For some, the view is reason enough, for others it’s a personal challenge and for most, it’s too much fun to let pass by. Picture fingers clawed into the rock face against the howling winds on ice climbs of the 5199-metre high peak of Mount Kenya. This is the extreme sport of Rock climbing on Mt. Kenya.
Adrenalin has a special way of making the most daunting of tasks just that much easier. Where better to get your fix than the rugged peaks of East Africa? The challenge these peaks present to hikers and mountaineers is not for the faint at heart. Perhaps, this technical climb is a task too gruelling but fear not.
Mountain Climbing Club of Kenya
Lukenya hill, a property of the Mountain Climbing Club of Kenya since 1960, is Kilometers south of Nairobi along Mombasa Road. Once a year, the club organizes training camps for beginners to get the skills needed to tackle exigent climbs. The training provides novice climbers with an excellent platform to hone their skills.
Lukenya rock climbing near Athi River also imparts mountaineers with valuable camping tips and techniques, essential to enjoying your ascent of the east Africa’s highest peaks. Nowhere else can you gain the spiritual, mental and physical preparation for a climbing expedition? With the guidance of seasoned professionals, you are sure to make a successful climb.
Now you are prepped packed and ready to tackle the adventure. Enjoy the amazing dense forests, endemic wildlife, plains, springs and lakes.
The Challenging Batian
Among Mount Kenya peaks is Batian. Batian summit is 5199 meters and a difficulty ranking D. The grade IV, 5.9 technical climb traverses rock and ice of the famous ‘Diamond Couloir’. Approachable by the southeast facing route and the North face route, this is the African continent’s second highest peak and being right on the equator, routes are often determined by the sun’s position.
The technical climb begins from Mackinder’s base on route directly to Nelion peak. Ascension to the summit is a true test, even for expert climbers. The southern ice route is best climbed when the sun is in the North between the months of July and September. Alternatively, the northeastern rock climbing during this period also has favourable conditions.
The recommended routes for technical climbing on Mount Kenya during the months are:
South West Ridge, December to March
Standard V (Rock routes)
North Face Standard route, July-September/October
Standard IV (Rock Route)
North Face Sirimon Approach
South-East Face Route, August-December
Standard IV (Ice Window)
Standard V (ice routes) Mid July to end of September through the ‘Diamond Couloir’
For climbers not quite ready to embark on these technical climbs, the main summit of Mount Kenya’s Lenana peak at 4,985 meters is a good trial. All the way, you can have the support of experienced porters and guides with invaluable knowledge of the terrain and it’s wild. Plan your expedition through Journey Kenya and choose from several great places to stay including;
Mount Kenya Country Club, Mountain Lodge, Sweet Waters, Ol Pejeta. Be sure also to sample the Mount Kenya Art galleries. Shoot amazing pictures of Kenya.