We had no luck with the weather, lots of snow. We were the only climbing team in the Austrian Hut. The summit day started off with sunny skies, but this soon turned into white-out and snow. The second half of the climb was on wet rock, I could wring water out of my gloves, and became fairly hypothermic. Spent the night in the Howell Hut at the summit of Nelion, it snowed all night long! The night in the bivvy hut was also freezing cold and we had no sleeping bag. The next day we decided to skip the summit of Batian (the skies didn't spell any good either), and abseiled down over snow-covered rocks. By the time we reached the base of the SE face, it was snowing again.
We climbed the route in 14 pitches. Surely, when conditions aren't optimal, and rock wet, the degree of difficulty feels higher. The abseil route is well bolted, with a longer rope it's possible to skip a few bolts, as we did.
March 1, 2015
Boda boda from Nanyuki to Sirimon Gate the previous night and early start walking from the gate to the Austrian hut.
March 2, 2015
Started around 7am from Austrian hut, climbed the normal route on Nelion and traversed to Batian. Walk back to Mackinder Camp. Weather was great and the route was in great condition. During abseil, ropes got stuck one time but it was a trivial matter to climb back and fix the snag. (IIRC, all the cruxes have fixed pins so minimal gear is needed for protection.)
March 3, 2015
Hike out from Mackinder Camp to Naro Moru gate.