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Mount Kenya Lenana or some more?

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Mount Kenya Lenana or some more?

Postby japatta » Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:20 pm

Hey Folks,

In January I'm going to Kenya for 3 weeks, 2 weeks safari/ wildlife and 5 days to a week Mount Kenya.

I just wanted to do something extra than the the tourist route (Naro Moru) to Lenana, but on the other hand I think the actual climb to Batian will be a bit to much (especially for my Girlfriend, who hasn't real (outdoor)climbing experience). Do you think it might be possible to hire a guide just for summit? Or do you think she won't make it anyway to the summit (Batian). And are such a guides affordable? (for example this http://www.themountainschool.com/expeditions/mount-kenya.html#8 isn't what I would call affordable).

And are there any other more challeging hikes/climbs than the classical hiking route to Lenana. Some glacier walking etc are no problem and would be nice.
I was also considering to the Mount Kenya summit circuit or one of the less popular hikingroutes(Simiron...) .


And something different I am not planning to take all my safari equipement (photo-equipment + tripods etc) do you know any place where I would be able to store it SAFE !? while we are on the mountain?

And somebody experience with Mount Elgon? I think it is less popualar but that off course doesn't mean less nice

Thanks a lot,
Brecht & Marieke
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Postby JanVanGenk » Tue Nov 17, 2009 4:12 pm

We took Chogoria route to Mt. Kenya in 2007, this is said to be the most scenic route. Haven't seen others, but can say that Chogoria was beautiful indeed.

The scrambles on Mt. Kenya are: Pt. Lenana SW ridge, Pt. Lenana N ridge, Pt. Melhuish East side, Krapf Rognon SE side, Pt. Thomson East ridge.

Nelion/Batian routes in Jan-March are rock climbing routes, don't take your unexperienced girl-friend there please. Even if the normal route on Nelion is not very hard (at least if you know the route), the route finding skills are important and chances are that you will climb much harder terrain than the actual route (as we did). If you plan to hire a climbing guide, hire a Kenyan one. We saw a South-African climber with a local guide up there, the guide certainly knew the way, and they made it to the summit and back allright. I don't remember what he payed for guiding, but it was affordable.
Last edited by JanVanGenk on Tue Nov 17, 2009 7:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby JanVanGenk » Tue Nov 17, 2009 7:21 pm

Guided climbs:

http://www.kenyaexpeditions.com/

quotes the following guiding fees per person:

Batian
1pax: USD 600, 2Pax: USD 400

Nelion
1pax: USD 500, 2Pax: USD 350

The Mountain Club of Kenya is also useful though they renewed the website recently and some info is still missing.
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Postby deep6 » Sun Dec 13, 2009 10:56 am

jan--thanks for sharing the kenyan guide company.

during jan. - mar. on the normal route up Nelion/Batian...

did you encounter ice/snow and had to use axe/crampons?
did you climb this route w/ rock shoes or mountaineering boots?
what were the levels of climbing up to these peaks on mt. kenya?

mucho gracias.
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Postby JanVanGenk » Mon Dec 14, 2009 9:44 am

deep6 wrote:did you encounter ice/snow and had to use axe/crampons?

We did take axe, but no crampons. Therefore the crossing of the Lewis Glacier was a bit slow (well, we didn't cross it on the "right" place, but somewhat lower) as the glacier was icy. Nelion was dry, except of some semi-hard snow in the beginning of the route where there's an upward traverse to the left (so-called "donkey walk").

deep6 wrote:did you climb this route w/ rock shoes or mountaineering boots?

I climbed in mountaineering boots. We had rock-shoes in the backpack, and we actually did use them once. They are handy if you deviate from the route and have to tackle some harder terrain.

deep6 wrote:what were the levels of climbing up to these peaks on mt. kenya?

East African grade IV will translate roughly to D in the French Alps.
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Postby japatta » Tue Dec 22, 2009 7:43 am

Hej Jan,

Did you hire a guide or did you do it independently? And how did your shedule looked like(where did you sleep every night etc?)

I am now planning to start at Chogoria route, do the summit circuit, Lenana and go back along the Sirimon route.

Is Burguret route really as bad as they say? Because in a way this 'wild' route attracts me more than the classic routes.

Regards,
Brecht
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Postby Darek » Tue Dec 22, 2009 10:26 pm

japatta wrote:I am now planning to start at Chogoria route, do the summit circuit, Lenana and go back along the Sirimon route.

We have made exactly such a trip: starting from Chogoria, around the mountain, then Point Lenana and back down by Sirimon Route.
We have also seen some upper part of Noro Moru route and it looked the least interesting.
On other routes you will probably need a guide, so they are not so "wild" in such a case.
Our photos from Mount Kenya:
http://dabo.110mb.com/gallery/index.php ... MountKenya
Have a nice trip
Darek
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Postby japatta » Wed Dec 23, 2009 6:44 am

Nice pics! , how many days did it take you to do this tour?
And your transportation from and to? You just organised it locally when you arrived?
And about the camping places, you camped near the huts or foreseen camping places or just where ever you liked it? And how to evade to close encounters with buffalos and elephants during the night (especially in the lower parts I presume) ?

dzi?kuj?
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Postby Darek » Thu Dec 24, 2009 1:09 am

japatta wrote:Nice pics! , how many days did it take you to do this tour?
And your transportation from and to? You just organised it locally when you arrived?
And about the camping places, you camped near the huts or foreseen camping places or just where ever you liked it? And how to evade to close encounters with buffalos and elephants during the night (especially in the lower parts I presume) ?

dzi?kuj?


:)

We were there 6 1/2 days:
1. Nairobi-Chogoria (by bus) - Park Gate
2. Park Gate-Chogoria gate (a long day)
3. Chogoria Gate-somewhere above Parklands
4. Gorges Valley-Mackinder's Valley
5. Mackinder's Valley-circuit to Teleki Valley
6. Teleki Valley-Point Lenana-lower Mackinder's Valley
7. down to the road areund Mt Kenya and by bus to Nanyuki.
We organised everything locally, public transport is very well available, even during home war (a day later after we left Nanyuki we found out, that according to european televisions we were exactly in the center of war). In Nairobi there are some 24h big supermarkets where you can buy everything necessary in the mountains, including camping gas or even complete stoves.
We camped rather not in neighbourhood of huts so I can't say too much about them. The only exception was Chogoria Gate where we prefered to stay close to armed guards - in the zone of buffalos and elephants. We have seen such wild elephant during the day in parklands. I think dangerous animals do not show up at >3500m.
Regards,
Darek
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Postby JanVanGenk » Sun Dec 27, 2009 3:26 pm

japatta wrote:Did you hire a guide or did you do it independently? And how did your shedule looked like(where did you sleep every night etc?)


Brecht,

I can only tell about the Chogoria route. We did it independently. It was a real African experience. After coming down from Kilimanjaro, we had nothing reserved in advance for Mt. Kenya and moreover, as we had spent most of the money on Kili, the budget was rather tight. So we took a bus from Moshi (Tanzania) to Nairobi (Kenya), which was an experience not to be missed. We arrived in Nairobi around 9 p.m. without a clue where exactly we were. The bus was immediately surrounded by locals, and as we were the only white in the bus, we got the hordes on us. The only remedy to get out of such situation is to make face as if you know where you are and where you are going to, grab your bags as quickly as possible, get moving and hope for the best. So we walked some 50 meters along an unknown street and luckily there was a decent hotel where we stayed for the night. We arranged a driver through the hotel's reception who took us to the Chogoria village. There the same thing happened as in Nairobi, we were immediately surrounded by locals, everybody trying to do business with us, but now there was nothing terrifying in the air as it was that night in Nairobi. So we made a preliminary deal, and then drove further to the Transit Motel (one of the contacts in a guide-book), which was somewhat out of the village and away from the crowds. There we found a guy who offered us another deal, so we negotiated until the deal (and the price) was reasonable, and better than the first one. Our "package" included: jeep ride from the village to the Chogoria gate and back, one porter, one night in the Austrian hut (we actually spent 2 nights there, and payed for the other night afterwards) and all possible park fees.

Our schedule:
1. Nairobi - Chogoria village - Chogoria gate (the last stretch by jeep).
2. Park gate - Minto's hut
3. Minto's hut - Austrian hut
4. Nelion
5. Austrian hut - Minto's hut
6. Minto's hut - Chogoria village - Nairobi

We had no problem with this schedule as we were acclimatized, otherwise I won't do it so fast (especially if you intend to climb Nelion).


Wildlife encounters... oh yes. In the early morning at the Chogoria gate camp (a small grassy area next to the rangers' hut) I crawled out of our lonely tent to take a pee. As I made a few steps towards a loo, unaware of any imminent danger, I heard a sudden loud trumpet that was good for getting heart attack. 10 meters behind our tent was an elephant feeding in the bush. As he made a few steps in my direction I quickly went back into the tent just to get out of his sight and prayed that he wouldn't run through the tent. Then he turned around and after some time disappeared in the bush.
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Postby japatta » Sun Dec 27, 2009 9:16 pm

Woh! the elephant encounter must have been quiet frightening !

thanks for sharing the shedules!

And which waterpurification measurements did you take? boiling, micropur? or filter? or combinations?
Since in Congo my Girlfriend had quite some troubles due to drinking water that wasn't properly cooked.
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Postby JanVanGenk » Sun Dec 27, 2009 10:44 pm

japatta wrote:Woh! the elephant encounter must have been quiet frightening !

Oh yes, it was. The experience was much more intense than one can ever get from safe distance in a safari jeep. At that moment I felt that, as a human being, I was not much worth...if anything at all. A great lesson of respect by Mother Nature.

And which waterpurification measurements did you take? boiling, micropur? or filter? or combinations?

On Kili we used a filter in the beginning, then that thing stopped working, and afterwards (also on Mt. Kenya) we just boiled water or added Micropur. I remember that water in the Hall Tarns behind the Minto's hut was full of small unknown substances. By then we were already used to this situation (most of the time there was "something" in the water), we just boiled it long enough and nothing ever happened.
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Postby deep6 » Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:22 am

jan:

how much did you pay for the 6 -days for the mt. kenya climb?
was the kenyan climbing guide english speaking?
what would you suggest as the proper number of days to do this climb? and suggested acclimation peaks in kenya?

when i was on kili the guide & porter would boil water all along the way and i used Potable Aqua Plus Iodine & Taste Neutralizing Tablets as well or just make sure you bring along packets of sports powder mix to kill the nasty taste. anybody successful using the steripen on kili?

thank you.
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Postby japatta » Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:06 am

Hej Folks,

Just some more questions: what about Lenana North face? Is it advisable to take ice-axe (and crampons) there in January?

And about the summit the summit circuit anybody ever walked like this? Austria hut--> cross Lewis glacier, along the scree beneath point Melhuish and further under Point John and midget camp back to the Two Tarn hut.

And I was also thinking about walking down along the Burgeret route untill highland castle and heading south back to the Naro Moru route before entering the forest zone. But than you have to cross the Naro Moru river which is maybe impossible there?

thanks,
Brecht
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Postby JanVanGenk » Wed Jan 06, 2010 7:20 pm

deep6 wrote: how much did you pay for the 6 -days for the mt. kenya climb?

300 USD

deep6 wrote: was the kenyan climbing guide english speaking?

We didn't have a guide, but the climbing guide of an another party spoke good English.

deep6 wrote:what would you suggest as the proper number of days to do this climb? and suggested acclimation peaks in kenya?

It is difficult to make a suggestion as people acclimatize at different speeds. A week should be sufficient to enjoy the climb.
Other peaks in Kenya... check out the Aberdare Mountains with Ol Donyo Satima (about 4000 m) the highest point.
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