bags for the next morning.
The next day was significantly more challenging and involved something like 7 hours of trekking, to what was effectively our “Base Camp”, at 4200m. At first it was hard work, climbing in and out of a number of valleys. Things then became a little easier as we climbed gradually along the main valley “mackinders valley” of the mountain. As the altitude increased the scenery changed, with moorland giving way to dramatic rock formations and an almost desert-like landscape covered with giant succulent plants.walking through the valley was probably the most interesting part because we could see very clear view of the peaks sorunding us such as terere and sendeo,point lenana,batian and nelion a head of us.someone could think that he can walk the same day to the main peaks but it is quiet a long rocky distance.
Just before 2 pm we had already arrived at shiptons camp,wilson had arrived one hour earlier as it is a norm for clients to arrive later as the porters are very strong and used to the altitude,he welcomed us with a hot coffee to warm our body as it was chilling,and the mist had started forming on the main peaks,In this altitude you rarely go out since you need to keep the body warm,the huts are warmer,and if inside the tents you cover up your self in the sleeping bags to generate the heat.dinner was served earlier than yesterday,to be able to sleep early for the next day morning attempt to point lenana. before we slept David advised us not to walk fast ,drink more water, as this would give us high chances of reaching the summits,after a very little sleep it is time to wake up at 2:30am for the final ascent,it was time to ask why are we doing it at night? We were told that there are three reasons for doing it so early. Firstly, you get to be at the summit for sunrise, secondly the scree is frozen together and hence easier to grip and finally, in the day you can’t see how far it is to the top!
Finally we all reached the summit and got a very good timing of the sun rise,after a photo session every one was ready to descend down to catch up the trail to chogoria route,but seems everyone was tired,sleepy and lazy,today it will be a long day as we are supposed to be at chogoria bandas at 5 before dark,but it will be a very beautiful track to go down,one of my friends started cracking jokes of how mountkenya can be moved from africa to europe because it is one of the best place to be,David said once in a life time i will bring my kids to climb mountkenya,luckly we all had a very incredible tour to mountkenya and we promised to come back again in future.This was a very awarding to have David and his team in the whole 5 days we hiked mountkenya together,it is very rewarding and we felt value for our money,even though we got few challenges like headaches,we felt very happily and satisfied with all the services the team gave us.
Our conclusion is that everyone can make it as long as you try!!
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